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What Is A Web Hosting Provider?
Web hosting refers to the service that enables you to create and publish your website online. The web hosting provider is the company granting you these services, the one storing and serving your website content. The web host might also act as your domain registrar, registering your domain name and IP address with ICANN.
Choosing a web hosting provider might be the most important decision you can ever make regarding your website. While beginners usually opt for the cheapest web hosting services and are willing to trade quality for the price, you won’t find experienced webmasters doing the same. Skillful developers understand the value that a quality web hosting provider can bring, so they always ensure their site is hosted with a reliable web host.
Fast forward, Google can penalise you because of your choice of a web hosting provider. That’s why WhoIs is a fantastic tool that you can use at your disposal. It enables you to learn where each site is hosted, including the best of the best ones. After all, the market leaders have certainly avoided poor-performing services, so why wouldn’t you do the same?
What Does the WHOIS Information Mean?
Each time you register a domain name, you’ll need to provide WHOIS data, including your email, phone number, address, company name, and administrative and technical contact information. And you are not the only one; whoever has a domain has to undergo the same process.
WHOIS refers to this extensive data collection of all registered domains’ ownership details, backed up by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN coordinates and maintains the systems of domains and IP addresses available online.
A simple WhoIs lookup on our free Hosting Checker can grant you valuable website and domain details:
- Web Hosting Provider: This company manages the servers that store the information of the website you searched, thus providing the service to keep it online. Apart from learning the web host’s name, the hosting checker will grant you its official site, including all plans, features, and pricing. You’ll also need a web host to get your site online and store all content, so here’s where you buy a web hosting plan.
- Location: The location displays where the company has stored its website. The web server location is crucial for speed. The rule of thumb is that the closer the server is to the target audience, the better the speed. However, having a single server location will cause latency on other continents if you have a worldwide audience. Suppose you have your website stored on a server in Amsterdam, Europe. In that case, your US customers will get slower speeds and response times, which is especially bad for SEO and customer satisfaction. A CDN (Content Delivery Network) overcomes this issue. It’s a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content globally.
- Nameserver & Web Server Details: The nameservers work behind the scenes and make up for a fundamental part of the DNS (Domain Name System). They translate domain names into IP addresses. The IP (Internet Protocol) address in the web hosting checker results displays the server’s name that stores the site. Each device connected to the Internet has one. The web server, in turn, stores, handles and delivers web pages to clients.
- Owner Details: Usually, ownership details are hidden or private. However, a Whois domain lookup can sometimes grant you detailed contact or location data about the website/domain owner. We have a specialised tool for this cause at HostAdvice, the WhoIs Lookup. It allows you to type a domain and immediately find out who owns it.
Hosting Checker Tool – How Can It Help You?
The Internet is an open space where you can easily browse other websites and even explore your competitors. You’ll eventually notice details if you are in the business for a while. Whether superb or inferior, a website can quickly grasp your attention with its speed. Either way, you might wonder who is hosting this website?
On the one hand, you might opt to get the same service, and on the other, you might want to avoid that web hosting company altogether; obviously, that’s if it delivers below-average results. Whatever the case, you’ll need a hosting checker to get this information on hand.
A WhoIs lookup might also come in handy if you want to transfer a domain that you have previously purchased. When you opt to use your existing domain, the new web host will ask for data provided by your old company. Usually, you’ll need to contact your then-current domain registrar to initiate a change of registrant. And since they are the ones to grant you a confirmation code, you’ll undoubtedly need to find out who is hosting your domain.
Furthermore, a website might be stealing your content. Once again, a WhoIs domain can help you file a DMCA takedown notice to the web hosting provider.
And it’s not always about other websites. Sometimes, you might need to find out who is hosting your website. This might happen if you have “inherited” a website, and you cannot get access unless you find out where it’s hosted. Also, you might have one too many websites, so you have lost track, or you are a first-time user who got lost in the process.
Whatever your demands, our WhoIs hosting checker tool can deliver. With a single click, no cost, and no waiting time, you’ll obtain a website’s web hosting provider and its official website, its location, info on whether it’s using a CDN, nameservers, and even its WordPress theme. Understanding the CMS used by another site, its plugins, extensions, theme, template, fonts, images, or icons can grant you the whole picture you are opting for.
In addition, you’ll get WhoIs lookup information, including domain registration and expiry date, WhoIs server, nameservers, and registrar information (registrant contact information, administrative and technical contact information). It will be far easier for you to contact the website host with the contact details available.
An alternative way to find the WhoIs domain lookup information is using the whois command in the command prompt. This way, you won’t need a hosting checker tool. However, you’ll need some technical skill or experience to navigate the terminal and get the web hosting service name, nameservers, domain expiry details, etc.
What Is the Difference Between Website Hosting and A Domain Name Registry?
A website hosting provider and a domain name registry are two different terms. A web host can grant you both web hosting and domain registration services. Still, that’s not a given.
Web hosting refers to a service that stores, serves, and processes files for multiple websites. This service grants you space to keep your files so that worldwide visitors can access them.
Domain name registries facilitate worldwide connectivity by associating human-readable website addresses to IP addresses. The domain name is how your website visitors find your website. At the same time, the domain is associated with your website’s IP address, serving as its unique ID.
Why can’t you just use the IP address to find a website? Well, technically, you can. But it’s a long string of numbers that’s pretty challenging to remember. Domain names, on the other hand, are far more straightforward.
How to Buy Hosting Using a Hosting Checker?
If you are to start your first website ever or you want to upgrade your web hosting plan, choosing the best web host is the key to success. Not taking the time to decide will make you suffer, especially in the longer term. After all, the “wrong” website company that doesn’t align well with your domain name needs or implements poor security practices can significantly harm your website performance.
However, you might not have extensive experience or skill to choose this perfect web host or domain registrar for your site. Here’s where hosting checker tools and WhoIs domain lookup come in handy.
One easy yet highly effective way to avoid the ‘website performance’ issue is by looking at a successful website. A site cannot perform well without a powerful service to back it up. So, if a particular website, whether it’s your competitor or any other market participant, demonstrates outstanding speed, uptime, and overall satisfactory performance, you might as well “copy it.” Getting the same web host is somewhat of a shortcut to excellent reliability.
Simply put, it’s a three-step process. First, you find a website with similar scope and needs as your own that demonstrates an impeccable performance you wish to copy. Second, you enter its domain into the Hosting Checker. And third, voila – you get all necessary data, contact information, and WhoIs lookup.
How To Evaluate A Web Hosting Company?
Say you have found who is hosting a particular website. It would be best to double-check; is this web host going to work for you as well? Should you get this service or browse for another one?
While there are many considerations you should make, here are the most important ones:
- Server Uptime: Uptime refers to the proportion of time your server is up and running. While 100% uptime is a bit unrealistic due to server maintenance, you should opt for 99.95% and above. “Three and a half nines” refers to 43s daily downtime, or approximately 4.38 hours per year, which is high availability. Also, the web host should provide an uptime guarantee to compensate you for any losses due to outages.
- Loading Speed: If your website is down, you can potentially lose customers and profits. However, the same can happen due to slow-loading speeds. The web hosting provider should deliver fast-loading speeds. Ideally, you’ll want a page load time under two seconds, as recommended by Google. Keep in mind that the faster, the better.
- Customer Support: The web hosting provider should offer 24/7 customer assistance over several channels, such as live chat, phone, email, or ticketing system. Also, it would be best to select a web host with comprehensive self-help databases, including tutorials, videos, etc. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you should receive fast and helpful responses if you encounter any issues.
- Pricing: You’ll find web hosting plans in all shapes and sizes, with wildly varying prices. While you can get free web hosting services, you’ll usually have to pay for those in other ways (unsatisfactory website performance, ads, and bad SEO). So, instead, it would be best to opt for discounted, cheap web hosting plans that deliver an excellent price to value ratio.
Can You Keep Your WHOIS Data Private?
Usually, yes. If the web hosting provider or domain registrar provides Whois privacy as a paid add-on, you can hide your data when you register a new domain. The WHOIS protection cost is somewhere between $2 and $20 annually.
If, however, your private information is available on the WHOIS directory, just about anyone can access it, including malicious parties or your number one competitors.
Why Do Companies Choose to Keep WHOIS Data Private?
There are many reasons why one might want to keep their WHOIS data hidden.
First and foremost, people keep their WhoIs data private to protect themselves from malicious or cybercriminal parties. If one can access your WHOIS data, they can steal your identity or perform other forms of fraud.
Next, companies hide their WHOIS data for strategic reasons. For instance, you might want to hide this information from competitors, especially if it grants you a competitive advantage.
Home-based businesses aim to hide their contact information and location from the public. Public companies strive to keep information hidden before it goes public. And some use the WHOIS data protection to shield against unwanted sales pitches and emails.
If you choose to keep your WHOIS data private, it would be best to publish dome general contact information on your websites, such as corporate identity, business contact information, or webmaster/IT contact information, so that the public can contact you.
More Tools for Your Website
Learning who is hosting a website isn’t always enough. And if you want to take a step further, we are here to deliver. Our Hosting Checker isn’t where it ends. At HostAdvice, you can find several other useful tools for your quests:
- Reverse IP Lookup – This service can help you look up the owner of an IP address. If you have the numerical order assigned to a device on a network, you can perform the reverse IP lookup to find the domain name associated with this particular IP address. You can also find this service under the name of reverse DNS lookup.
- Web Hosting Advisor – A web hosting genius tool that asks you a few straightforward questions to match you with the best web hosting provider for your needs. The service is based on manually and user-submitted information of 7,000 hosting companies, updated daily.
- Free Online SSL Checker – A free online tool that can help you get all information about your website’s SSL certificate; analyse, test, and check your SSL status; get detailed results on misconfigured TLS/SSL or other potential vulnerabilities with a simple ‘Lookup.’
- Whois Lookup – A tool that reveals the identity of the domain name owner, including their contact information such as name, phone number, and address.
We’ve done extensive research for you to make a choice easier. Here are the articles which may help:
- The Best Web Hosting for 2022
- The Best Cheap Web Hosting Providers
- The Best VPS Hosting Providers
- The Best WordPress Hosting Services
- Our Best Cloud Hosting Providers
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What is a domain name?
A domain name refers to the text you type into the browser window to reach a specific website. This unique name appears after the ‘@ sign’ in email addresses and after ‘www.’ in web addresses. For example, Google’s domain name is ‘google.com.’
Domain names are also linked to IP addresses. Each domain translates to a long string of numbers, known as the IP address. However, this numerical string is too complex to remember and is therefore exclusively used by computers and machines.
What is a top-level domain (TLD)?
A top-level domain (TLD) refers to the last segment of a domain name or everything that follows the final dot of a domain name. For instance, the TLD in ‘yahoo.com’ is ‘.com.’ Other popular TLDs include .org, .net, .top, .example, .gov, .edu, etc.
What is domain parking?
Domain parking refers to registering a new domain name and “parking it” for future use. It means the domain name is registered but not currently used or connected to an online service, such as a website or email hosting. Usually, people do this to reserve the Internet domain name for future development or to protect against the possibility of cybersquatting, even though there’s a long list of associated benefits.
What is a Domain Name Server or DNS?
The Domain Name Server, also known as DNS, is the Internet’s phonebook. It keeps the files containing information about domain names and corresponding IP addresses, thus eliminating the need for people to memorise IPv4 or, more complex, newer alphanumeric IP addresses, IPv6.
Will my name and contact information be publicly available?
The Registration Data Directory Service, commonly known as the WHOIS database or the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), makes some of your contact information associated with your domain name registration publicly available.
By default, your WHOIS data goes public when you register a new domain. To shield against it, you can make your WHOIS data private by utilising WHOIS protection, costing somewhere between $2 and $20 annually.
What is a redemption period for a domain?
If a domain expires, is cancelled, and isn’t renewed or purchased by another party, it automatically enters the redemption period, lasting 45 days after its expiration date. In some cases, the redemption period might last 30 days. Once this period ends, the domain is available to restore. And if it’s not restored, it then enters the ‘pending delete’ status for five days.