Website Hosting

Getting started with website hosting

Our company was founded over 13 years ago with website (web) hosting as our primary offering. So what better place to start our new blog off? First, let’s dive into some definitions, after which we will simplify the process and detail the steps to take in order to get a website up and running.

What is the World Wide Web?

Everyone talks about the ‘web’, but what is it exactly? Put simply, the web is simply a collection of servers that are connected (or ‘networked’) together, providing us with the ability to exchange information.

What is an IP address, what is “DNS”, and how does it all work together?

When you connect to a domain, like www.google.ca, you are actually connecting to a machine or a set of machines that are identified by an “IP address” (IP = Internet Protocol). For google.ca, that ‘IP’ is something like 172.217.13.99. Now, imagine having to remember a set of digits that represent each website that you frequent. You would need your own personal little black book in order to remember the digits for each site you want to visit. DNS servers make this easy by serving as a directory for the web, creating a translation between an IP address and the domain name that it represents. DNS ensures that you have to remember a simple name, rather than the set of numbers representing the site. That means that when you type in www.google.ca into your web browser, your machine sends out a message to a DNS server that asks for its location / IP, and it then waits for the response from the server hosting the actual website.

If a website is simply hosted on a computer somewhere, can I just host my own website?

In theory, yes, you would be able to host your own website. However, there are some major pitfalls to hosting anything on your local machine. Some of these include:
– Network connectivity / reliability: In this day and age, your site needs to be fast, and always accessible. While you may consider your home internet to be fast, most providers offer fast downstream speeds but low upstream — and since you’ll be hosting a website where others will download your site’s files, upstream speed is important.
– Redundancy / power: If your home machine has any issues, or if you lose power, your website will be down and inaccessible.
– Dynamic IP addresses: Most home Internet connections don’t offer a static (fixed) IP address, but rather a dynamic IP that changes whenever your home connection is ‘reset’. This makes DNS look-ups (discussed above) very difficult.

What advantages does a website hosting company offer?

– Redundancy: Proper hosting companies these days need to guarantee a certain SLA (service level agreement). For example, at Trunkspace Hosting, we offer a 99.9% SLA — meaning that we guarantee your site won’t be down for more than 0.1% of the time. While this is our ‘guarantee’, we actually have experienced even less than this amount of downtime over our entire ~14 years in business, combined!
– Network speed: Our hosting backbone, which is backed by several Internet providers, allows for us to easily serve traffic for hundreds of thousands of visitors concurrently.
– Static IP address: One of the key things for hosting is having a fixed or static IP address, required for proper DNS look-ups.
– Dedicated team: We have a dedicated support staff which manages our infrastructure proactively. This means that we make sure to look ahead to any possible issues and while we have redundant hardware in place to prevent against any issues, should an issue occur, our staff is on standby to resolve it quickly!

What are the steps I need to take in order to get started with hosting a website?

In order to host your own site, you will need to:
1- Decide on a domain name to use for your new site (i.e. www.trunkspacehosting.com)
2- Register this new domain name with a domain registrar
3- Find a reputable company — ideally one with a proven track record — that offers website hosting. Then sign up for the service that provides the amount of resources you require (i.e. 5GB of website storage space, 100GB of monthly data bandwidth / transfer, 2 ftp accounts, 5 email boxes, 3 mysql databases, etc.)
4- Use a ‘site builder’ tool to create your new site on the fly, or upload your website files (either via FTP, or the host’s “file explorer” tool in the Control Panel the host provides)

The above are truly high-level steps, but we offer all of the tools that you would need to get started in your hosting journey.

After speaking with our customers over our many years in business, we realized that our clients were spending far too much time on getting technical issues resolved, rather than on designing, updating or maintaining their own websites. We therefore scoured the web for industry leading tools, and partnered up with Interworx to offer the very best, most user-friendly website control panel in the industry — making managing your website as easy as possible, we work with SitePad to help make building websites as easy as pointing, clicking and dragging, and we offer the Softaculous auto installer to help get web applications like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla — the 3 most common CMS tools out there — up and running quickly, so you can focus on running the apps, instead of on how to install them!

Should any of the above seem confusing or overwhelming, our in-house experts are here to help simplify things for you. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have!

– The Team @ TrunkspaceHosting.com

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