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Frequently Asked Questions
What is web hosting?
In basic terms, web hosting is where your website actually lives. Or to get slightly more fancy about it: a website is a collection of files that exist on a server connected to the internet and accessible to be viewed via a web browser. When someone visits the given domain, these website files are displayed within the web browser as the actual website. When you combine the website files with the hosting server and a properly-pointed domain, you have all the ingredients necessary for a website to be visible online. And that, in a nutshell, is web hosting.
What is the difference between shared hosting vs. cloud hosting?
The primary difference between shares vs cloud hosting is that on cloud hosting the website files actually exist on multiple servers, these servers themselves are also shared so it’s kinda-sorta like having multiple, duplicate shared hosting accounts. The reason is that with shared hosting if the one server goes down, the websites become unavailable, but with cloud hosting if one server goes down then the other cloud servers ensure that the websites remain available online.
What is a domain vs. hosting?
In order to have a website live on the internet, you will need both web hosting and a domain name. Both of these things can (and do) exist independent of each other, though it is generally considered universal to employ both in order to have an actual website. Metaphorically, let’s say you want to invite people to a party (your website). Your party is at a location, such as your house or apartment (web hosting). In order for people to know how to get to the specific location, you must provide them with an address (domain name). So, web hosting is the actual server space where your website files live, and a domain name is the address visitors need in order to view these files as your website. You can have a domain without a website, and you can have a website without a domain name, but to truly benefit from having either in the traditional sense, you actually need both working together.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the actual name of a website, and every single website has a domain name. To obtain one, you need to purchase it through a domain registrar. Domains can cost anywhere from a few dollars a year to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, based on the contract and popularity of the domain. Every domain name is actually pointing to an IP (Internet Protocol) address, which is a series of numbers. Because most people can’t remember 10 digits in perfect order, domain names serve as easily-remembered alias for visitors. Probably the best known domain name is google.com, and Google’s IP address is 126.96.36.199… which is easier for you to remember?
What is disk space and how much do I need?
Disk space refers to the total space available for a user to store files on at any time. Files may be any type – HTML, images, videos – and at any single given time, the total file size may not exceed the disk space. How much disk space you need is dependent on what type of media and interactions you’ll be hosting through your site. Your email account’s storage is also counted in disk space, so if you have large files that will sit in the account, that will boost your disk space needs. Remember that although you might not need much space now, you want wiggle room to expand and grow in the future, without switching hosts.
What is shared web hosting?
Shared web hosting is simply when one server hosts multiple customers. This is the most common and cost effective option for web hosting, and something we excel at truth be told. Our shared web hosting servers are configured for maximum security and performance relative to the number of customers, and types of websites, being hosted. In other words, there’s no need to give any thought to the other websites on the same server as you; we’ve got all that handled.
Which shared web hosting plan is right for me?
It basically works like this: if you intend to conduct eCommerce on your website, accepting credit cards and selling goods or services, then you need our Advance+ plan. If you don’t need eCommerce functionality, but do intend to host more than one domain, then the Advance plan should be perfect for you. If your intention is to host a single domain without eCommerce, then the Professional plan should meet your needs. It’s really just those 3 factors that determine the best plan for you. Our Standard Plan is good for one website and blog.
Who needs a dedicated hosting?
If you own a large business or dozens of successful websites, then you may want to consider upgrading to a dedicated hosting plan eventually. This is especially true if you are experiencing site down time or other performance issues with your current hosting plans.
If you are just getting involved in web hosting, using a dedicated hosting plan as your first web hosting experience is not recommended. Instead, you may want to start with a shared or VPS hosting plan, both of which are suitable solutions for small to medium sized businesses.
Which is better – managed or unmanaged?
If you have no experience with server management then you will definitely need a fully managed dedicated web hosting account. Fully managed dedicated hosting plans cost a bit more than unmanaged hosting plans, simply because there is on site technical support and server administration included. with a managed dedicated hosting plan, you can relax and leave all of the complicated issues up to the hosting company.
If you are on a budget and have experience with web servers then you may be able to get by with unmanaged hosting. Unmanaged hosting is much cheaper, mainly because there are no added support costs associated with the service. An unmanaged dedicated hosting plan requires you to take care of the administrative tasks by yourself. This means you have to take care of all server maintenance responsibilities, such as resetting the server and making sure everything is operating smoothly. If you do not have the money to invest in a fully managed dedicated web hosting plan and you need plenty of server resources then you may want to consider the advantages of a VPS hosting plan instead. Cloud hosting is also another alternative for those in need of comprehensive web servers without the cost or maintenance issues of a dedicated server.
How do I obtain a dedicated email account? (email@example.com)?
When you purchase an account with a DreamHost Cloud Solutions, one of the services you receive is a certain number of dedicated email accounts for any domain hosted on that account