domaining and hosting explained

Design your website with PHP and MySQL and Launch it!

Your site is all beautiful, all clean, and ready to go live… but as it is on your hard drive, nobody else will be able to enjoy it!

So you’d like to upload it on the Web, but… you don’t know how.
We will discover in this article everything you need to know to send your site on the Web:

  • How to reserve a domain name?
  • What is a hosting provider and how does it work?

The domain name

Do you know what a domain name is?

get yourself a domain name

It is an address on the Web: is, for example, a domain name.

In this case, “php-qb” is the domain name itself. It is a name that we can generally choose freely, as long as no one has reserved it before us. It can contain letters and numbers.

The”.com” is the extension also called” TLD,” for a top-level domain. There is roughly one extension per country (.us for the United States,.ca for Canada, etc.).

However, there are also extensions used internationally such,.net,.org. They were initially reserved for commercial sites, organizations,… but for a long time, everyone can reserve them. .com is probably the most used extension on the Web.

Reserve a domain name

I want a domain name for my site too! How do I do that?

Then I have good news and bad news. As usual, we’ll start with the bad one:

  • – the down side: it’s not free…
  • + The up side: … it’s not expensive at all.

Indeed, a domain name costs between 7 and 20 dollars per year.

The price may vary depending on the extension. Thus, extension is generally offered at a lower price and can prove to be an exciting alternative. However, if you want a more “common” address, you should aim for extension.

To reserve a domain name, two options :

Go through a specialized registrar. It is a body that acts as an intermediary between ICANN (the organization that manages all domain names at international level) and you. Namecheap, GoDaddy are famous American registrars.

Even better: you can order the domain name at the same time as the hosting (this is what I recommend). This way, you kill two birds with one stone, since you will need the hosting and the domain name anyway.

In this chapter, we will see how to order a domain name at the same time as hosting; it is by far the simplest and least expensive solution for you.

The web host

fast hosting is really importantNow let’s take an interest in the host.

What is a host and why would I need it?

On the Internet, all websites are stored on individual computers called servers. Called avis hebergeur, these are usually very powerful computers, which stay on all the time. They contain the pages of websites and deliver them to Internet users who request them, at any time of day or night.

A server does not have a screen because, most of the time, it runs alone without there being any need to do anything on it. As you can see, servers are very flat: it is a unique server format (called “1U”). This allows them to be stacked in bays, i.e., a kind of air-conditioned server cabinet.

The role of the a web hosting company

The host is a company that manages server racks. It ensures that the servers are up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Indeed, if one of them breaks down, all the sites on the machine become inaccessible (and that makes customers dissatisfied).

These bays are located in particular places called data centers. Data centers are thus in a way “server warehouses,” and their access is very protected.

Find a hosting provider.

Web hosts, unlike registrars, are offering their services everywhere on the web. There are all types, at all prices. There is a vocabulary to know to find you in their offers:

Shared hosting: if you opt for a shared hosting offer, your site will be placed on a server managing several sites at once (maybe a hundred, maybe more). This is the cheapest offer, and it is the one I recommend you aim for if you start your website.

Virtual dedicated hosting: this time, the server only manages very few sites (usually less than a dozen). This offer is generally adapted to sites which on the one hand can no longer fit on shared hosting because they have too much traffic (too many visitors), but which on the other hand cannot afford a dedicated hosting.

Dedicated hosting (also called “dedicated server”): it is the ultimate solution. The server only manages your site and no other. Attention, the costs are quite expensive and it is better to have knowledge of Linux to administer the server remotely.

Cloud Hosting: More and more trendy these days, it consists in sending your site on virtual servers. In fact, it is the equivalent of a virtual dedicated hosting, but with a whole bunch of services around it to make it easier for us to manage the network, databases, etc.. This is the trend for more and more medium and large websites.