What is Web Hosting?

by | Oct 4, 2018 | BlueSteam Blog | 0 comments

These days, most businesses know and understand what web hosting is and that it is an obvious and required service to enable their business to be successful in today’s day and age whether their services are online-based or not. However, there are those that are still unsure of what web hosting really is.


What is Web Hosting in the real world?

Since we live in the real world and not really the digital world, I find that the easiest way for people to understand the concept of web hosting and how it works is if I compare it to something more familiar to them. So, I like to explain this topic to people in the following way.

Imagine the following scenario:

You are on the hunt to build a new home and have just discovered a new piece of unoccupied land where you plan to settle. This piece of land is spacious and has available to it a few services such as a reservoir nearby for water and an open field for your crops but there is no connection to electricity or other required services that you feel you might need so you continue to hunt and find another acceptable location for your current needs to support a future family and so you make the decision to purchase this land as it is better than the first one that you discovered.

So, you rush off to your nearest municipality and make an offer and the purchase is complete.  Either quickly or slowly depending on how efficient your municipality is.  If it is slow, then it is recommended to find a new location as it will be an unpleasant experience to live in a place that is not managed well due to unavailability of basic services such as electricity or refuse removals etc.  (I realise that this is an over-simplification of the real world but just bear with me.)

After this, your municipality hands you the title-deed to the new piece of land and somewhere on this piece of paper, you find an interesting number called a plot number. Accompanying this number is a physical address to the location of this piece of land so that you can tell people where to find you and come and visit you.

At this stage, you have acquired 4 things.

  1. a piece of land with plenty of services
  2. a relationship with your local municipality
  3. a plot number identifying your property
  4. and a physical address so people can come visit you

You have not as-yet built your house. Naturally, the next step would be to acquire a building contractor to build your new home and so after acquiring the right contractor for you to proceed to complete this step.

You now have a new home in the real world where people can find you and visit you. So, you get married and have a few children and quickly realise that the wonderful home you built has quickly become too small for your partner and 12 children and so you start the above process all over again to find a bigger piece of land to expand and cater for your new and growing family.

I’ll stop there as this is the basic information that is needed to understand what web hosting really is.


What is web hosting in the digital world?

Now that I have explained to you in a very over-simplified concept of what it is to establish yourself and your family in the real world, let me proceed to explain how that fits in to web hosting in the digital world, but first a quick breakdown of all the pieces.

To complete the analogy between the real and digital world, let me explain the comparisons for you:

  • Your family and children are your actual business website and its services that you offer to your customers
  • The building contractor is the website designer that you hired to build your business website.
  • The physical address is your www domain name that you need to register for people to know how to find you and visit your website.
  • The plot number is the underlying IP address of your hosting server. You don’t really have to worry about this as it all happens behind the scenes.
  • Your Municipality is your hosting provider. Its important to choose an efficient hosting provider because if their servers are slow or unreliable with downtime, you will find it difficult to run an online presence efficiently and quickly realise that you need to “move to a new house”.  BlueSteam offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • The piece of land is the web hosting space that you need to build your business upon. If the services offered to you by your hosting provider are too limited, then you won’t be able to efficiently run your website and email reliably for your visitors to navigate and communicate with you.  The services offered are usually things like email facilities, website and database space for your files and content.


In Conclusion

So, as you can see there are quite a few moving pieces to having a successful online presence with the web hosting and hosting provider being the most important pieces of the whole picture. Without a solid and efficient underlying structure, your online presence will suffer.  Too few or limited services will force you to rethink your place of online residence.  I realise that this was a strange way of explaining what web hosting is, but I have found this to be the simplest way to help people who have no idea what this all means to have a much better understanding of it all without overwhelming them with too much technobabble.

I believe that there is no better hosting provider than BlueSteam.  With our 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, you can easily try out the services for yourself.  To secure your online presence now, get started by choosing your web hosting package here and if you liked this article, please comment below and leave your feedback. We would love to hear from you.