About Web Hosting
If you own your own personal website or a business website, your site will need a web server where it can reside so that the website is available on the Internet. Web hosting is like “renting” your own piece of cyberspace. Every website needs to be hosted regardless of what purpose the site serves.
Most individuals and businesses do not and often cannot own their own server. In order to do so one must have technical knowledge, or have a staff with this knowledge. Web servers are also very expensive to own. That is why most people and companies outsource their web hosting needs. The responsibility of running and maintaining the servers falls to the web-hosting provider.
The files, images and other data for your website are stored on a web server. Any website that is hosted can be viewed from any computer that has an Internet connection and a web browser. Anyone can type the address to your website in their web browser. Then, the server will download your site onto that person’s computer. The pages of the website will then be displayed in their browser.
Web servers are similar to your computer, however they are much fast and more powerful. Data Centers are where web servers are stored. The servers are run by high-speed connections. There are often 1000’s of servers in a data center. The web servers “job” is to make the websites available anywhere on the Internet.
When Searching for a Web Host
If you are looking for a web host, you have noticed that there are both paid and free hosting services available. Two examples of free web hosting providers are Tripod and Geocities. In most cases free hosts will require you to have ads placed on your website. Unfortunately in many cases these ads detract from your website and make it appear less professional. Also the features and technical support offered by free hosts is often limited and in some cases even poor. This may be all right if you only have a fun little personal page for yourself. However, if you have a business website you should never use a free host.
Hosting packages comes with a wide variety of features and services. They can vary greatly from host to host. The three main types of web hosting are: shared, managed and dedicated hosting. The most basic level of hosting is shared hosting. If you are using shared hosting, there will be more than one website hosted on a server. This form of web hosting is usually the most practical and affordable for most websites.
There are websites that require more sophisticated services. Often this is the case for large Ecommerce websites. In that case, managed or dedicated services may be the way to go. There is only one website on a server, with dedicated hosting. The person or company who buys the dedicated server hosting is pretty much responsible for the administrative tasks and for maintaining the server.
Managed hosting servers are also available. Again this is when you have a dedicated server. You will however be provided with monitoring and maintenance of the server. The web-hosting provider will provide these services for you. This is beneficial for those who can afford a dedicated server but who do not have the technical knowledge to take care of their own server.
This article has provided some basic information about web hosting. Start your search for a web-hosting provider, with a little more knowledge in your mind. Take your time so that you can find the best services and the best price to meet your needs. If you have questions, ask a potential hosting provider; they can and should help.