What A Website Hosting Package Includes

Website Hosting – A Home for Your Website

Website hosting is the service of storing and distributing files on a server connected to the internet. Website hosting services are usually provided by a third-party company that specializes in providing web space, bandwidth, and other related services.

Purchasing a hosting package is an essential part of any website or online business. It provides the necessary infrastructure for your website to be accessible to potential customers. If you would like to see what a basic web hosting package would cost per month, please visit my article where I compare 11 Basic Web Hosting Packages offered by South Africas biggest ISPs.

The most common web hosting service is the shared web hosting plan. This type of plan provides one or more websites with access to a single server, which has its own IP address and other resources like RAM, CPU cycles, hard disk space, etc.

Hosting Server – Apartment or Townhouse?

A complete hosting server is developed using the computing hardware, storage, operating system (OS), network connectivity and/or specialized Web hosting software.

Linux or Windows?

From your website requirements, your website developer should be able to determine which server operating system should be used.

SSD Storage – The Rooms in your Apartment

When purchasing a website hosting package, your ISP allows you to upload and store your website on the internet. This is done by storing your website files on a server that is connected to the internet.

How much disk space would I need?

This will depend on the number of pages and the type of functionality you would like your website to have.

If you plan on developing a basic website with no more than 20 pages containing content such as company information, services/products listings with an image or two on each page and a contact form, this would take up very little space. 500MB – 1GB should be more than enough space for your website files.

For a blogging website with hundreds of posts or an e-commerce website with around 200 – 500 products, 2GB storage space should be enough, unless the products are downloadable (pdf files, high-resolution images, software), which would take up much more space on the hosting server. If you wish to develop a discussion forum website with image-heavy posts, where users can create discussion threads, comment on posts, register and sign in, you would require storage space of 10GB or more.

Website Database – The Distribution Board in Your Apartment

Most websites today are backed by databases. A very simple database could be used to store basic content such as the content for a small blog, while website databases for companies such as Facebook and Takealot, are extremely complex.

Think of your light switches in your apartment – when you need to turn a light on, you flip the switch, a message is sent to your DB board which allows electricity to flow from one electric wire, through the light bulb, and then through another wire and this produces light.

When a user clicks on a small thumbnail image on your website in order to see the full image, a message is sent to the database to retrieve the location of the full-size image file, the database sends this information to your browser to display the full-size image for the user.

Your website developer will be able to determine what type database you would need for your website based on your requirements.

If you plan on using your hosting space for more than one task, such as managing the sale of products through an e-commerce website, using an online accounting package or storing information in a separate CRM system, then you would require more than one database. If you would just like to host your website files, then one database is all that you will need.

Domain – Your Street Address

This is the website address of your website. Once your website files have been loaded onto the server, you will be able to view your website by visiting your domain or URL through your web browser.

Each year you will need to renew your domain with your ISP, if you fail to do so, your domain will become available for anyone to register as their own. Some ISPs include a free domain with their hosting packages – what this typically means is – instead of paying for your yearly domain fee upfront, you pay for it at the end of the 12-month period.

See if there’s a package for you, visit my 11 Basic Web Hosting Packages article to compare web hosting packages from South Africa’s biggest ISPs.

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