What is web hosting
Web Hosting is the storage of files on a remote computer that is configured to allow access to these files from the internet.
The same way that files are stored on your computer so they are available when required a web page is a file and as such requires a computer to be stored on, no different than storing a Word or Excel document.
When you consider that the files that make up a web page are intended to be publically visible. To facilitate this a much more powerful computer is required and a fast stable connection to the internet than is generally found in the home.
So to introduce some of the key words you will come across on your WordPress journey
Web Server is the computer that your web pages are stored on
Web Pages are similar to the pages of a book and grouped together are referred to as a web site
World Wide Web is all the web pages in the world
Web Hosting is the business of making web sites and web pages available to many users at the same time, A Web Hosting company will provide the storage (web space) for you to host your web site. How much web space you require depends on the complexity of your site just like your home computer web space is measured in megabytes. The more space that you have the more web pages you can store.
Do you need web hosting?
It is possible to connect your own PC to the Internet and have it serve pages. But unless you have a very powerful computer and internet connection it is unlikely that you would be able to provide a stable site to simultaneous users.
It is also in my opinion far easier to use a web hosting company that can supply everything you need for a relatively low cost.
Other services offered by Web Hosting Companies
The majority of Web Hosting companies offer other services that will vary depending on the package that you purchase.
Generally some sort of control panel so you can manage your account along with email and one click install of applications such as WordPress or forum.
Web Hosting what’s on offer
There are many hosting packages to meet the needs of a wide variety of users, from the hobbyist to the large business’s that have millions of visitors per day. The trick is only to pay for what you need remember you can always upgrade.
Things that you do need to consider when purchasing web hosting are touched on below.
Measured the same way that a PC or Laptop this is the amount of storage that is available for your Web Site. From experience unless you intend having a very large site 100-200megabytes is more than ample.
The amount of email accounts offered by hosting companies can vary from a modest 1 or 2 to a 100 or more. I would suggest for the average user if you can get hosting that includes a minimum of three this will make it easier to manage your web site communications.
Bandwidth is the measure of how much data you can serve to your users .To understand this measure an article of about 1000 words equates to about 10kb
1 visitor view = 10kb
10 visitor views = 100kb
100 visitor views = 1000kb
So if you have a hosting package that offers half a gigabyte of bandwidth this would allow you to serve around 50000 web pages per month based on a 10kb page size. Bandwidth is usually measured and reset on a monthly basis.
This completes your first steps into the world of WordPress and building your own online presence.