1 easy way to explain hosting concepts

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If you are creating websites, you probably have repeatedly come across the question of how to create the same website as yours? The question could ask someone from your family, your boss or friend. You start to tell, and of course, the creation of the site is inextricably linked with the topic of hosting . And you should have a way to explain what hosting is for those who are not familiar with it.

Hosting concepts may seem simple to those who regularly work with

sites. However, it is not so easy to explain them to people in your own words, and most of the terms taken from public sources can be very confusing, especially for those who are not very familiar with computers. There is a way to make the process of explanation a little easier (faster) with the help of comparisons that almost everyone can understand.

The best comparison is, in my opinion, the telephone line. Telephone technology is much easier to understand, and its functions are very similar to working on the Internet.

1 easy way to explain hosting concepts

Concept North (Equipment)

When describing a server, it is necessary to distinguish between server hardware and server software (which actually serves to generate pages — for example, Apache).

When it comes to the server as hardware, it is usually described as a computer that is similar to the ones we use every day. In addition, it accepts requests from other machines (computers, servers).

By analogy, a server is similar to a telephone on the other end of the wire, that is, a device for receiving a call and a tool with which another person answers.

Concept of Server (Software)

I will continue the comparison with the phone. My favorite explanation is how the server software works – it functions like someone answering questions on the phone.

You, using a browser (also part of the software), send a request to the server to receive information, and the server returns the answer to you. If everything goes well, you will receive reliable information. But sometimes, errors occur. For example, when the server cannot find information (you get the answer: the file was not found).

As if you ask a question by phone, and the other side gives an answer. But instead of two people, you have two applications – a browser and a server that communicate with each other.

Traffic concept

Traffic (throughput) is usually explained with the help of a pipe and water (how much water can pass through the pipe and what amount of water is charged). Comparison with the phone works quite well here.

The traffic is similar to how many calls the telephone network and people can handle at the same time. The network and server can only respond to a limited number of connections. When there are too many connections, you have to wait in line to get a response.

There is an area where such a comparison falls apart – when it comes to payment. As a rule, only the person who requested the call pays for the call. Both parties pay for bandwidth. What makes it less similar to the traditional telephone network and more like a cellular network, with a predetermined number of “minutes” on both sides.

DNS concept

DNS is best explained by comparing with the phone book. If you want to call someone, you need to convert his name to a number, more specifically, to a phone number. DNS works the same way, turning the site name, domain , into an IP address.

As if you are looking into the phone book, the computer “looks in” to the DNS server, where it receives the necessary information, and then presses the “call”.

However, it takes time to update the data on the server, just as it takes time to update the phone numbers in the telephone directories. If you have recently acquired a domain, then people will not immediately find you. And in the same way, if your site moves, a “wrong number” may be issued for a while.

Concept of Database and CMS

Let us return to the analogy to ask questions by phone. There are two ways in which the person on the other end of the wire can answer correctly. First, just know the answers and immediately say. Second, if there is information in a special file (database), then first look at it and then answer.

Although the first method is faster, but it is not very flexible – to keep in mind the exact answers to a large number of questions is difficult. The second may be slower, but it allows you to answer more questions. And, when a person constantly answers the same questions, he can change the way to the first, i.e. remember the answers and quickly give them away.

Most sites (CMS) combine these two methods. For persistent common questions, they are “cached” in memory, which frees up time to search for other less common queries. As a result, the sites took the best from both methods, speed and flexibility, for processing large amounts of information.


In general, most of the concepts associated with hosting, you can explain by comparing this technology with a telephone conversation. Telephones are much more common than the Internet, but they work the same way. There is still a way to explain hosting concepts if you take comparisons from the world that surrounds us.

For example, TCP / IP is a handshake when two computers establish a connection before transferring data. Just as people introduce themselves, during a phone call, before continuing the conversation. TCP / IP is very similar to how people should use a common language (Russian, English, French, etc.) to exchange information verbally.

The list of concepts described is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to comparisons between the Internet and telephone conversations. You should add it, and give examples in the comments.

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