How Does Web Hosting Work?
Web hosting works by taking a website and connecting it to the Internet. Because the Internet is a collection of millions of computers all connected together, a web host has a series of servers that are connected to high speed Internet lines that allow data packets to be sent to and from the individual websites on the server. Web hosting works by handling a multitude of different websites on the World Wide Web.
A web host works by serving the web page that is requested by a browser. For example, if you happen across http://www.topbits.com/how-does-the-internet-work, you’ll be brought to this article. However, how did that happen? Chances are, it happened very quickly too.
The web browser sends out a request to get the web page. However, before that can happen, it needs to know the IP of the individual website. Therefore, it sends out a request to a local DNS server that provides the IP address for that domain name. Once it has this, the browser sends a request to the server that is holding that website.
Once the server gets that request, it uses bandwidth to go into its disk space and find the website. For example, topbits.com/how-does-the-internet-work is a specific page within the much larger topbits.com. When you clicked the link for the article, your computer found the server and then the server went to work by finding the page within its hard drive. Once the page appears, it takes the HTML and transmits it via the Internet.
The HTML lands in the browser’s “receiving box” and then the browser reads the HTML and publishes it into a format that we see today. In other words, what the web server does is interpret requests, find the information that is stored on the server and then transmits that data to the individual computer. Once the computer has it, it translates the HTML into a format that the individual can appreciate such as this well designed site.
Without a web server, the websites would not have a way to connect to the Internet. Therefore, web hosting makes it possible for people to have their website appear on the World Wide Web. It acts as a computer with an individual IP address and ensures that people are able to consistently visit the site. But, should the site get too much traffic and the server has to work too hard, it could crash. That happens when it is getting too many requests from too many different computers and is trying to send the requests all at the same time. This is especially burdensome when software has to load for each page request.
However, in the end, a web host is the most effective way of providing information to people and getting the website on the web.