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Understanding Servers, Hosting & Domains • Website Speed Foundation


Let’s talk about a server. What’s the first thing that you think about when you hear the words hosting and server? Most people think of it as a service that magically holds their website stuff. Other people confuse it with a domain name. So, to ensure that we’re on the same page I’ll quickly explain the difference. What is a domain? A domain is the entry in the phone book that represents your website’s name. The domain is the actual URL that you type into the browser. It’s a name and there are no files or
anything else. It’s like a company’s name. What is web hosting? Web hosting is the physical location of your website on the internet. It’s normally an online storage center that holds all the videos, images and code of your website this is
stored on a server. A server is like your computer or laptop without the screen, mass or keyboards. When you’re looking at hosting, you generally have three options. Shared hosting, VPS hosting and a dedicated server. It comes down to costs
and resources; the more you pay and the less people you share it with, the better the technology and the faster it is. Shared hosting. Imagine the laptop that
you are on right now is the server. if you share the laptop with 10 other companies, it might get a little busy and slow no matter how fast your laptop. Each company has many staff that can access the laptop and perform certain functions. So
you can easily be sharing that single laptop with a hundred companies with ten
staff. That’s a thousand people and that is what shared hosting is like. VPS hosting. This stands for virtual private server and it’s a lot better
than shared hosting. A VPS gives you a dedicated portion of the service
resources that you can do with as you please. Coming back to the shared laptop
analogy, a VPS would be similar to sharing your laptop only with your own
staff. You can control who uses it and when. You can also control how many
people have access to it. A dedicated server. As the name implies, you are getting all the resources of the server. So in their laptop analogy, with a dedicated server you are the only person using the laptop like you are now. You
have total control and are not impacted by any other people at all. As you can imagine, the luxury of as fast dedicated laptop cost more than if you share it
with a hundred or a thousand other people. So when choosing hosting, you need to strike a delicate balance between cost and service. I hope you found this
broad overview of our website’s core components interesting and useful. It
will provide a strong framework for you to understand how to improve the speed
of your website!

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