From Imaginet


Everyone talks about hosting, websites and domains.  While these are common terms in today’s world, a lot of us are not sure how hosting works and why we need it to get our website on the internet.

The first step to getting a website up is to purchase a domain name.  It usually starts with www. and then your choice of name and then the end suffix like.. co.za, .com, .biz, etc

Once you have registered a domain with an internet service company, you will probably get asked if you want a hosting package.  This is a necessity if you want your website to show up on the internet. Without a hosting package your domain will be parked on a server somewhere where no one can see it.

So.. what does hosting do and what kind of hosting do you need ?  A company selling hosting will give you a place on their server which accesses the internet . This is typically in a data centre which is secure, has back up power and is monitored.  The most basic plat form is  web page or file hosting.  Here files which are set up to represent the content, look and components of a website are uploaded via a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. Most internet service providers offer this as a free service to their clients and will assist and support the process.  Hosting providers offer a huge range of options which are really confusing but happily rather cheap !

A simple one or two page site is really easy to put up and hosting should not cost you more than about R100 a month.  However, if you have a database, require forums, content management or a shopping cart, the requirements are more complex.. more servers have to “speak” to each other and consequently the cost could go up a little.  The other trick is the amount of traffic to your site. This could begin to cost a bit if you have tons of visitors. On the other side of this coin, if you have lots of visitors you might not be too worried about costs in the near future.

The host you choose may also provide an interface or control panel managing your website and for adding other services like e-mail and increasing or downgrading hosting packages.

Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. As a client you can choose Windows as the hosting platform. The customer still can choose from PHP, Perl, and Python but may also use ASP .Net or Classic ASP.

The latest in hosting is Cloud hosting which allows the customer very reliable service on a powerful platform. A cloud hosted website may be more reliable since other computers in the cloud can compensate when a single piece of hardware goes down. Also, local power disruptions or even natural disasters are less problematic for cloud hosted sites, as cloud hosting is usually not centralised  and could be held at different and numerous locations.

Check out the hosting and mail packages on Imaginet: https://www.imaginet.co.za/product/hosting/starter-hosting.html

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