What Technical Information Do I Need to Know for Hosting a Website?

First of a three-part series that will
point you in the right direction for web hosting.

You finally register a domain name you have always wanted! Awesome! Then you say to yourself, “Now I want a website for my fabulous domain name! And then I’m going to rule the world! Ha Ha Ha (evil laughter)!” Well maybe not rule the world, but now what do you do?

Your website needs a home and that home will need to be on a web server. Your website will reside or be “hosted” on a specialized computer designed to “serve” your text, images, goods, or services to people all over the world.

Selecting the right hosting plan can be confusing for the newcomer. We want to demystify web hosting by providing a basic overview of preliminary techie stuff, and different hosting plans available to you.

Before jumping into hosting plans there is some technical background information to become familiar with that may impact any hosting plan decision.

1.   Web Hosting Operating Systems
There are two web hosting operating systems: Linux and Windows. Both support programming or scripting languages that are specifically designed to work within their systems. For example, Linux supports PHP programming, while Windows supports Windows asp.net or ColdFusion.

Linux Web Hosting and Windows Web Hosting also support a number of the same languages including the life-blood coding language of almost every single website: HTML (hypertext markup language), CSS (cascading style sheets), and JavaScript. If your website is going to just be produced using HTML, CSS, and JS, then either one will work fine.

Some applications require the use of a specific operating system, so if you have a certain program in mind that you want to use to create your website, then check with the application vendor for the appropriate operating system. For example, the content management system program WordPress, used for creating websites and blogs, is coded in PHP and therefore is recommend to be installed under a Linux-based hosting plan.

2. Programming Languages – Do it myself or hire a developer?
Programming languages are used in the code that eventually results in a web page displaying within a browser. If you are a beginner or a “do-it-yourself-er”, who just wants to present some basic text and images and maybe just a simple slide show you will at least need to know some HTML, CSS, and some JavaScript.

For more dynamic websites that would perform transactions (like process forms or take credit cards) or provide information queried from a large database there are a myriad of sophisticated programming languages–too many to review here–so you may want to consider hiring a website developer, otherwise it could take you quite a bit more time to rule the world. We’ll get back to this because you are saying…

3.   But my site is not going to be complicated; can I still try to do it myself?
You sure can! HostMySite actually has web hosting plans that include a Website Builder program with pre-designed website templates.

You might also consider installing a content management system (CMS application) like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. To set your expecations, these applications will have more of a learning curve and maintenance than the Website Builder.

If you want that world-ruling, custom-designed website or a site that performs a lot of transactions then please read on…

4. When Should I Hire a Website Developer?
If a small businesses or organization does not have the expertise on hand to produce a website then they should consider hiring a professional “Website Developer” or “Website Programmer”.

Some website developers may be able to provide a combination of services:
1. Producing the design or “look and feel” of a website and then
2. Coding the website pages with a programming language.

In other instances, you might want to hire a graphic designer produce the specific look and feel of your website, and then hire a developer/programmer to produce the coded pages.
Watch for our next segment “Shared Web Hosting” where we begin to summarize and compare hosting plan types.

if we can answer any of your technical question please contact the HostMySite Technical Support Team.

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