Even though everybody takes the Internet for granted nowadays, it is still a relatively new technology, having come on stream in the mid 1990s. Explosive growth like this always leads to misconceptions and descriptions that are inaccurate. Since the Internet is a technological network, there are many terms associated with it, such as DNS hosting. The jargon can be confusing for newcomers, and the situation is not helped by several terms being used incorrectly.
One of the areas that is most confusing to newcomers is the concept of web hosting, and the range of options available, including DNS hosting. The fact is that the type of hosting package that is best for any given website will depend entirely on:
a) What the website is trying to achieve
b) How it is built
c) What resources it needs.
That means the website owner must try to work out answers to all these questions, and draft out a list of minimum requirements that the hosting package must have. It will be extremely difficult for an owner to be able to calculate these figures exactly, so there is considerable margin for error. To avoid running into problems, it is good practice to always overstate the calculated resource requirements, even by as much as 50%.
In addition, it will pay newcomers to spend some time learning as much as they can about the technology behind the Internet, and behind their websites. There is no need to acquire an in-depth knowledge of how to set up and configure a Linux or Windows-based web server. Nor is it necessary to know how to deploy PHP and MySQL applications.
It is quite easy to find good descriptions of various technical terms that can easily be understood by people with no specialist IT skills. The more knowledge a website owner accumulates, the better he or she is able to communicate with third party web developers. Increased levels of technical knowledge bring many other benefits.
Owners who are tech savvy will be better able to track down and evaluate software tools that can help their website perform better, or make it easier to manage. They are also better informed when it comes to choosing the right web hosting package.
Dedicated or shared hosting
For most people, the decision will be down to choosing between dedicated and shared hosting. For the vast majority of website owners, shared hosting will deliver what they need. A minority will require dedicated hosting, because their websites will place a high demand on resources. An even smaller minority will want to have a measure of control over the web server, and will want to opt for other forms of hosting.
The DNS system
Regardless of what type of hosting is best for a particular website, every website owner should give some thought to taking out premium DNS hosting. This is perhaps the least understood concept in hosting, so we will attempt to explain it here.
The need for DNS hosting hinges on the way surfers connect to websites. There are billions of websites in existence, residing on web servers across the globe. There has to be some system in place that allows people to connect to them. In the early days of the Internet, a protocol for achieving this was put in place. It has worked so well that it is still in place, pretty much unchanged, today.
Web servers are located by their IP addresses. IP addresses consist of four groups of up to three digits each (this is gradually being expanded to six groups). An IP address could look something like this 129.23.567.321. IP addresses are perfect for identifying and locating web servers, but they are pretty useless in terms of giving websites meaningful names. It is much easier to remember something like “booksforsale.com” than 129.23.567.321.
The solution to this problem was to introduce the domain name system (DNS). The DNS is a distributed network of computers dedicated to DNS hosting information. Its sole function is to translate or resolve textual requests like “booksforsale.com” into an IP address. In a nutshell, any request for a website is passed on to a DNS server. If that server cannot resolve the address, it passes the query on to another, until the IP address can be eventually resolved. When the IP address is found, it is passed back to the browser, and that lets the browser access the site. If the DNS cannot trace the IP address, an error message is displayed by the browser.
Explanation of premium DNS hosting
The above is quite a simplified explanation of how DNS works, but it is enough to be able to demonstrate that if a website cannot be found somewhere within the DNS network, then surfers will not be able to call up that website in their browsers. Therefore, it makes sense for website owners to ensure that there is the very best probability that any DNS lookup for their website will be successful. That is where premium DNS hosting comes into play.
Premium DNS hosting works by ensuring that no single problem will prevent your website’s server from being located. For example, with the type of standard DNS hosting that can come with your domain registration service or your site hosting service, your website’s IP address may be stored on just one DNS server. If that server happens to be down when a request comes in, then your website cannot be found. Premium DNS hosting ensures your website’s IP address will be available on more than one DNS server.
You will doubtless have seen error messages on occasion stating that the DNS lookup for the site you wanted to visit failed. It is worth noting that when this happens, there is no way to connect to the target website (unless you know its IP address and it is not on a shared hosting package).
While an Internet browser will maintain a history of the websites a surfer visits, it retains only the textual website name, and not the IP address associated with that website name.
That means that every time a surfer wants to visit or revisit a website, there will always be a search via DNS. In other words, DNS is just as critical a part of your website being available as the actual web server being up and running.
Most people are aware that hackers can attempt to install malicious software on web servers. What people may not realize is that hackers can attempt to attack DNS servers.
If they succeed, they can change the IP address associated with a website. They do this to point the website name to a different IP address. If this happens with your website name, it means that all your marketing efforts are actually driving traffic to a different website. Premium DNS hosting provides an additional layer of security to reduce the risk of this happening.
By opting for premium DNS hosting services, you make it far less likely that DNS lookups will fail.
If you need more information, contact Webdevel.com’s expert support technicians.