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01/05/10

Introduction to web space

If you would like to create your own website and establish your online presence, you ought to learn web hosting. How exactly does web hosting work? It's not as complicated as it seems. First, you have to understand how IP addresses, domain names, and DNS servers work.
Each computer that is connected to the Internet -- whether it's a laptop or a massive server that houses websites -- has a unique number to identify it. This number is known as an IP address. Take this server IP address, for example: 68.180.131.16.. Imagine how tiresome it would be if you had to remember this number just to go to the website that it points to. This is why we have domain names. Domain names are like nicknames that turn IP addresses into names you can quickly remember. For example, if the number were Yahoo's IP address, instead of remembering the number, you only have to visit Yahoo's domain name, Yahoo.com.

How does the Internet know which IP address a domain name corresponds with? This is the responsibility of a Domain Name System server or DNS Server. Every time you send a domain name request, a DNS server directs you to the corresponding IP address.
How do you get a domain name for your website? You have to register it with a domain registrar. Registrars are licensed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to register domain names. Domain registrars also maintain the DNS servers for the domain names that are registered with them.
As mentioned, each web server has an IP address through which it serves up websites. But how do you get your website on a web server in the first place? This is what web hosting is for. Websites are made of data. They may contain code such as HTML and CSS; multimedia files such as images, music, and videos; or information databases. You need to store all this data in a computer that's connected to the Internet 24/7. That's why you need a web server. When you sign up with a web host, they rent out web server space to you.
If you want to have a good website, be sure to sign up with a quality web host. Avoid free web hosts -- they offer limited customer support, limited features, and overcrowded servers. Many of them place unattractive ads on hosted websites. Also, you can never tell how reliable they will be in the long term, since they're not making any profit. It's best to register with a regular paid web host. Select your web host carefully. Make sure to consider the amount of disk space and bandwidth they provide. Also look into their features, such as site building software, design templates, application installers, supported programming languages, database capabilities, and others. Lastly, do some research on the helpfulness of their technical support. A good web host is vital if you want to be successful in building and growing your online presence.

Roald Madison - About the Author:
Roald Madison teaches small businesses how to buy web space, build their website, and establish their online presence.

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