Now this is a million dollar question. For some this statement may sound very stupid, but for the beginners (as I once was), this is really a big question. If you are reading this post, for sure you are planning to create your “own” presence on the World Wide Web. Let me try to make the answer to this question very simple.
Imagine you own a car which has a license plate (XYZ-112) and you have parked the car in a very busy parking lot. You have given the keys of your car to one of your friends so that he can search the car, find the ice box inside the car, and then bring that ice box to you. Sounds very simple, right… Now try to relate all the pieces:
- The parking lot ( relate it to WWW) : This is a location where there are lots and lots of cars parked which belong to as many number of car owners. World wide web (WWW) is also a similar thing. Its a vast space web space where there are a number of websites parked. Some websites are in a running condition whereas there are others which are just parked there, but have nothing in it
- The Car (relate it to Hosting): You car is your virtual presence in the parking lot. You store N number of things in your car, customize it from inside and outside, but it is still your car and owned by you. In the same way when you host a website, you host your presence on the WWW. A hosting provider is someone who provides you that space where you can park your car or to say park your website. Can you relate it now?
- Car license plate (relate it to the website address): Here comes the identification part. For example there may be 20 BMW’s in the parking lot (I like BMW 😉 ), but how do you know which one is yours? Your friend could only identify your car because you gave him/her your license plate number. In the same way a website address (e.g. google.com , facebook.com ) identifies your presence on the web. Hence just hosting your content (or in this example your car) does not guarantee that your presence is know, you need to have an identifier as well.
In summary there are two major things to understand about hosting. One is your content. You should have a bunch of content which you would like to share on the web and there should be a hosting provider who will host that content. The second part is how your content can be identified, which is the website address or the car license plate in the above example. Hope this example was able to guide you in understanding what is webhosting all about 🙂
Please note, in other sections I will cover how to present your content and other details.