Perhaps you’re a newbie looking for a prime hosting company to set up your online business, blog or gaming website and you don’t know where to start. You may even frequent websites if your niche and you like the vibe they have or know that their hosting company must be top-notch since they get tons of test traffic and have a 99.99% uptime. So how would you go about finding out who host their website and domain? It’s not as hard as you think and is easy once you have an internet connection and know where to look.
In this article, we’re going to breakdown how to find out who hosts a website, a domain and how to find a company that is the right fit for your budget and website needs. Let’s dive right in.
What is a Hosting Company?
A hosting company is a business to business company (B2B) that sells internet real estate so that other businesses and individuals can host a website. They have a wide range of services outside of hosting environments that help you set up a website, run one efficiently and protect against cybercriminals.
Hosting companies come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are not all created equal. You want to choose a hosting company with a robust set of services and one that is a one-stop-shop for all of your hosting needs. But lets breakdown the basics. Most hosting companies offer 3 main hosting environments to choose from with tiers.
Three types of hosting services
Beginner’s Shared Hosting
Shared hosting: this is a hosting environment where multiple websites share a server and all its resources. All the server components are allocated to hundreds of websites. This type of hosting environment is recommended for small business and blogs with low traffic flow. A good hosting company will have scalable shared hosting plans to match an expanding website’s needs.
VPS for added privacy and computing power
VPS hosting: this is a hosting environment that behaves like a shared space bit instead of sharing all the server components like in shared hosting, VPS hosting offers virtual private server compartments in a large shared space. That’s right each virtual private server has all the server components dedicated to one website. Because of the nature of VPS servers, they have a built-in security feature so that if one website is affected by a cyberattack the others aren’t infected like in a shared space. VPS is a powerful hosting environment and because it works in a shared environment while having separated server compartments the price is kept low. VPS is recommended to serious business owners that hope to scale their business quickly.
Dedicated servers offer exclusive access to a server
This is the most powerful hosting environment you can opt for and the most expensive as the entire server belongs to one website. Dedicated servers also have that built-in security feature as it is an entire server where all the resources and components are allocated to one website. Dedicated servers are recommended for large-scale businesses and gaming servers. The price point can be pretty high for a dedicated server. An alternative is VPS hosting since it packs the server punch of a dedicated server in a shared environment.
Beyond having hosting capabilities, a hosting company will also offer other services like domain hosting, website monitoring, cloud services, SSL certificates and other server security options, back-up services and more.
What is a domain host?
A domain hosting company’s sole purpose is to sell domains but not hosting environments. Some companies specialize in selling a domain name without the hosting. You can purchase your domain with one company and then purchase hosting from another. The domain host will simply sell you your domain, and register it with ICANN on your behalf. If you use a separate hosting company for your internet hosting then you’ll need to use the nameservers of your hosting company to point your domain toward your website.
How to Find Out Who is Hosting a Website
Now that we know the difference between hosting environments and domain host let’s get into how you can find out who is hosting a website, just in case you want to switch your hosting companies.
Normally if you want to find out the host of a domain you can simply look it up in the WHOIS directory where information is kept on various domains registered. The WHOIS directory will give you the first and last name of a domain holder, their address and the company hosting the domain, that is, if they haven’t opted for domain privacy.
Finding out who is hosting a website is a little different. To find out who is hosting a website you can use a website called Who is hosting this?. This site will give you the nameservers attached to the domain and the information on the hosting company. You can also click on the WHOIS information for the domain host and find out the downtime, also they’ll give you’re the IP address.
Need to find out where a website you are interested in is hosted? This service is great for that.
For example, if you wanted to know how hosts Google.com the most popular search engine on the world wide web you simply type in the domain in the URL bar and the information is served up for you. You can see the name of the hosting provider, the nameservers, IP address and can get additional information on the domain thanks to the WHOIS records and even their downtime. Some websites might mask their host by using CDNs.
The Difference between domain host and hosting lookup
Remember that domain hosting and internet hosting are two different things. To find a domain host you simply can use a WHOIS record’s website to find out who is hosting a particular domain and who it is registered to. With hosting lookup, the information will tell you where a website is hosted and the company that is hosting it.