A website represents an individual or organisation through the medium of the internet. It is made up of text, graphics, images and data, pl which is stored on a computer or server. The information is stored on the server in the form of code, which can be created using programming languages such as HTML,CSS, Java and many more. This information can be accessed by someone, who wants to know more about the individual or the organizations, through the medium of the internet.
The server which stores the code and the data, has to be connected to the internet, so that people can access that information from wherever they are, using a computer and the internet. The server needs to be available for access, all the time, so that people can see the information whenever they want. This creates the need for a server which is powered up all the time, is always connected to the internet, and is always functional.
The code which makes up the website can be hosted using a regular desktop or laptop which is connected to the internet. But then, the computer cannot be powered down, because then, people will not be able to access the webpage while the computer is powered off. This creates the need for dedicated computers or servers which host the webpages, which are always powered up, are always functional and always connected to the internet. These computers or servers are called webhosts. A collection of such computers or servers is called a data centre. There are dedicated data centres which take on the responsibility of keeping several such websites accessible to people, all the time.
There are several types of webhosts and several types of data centres. Webhosts or web hosting can be broadly categorised as, shared hosting, virtual dedicated servers, dedicated servers, colocation and cloud hosting. The type of hosting needed depends on several factors such as size of the website, number of people who are likely to require access to the website at any given point of time, the required uptime or availability of the website, budget of the individual or organisation who owns the website, etc. The data centre can be located in the same country as the owner of the website, in which case, it’s called an onshore data centre. Or, it could be located in a different country, in which case it’s called an offshore data centre. Whether one should choose an onshore data centre or an offshore data centre depends on a lot of factors like the reliability and speed of the data centre, customer and technical support offered, credibility of the data centre, scalability, portability and security offered by the data centre, etc.
There is a tendency, especially among new entrepreneurs, to choose a data centre which offers web hosting for free or very low costs. The downside to such choices is that, the website owner does not get good quality service, features and support from the data centre. Hence it is recommended that the choice of, which type of data centre and web hosting, is to be used, should be made after carefully considering the relevant factors, which were mentioned earlier in the text.