What Is Web Hosting Services: Everything You Need to Know in 2020
Many people are still looking online to learn what is web hosting?
As the founder of SeekaHost, it’s my duty to explain what is web hosting services and how does it work.
What real estate is in the physical world, web hosting is in the digital world. Web hosting is about renting or selling space on the web.
Web hosting is a service that provides the space necessary for an individual or an organization to post a web page or a website on the internet. Web hosting service providers have space on the World Wide Web. That’s the www you always see.
We refer to www simply as the web. Such space exists on a computer system that we refer to as the server. HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), for example, is a server on which you can host your web page or website.
Launched by Apache in 1995, HTTP is the most used server globally. About 52% of web pages and websites run on HTTP.
Web hosts rent or sell www space to their clients to launch their web page or website. They also provide the necessary internet connectivity in a data center to make the web page or website visible to others.
Web hosting service providers also offer a host of technologies that you require to build your web page or website.
Web Hosting Services Market Size
The Fortune Business Insights report released in April 2020 mentions that the global web hosting services market value was USD 60.90 billion. The prediction is that it will reach a market value of USD 183.18 billion by 2026. The predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 15.1% during this period.
The major driving factors behind the growth are:
- Growing internet penetration
- An increasing number of small and medium businesses accessing digital platforms
- The gradual shift from traditional web hosting to cloud-based hosting
- A remarkable growth in mobile penetration and mobile marketing
Technologies Your Web Hosting Service Provider Should Offer
Apart from providing you with space on a server and internet connectivity in a data center, your web host should also offer you the following technologies:
- Databases: A database is a collection of organized information usually stored electronically in a computer system. Your website needs databases to run applications that need their support.
MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and MS Access are the most commonly used databases for web hosting.
- Email Accounts: Most web hosting service providers require that you have your own domain. A domain is your address on the web. SeekaHost – for example. That is a domain name.
Web hosts usually enable you to have your own email address with your domain name. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org. That kind of an email address becomes your website’s publicity also.
- FTP Files Upload: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the technology that allows you to upload files from your computer on your website.
- WordPress Support: WordPress is an online tool for website or web page creation and management. About 35% of all websites run on WordPress.
If your web host does not support WordPress, they will inform you. They will also offer you an alternative for WordPress.
- Website Building Tools: Building a website or a web page requires several tools. You can expect your web hosting service provider to offer you those tools.
There are some open-source web hosting services also, where the www space comes free under certain terms and conditions.
The History of Web Hosting Service: A Snapshot
The internet is a system of connected computer networks that can communicate with devices using the TCP/ IP protocols (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). The internet today is known as the network of networks.
The use of the internet remained limited to only science and engineering research until 1991.
British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He was then working for CERN in Switzerland. The web is a system of interconnected information written in hypertext accessible through the internet.
All web pages are still written in HyperText Markup Language (HTML). HTML pages and other web resources get identified by their Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). It is possible to access them through the internet from different browsers.
Berners-Lee and others advocated with CERN to make the underlying code of the web freely accessible to everyone across the world. CERN announced the decision to make the code available to all with no royalty charges in 1993. The rest is history.
Fun fact from the web creator’s own foundation website: Tim Berners-Lee’s then-boss Mike Sendall did not think much of the original proposal. The proposal was to connect information available on different computers through the internet by using the emerging technology of the hypertext.
“Vague but exciting” was Sendell’s comment on the proposal.
Some Important Visions of the Creator
Web hosting services is a growing business sector today. However, Sir Tim Berners-Lee (knighted in 2004) formed the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1994, when he left CERN to join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He is still the Director of the W3C at MIT. In that capacity, with his early web community, he formulated some ideas that continue to guide web users across the world:
No permission should be necessary from any centralized authority to post anything on the web. The web is notionally free from all kinds of surveillance.
Also known as net neutrality, this principle stresses that paying different amounts for varying levels of service should not make any discrepancy in one’s access to the web. On the web, people connect as equals.
Bottom-up Design through Consensus
Opening up the code to strengthen it with the participation of many is what has made the web what it is today. In combination with the internet, this openness of the web has radicalized the information access.
Whatever language and style people use to post anything on the web, the computers all speak in HTML. This underlying unity allows the web to be universal, even though it allows a wide spectrum of diversity.
The web is a system of information sharing universally accessible through the internet. Web hosting is the service provided to individuals and organizations to have a presence in that space.
It has now moved a lot beyond those early days with different types of web hosting available. More on that in another article.
In the meantime, you could check out: