“Discover the inner workings of web hosting and gain insights into the essential processes that power your website.
Learn how web hosting providers store and deliver your content, ensuring optimal performance and seamless user experiences.
Unlock the secrets of web hosting and enhance your understanding of this critical component of online presence. Dive into the world behind the scenes with our comprehensive guide.
“Whether you are the technical hand behind your website’s control panel and administration or not, it is important and useful to know the ways of your website on the web server hosting it.
At least, if for no other reason, no knowledge is a waste they say. Getting to know this will help you have a better understanding if anything goes wrong with your site and your technical support or site maintenance officer tries to explain.
A situation where you arevery ignorant of basic principles and operation creates room for dishonest workers to rip off on you.
No one wishes this to happen to him. Or would you? I guess your answer is capital NO. Good. Now, let’s explore the inside:
The Website’s Home Page
When you go online to a website, the home page is what you see first. This page acts like an introduction as it is what the owner has specified the visitor should see first.
On this page, you would see links to other pages containing information, the owner would like the visitor to see also. I’m sure this scenario isn’t strange to you, if you’ve been surfing the web for some time now.
Components of Your Website: Observing Through The Server Host Computer
With knowledge of how your laptop’s groups of files and directories are structured and sitting on the hard disk, you’ll be able to understand the structure and components of a website on the host server.
For the website, these components are located in the host server’s File Manager which holds the files, folders and or directories of the website. If you were opportune to walk into your web hosting company and observe one of their hosting servers, here is what you’ll see:
Wao, this is similar to your laptop’s “C” drive (hard disk). The Local Disk (E) in the screenshot above could be the hard disk on the web server bearing your website. Clicking on the “+” near it reveals the Websites folder under it, which is contained in it.
The Website “Folder” is where your website and possibly that of others are resident.And, clicking the “+” near it also reveals other subfolders in it. Now, the number series (e.g. 127.43.52.124) you see beside each of the subfolders represent the web addresses of people’s websites.
Those number series are the actual addresses –Internet Protocol IP of websites (e.g. ) as seen and read by the Web Server, which was assigned by the hosting company. Now, inside those numbered “Folders” are the individual pages and files of the corresponding websites.
To help you understand this better, look at the following screenshot of the inside of a sample numbered folder which is opened by clicking, as usual the “+” beside each one.
What do you see? The above picture shows only some of the multiples of tens of files that a website contains. Now, let’s take a closer look and try explaining what you’ve seen in the image. Going from the left, under the first column – “Folder List”, you can see the webserver folder that contains the website bearing the IP address name – 188.8.131.52.
A click on it reveals the subfolders under it (and contained in it) named: members, payment, wwb, and _Private which are arranged with respect to their functions. The second column – “Contents” under which you can observe some of the individual files in just one of the folders under the first column.
Do you now understand the structure of a website sitting on a Web Server? In the light of the above, a hosted website is made up of a group of folders and files stored on a hosting server.
Observing Through The Control Panel
In the computers, the document folders are only seen and used by the operator but in the case of your website the world wide interconnection of the servers makes viewing and using of some of your files public to anyone anywhere with an internet enabled computer system.
In order to illustrate what I am talking about, take a look at the picture of the File Manager of a website sitting on a Server as accessed through the control panel:
Normally, when you subscribe to a web hosting package, the company sends you log in details – username and password to both your control panel where you find all the softwares and scripts needed to power your website on the hosting and your File Manager as accessed through the hosting control panel.
Above, you can see an example of the files and directories in one of my websites. Here, there are three main directories of primary concern. Lets take a closer look at them:
/home1/agywintr/ – This is your home directory. All of your files are stored within this directory. Files placed directly in this directory will not be visible on the Internet. You will start out in your home directory when connecting by FTP, Web Disk, or the File Manager. Note that agywintr is the username supplied to me by the hosting company.
/home1/agywintr/public_ftp/– This is the directory used for anonymous FTP access. Any files in this directory can be downloaded by anyone if anonymous FTP access is enabled.
/home1/agywintr/public_html/ (www)– The public_html directory contains the files for your site. Files in public_html and any subdirectories of public_html will be viewable by anyone on the internet.. (/home1/agywintr/www/ is the same directory as /home1/agywintr/public_html/).
When someone views a directory in your public_html area, they will see the index page for that directory. When creating your index page, you should use one of the following names (the first one found will be shown if the visitor doesn’t specify a page in the URL):
Caution: When adding files to your site, it is important that you add them in the right place. For example, you will need to place files you wish to be visible on the Internet within public_html or a subdirectory of public_html. If you placed them else where, no one will be able to view them.
Getting Files To Your Site
For your visitors to be able to visit your site, you will need to add some files to it. You can add files through the File Manager and the Web Disk. You can use FTP to upload files to your site. To do this, you will need to create an FTP account.
You can do this in the FTP Accounts area which is linked on the home page of this interface. Then, you will need to download a FTP client that works with your operating system so you can connect to that account. Flezilla is one popularly used client that does it well.
The File Manager
The File Manager allows you to view the files in your site as well as to upload new files and modify existing files. You can access it on the main screen of your control panel interface through the icon of the File Manager area. Once inside the File Manager, you can click on to upload files to your site.