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What Is Web Hosting?


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A look at what exactly web hosting is and why you need it.

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What Is Web Hosting?

  1. 1. What Is Web Hosting?To run a web site you need it on a server running web server softwareand connected to the internet. You can actually run a web server yourselfbut there are logistical, security and contractual problems which you mustresolve, even if you have the technical expertise. For most people the bestoption is to use the services of a web hosting company.What is Web HostingWeb hosting involves installing or copying your site or multiple sites on toa web server maintained by a third party which is connected to theinternet. You are able to use an FTP client to connect to the web serverand upload files and undertake any maintenance of your site. You don’thave to worry about internet connectivity, security and maintenance ofthe server (although you may choose to do so if using a dedicatedserver).You usually have choice between Linux Hosting and Windows hosting. Thisrelates to the OS running on the server and the supporting software, suchas the web server itself. It does not relate in any way to your PC operatingsystem. The majority of the web is powered by Linux and the best adviceis to go for Linux unless you have a specific reason why you needWindows.Kinds of Web Hosting • Shared Web Hosting - The most common form of hosting in which many users (and their sites) are run on each server. There are disadvantages to this but it does mean that hosting can be offered at a remarkably low price. You will frequently see shared hosting sold with "Unlimited" resources such as storage, domains, bandwidth and databases. This keeps it simple, as when limits are stated most users get nowhere near them, but bear in mind that “Unlimited” is actually impossible and the Terms and Conditions will always include some restriction. • VPS Hosting - VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting is where software is used to create a series of virtual servers on a physical server. Users see these as separate servers with their own resources. This service provides much greater separation from other users and hence better security. • Dedicated Hosting - In this case the user does have a physical server to themselves. There is therefore total separation from other users and you can take control of the server. Of course this option implies you know what you are doing. • Cloud Hosting - Here a site is hosted on a network of computers rather than on an actual server. Resources can be added as required so it is good if requirements are expected to grow. However this flexibility has to be balanced against the lack of control involved. • Reseller Hosting - There are many people selling web hosting who are simply reselling the services of another company. In most cases the reseller can set their price levels and deals with payments and
  2. 2. is responsible for supporting their customers. If buying from a reseller it is the support aspect you need to be watch. A cheap price might not look such a good deal if your site does down and you find that you can only get support during local business hours Monday - Friday. • e-Commerce Hosting - Provides additional support for sites which are selling goods or services such as a shopping cart. • SEO Hosting - This is aimed at site owners who want to get more than one site ranking with the search engines. A key element in search engine ranking is backlinks but backlinks from sites with the same IP address are not counted. This service allows sites to be hosted on separate IP addresses.Web Hosting companies vary in the services they offer. Some such asBluehost offer just one shared linux package. Offers such as HostGatorprovide a range of Linux and Windows hosting options which offer a futureupgrade path.When choosing web hosting dont forget to look at the hosts reputationfor support, this often is the critical factor for users.Please visit our site Website Hosting Plans where you will find articlescovering all of the above in detail.