Website is a collection of information in the form of Text contents and Graphical contents like Images, videos, Presentation etc. In order to understand website, it is very important, that we know how the World Wide Web (Internet) works.
Most of us, might have heard that, internet is the Interconnection of Networks. But how does it works?
All the computers and other hardware’s like Network Cables, Routers, Switches everything can understand only binary form of data’s (0’s & 1’s). Operating system in our PC convert those Machine understandable Binary data’s to human readable form (i.e. ASCII Text). In the case of Networks (i.e. Communication medium between two PC’s or between two networks), this is achieved by IP addresses (Internet Protocol). Every PC or Network in the World Wide Web is assigned a unique set of numbers called IP addresses. In order to Communicate between two PC’s, Networks use these IP Addresses.
Ok, how this can be applicable to websites?. Each website resides in a Web Server which is nothing but a computer with more computing power and memory space than our normal home PC’s and hence, they too will have IP addresses assigned just like our PC's under Internet. But is it possible to remember millions of IP addresses of websites around the world?. That is not possible and hence, we need some human readable names to fix this, so do we have names for websites like www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, www.amazon.com etc. But network cables are hardware’s and so they can understand only Binary form of data’s. When we attempt to communicate with another PC or Network our PC converts the IP addresses to binary data and send through Network Cables, which in turn is received by target computers and Convert them back to IP addresses, which means it is impossible for our normal PC’s or Network cables to communicate with human readable form of websites addresses. So, how this issue got fixed? Well, there is this server, run by a Non-Profit organization “whois”. When we type a website address in our web browser, it goes straight to Whois and Whois got names of every website in the World Wide Web, stored in its database along with the IP addresses of the corresponding web servers. Once Whois receives the website address from our web browser, it redirects our request to the corresponding web server which in turn respond by fetching the website, we requested for and sent them to our PC’s web browser. Hope this also explained what is a web server, along with the Internet.
Web hosting is nothing but, having our website up and running in the World Wide Web. In order to achieve this, we need two things.
Domain name is what we need to recognize our website in the World Wide Web and as mentioned above, it needs to be stored in the database of Whois.
Next is the web space. We need a space to store our website and for that we got web servers to store and share websites in the Internet.
So, where can we get these two things?. In order to get Domain names there are lots of Domain name Registrars. We need to register our Domain name with them by paying a fee annually and automatically our domain name gets updated with Whois database. In order to hold our website name (Domain name), we need to make sure that, we renew them every year. These days, Domain name registrars offer us, to buy domain names for 5 years, 10 years like that. Most of the Domain name registrars also provide Web Space in their web servers. For that, we need to pay some fee on monthly basis or yearly basis.
There is no problem from whom we are buying our Domain name as the only purpose is to get our domain name listed in Whois Database. But, we need to consider few things about the Domain space, we purchase. First, you have to test the web server were, we plan to buy a domain space. We don’t have any access, like Administrators of those web servers and so, how do we evaluate them?. Well, you can try accessing some of the websites residing in the web server and see how fast, they works. You need to evaluate not just a day, but some weeks to come to a conclusion, about its performance. Then you should have a deep look on what they got for you on offer, like total web space they provide, Bandwidth (upload/download limit), Scripting Languages and Databases they support etc.
If you cant afford to buy a Domain Space, you can buy just Domain Name for your website and register for Domain Space on Websites that offer you Free Web Space. But you have to keep one thing in your mind. No one gives you anything in this World for Free. If someone offering you Free Web Space, it also got stinks attached to it, like Limited Web Space, Limited Bandwidth, not supporting some Key Scripting Languages etc. Some free web space providers even go on to display Ads on your website. If you are planning or free Domain Space, you need to check what they got to offer you. Make sure the Domain Space they offer you is enough for your website. Again you should have an idea about, how many visitors you may have in your website, every month and compare that to the size of pages that loads in your website. This will help you to have a approximate calculation about how many bandwidth your website may consume per month and compare that with Bandwidth the free web space provider offers you.
Make sure Ads are not displayed on your website by the Web Space providers. Finally do some research with Search Engine to know the reputation of the Web Server that offers you Free Web hosting. These days some are offering excellent package in free web hosting. For example, my site www.vdesignourweb.com is hosted in a web server that offers free web space, as I cant afford to paid web space right now. Eventually, I will upgrade to paid hosting as I am more keen on learning and posting explanations and tutorials on cgi programming.
Ok, if we bought Domain name and want a free web space to host our website, how is that possible?
Well, when you register for Domain name, you will be provided with a user name and password by your domain registrar to manage dns account of your website. Once you finished registering with free web space, you will be provided by a Primary and Secondary Dns server addresses. All you need to do is, put those dns to your domain name accounts (i.e) you need to point your domain name to look for the dns of the web server, where you register for your web space.
I need to mention one more thing here. You cant access the website you uploaded after the moment you poined to the web server from your domain name account. It may take 2 to 3 days, as those dns details for your website needs to be updated in the Whois database.
Ok, so I mentioned I hosted my website on free web space, I will have a question form you, that on which web server it registered with for free web space.
I registered with www.000webhost.com , because they offer 1.5 GB web space and 100GB of Bandwidth (Upload Download Limit) and Ad free. I certainly felt it as more reliable.
Also www.0fees.net seems to be a good bet too.