What Is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting Companies

Web hosting services allow any website builder, aspiring bloggers, online merchants, and basically anyone who wants to provide online content to connect to the World Wide Web (WWW) and make it accessible to the world. The way web hosters work is that they ‘lease’ server space in their data centers to any website owners in exchange for periodic payments. For a website to run, it needs a server to handle user traffic.

It would be impractical for most website owner to have their own server due to the astronomical costs as well as the upkeep which includes installing, and maintaining such specialized equipment. As web hosters have become more available to the average internet user, the the number of websites and internet content has expanded at an unprecedented pace.

As server technology evolved throughout the decades, types of servers have been developed; all in the quest of accommodating more user traffic and providing users reliable speeds. Here is a short web hosting guide of some common servers that users frequently encounter:

Some Types Of Web Hosting

Shared Hosting – A type of hosting service where you and many other users share the same server system. Shared Web hosting service providers are meant to cater to thousands or in some cases millions of users on the shared system which means depending the on hosting service, some websites load slower than others. However, shared web hosting offers affordable rates since each user is sharing the costs with each other.

Dedicated Hosting – Unlike shared hosting, dedicated hosting means all of the server space is yours and you’re not sharing any server space to other users. A dedicated server gives you more control on the infrastructural and technological aspects of your server system whilst also providing you more opportunities for specialized security. The catch is that since you’re running the servers on your own, not only is the initial investment and installation costs quite steep, but also the monthly costs of maintenance and patching is incurred by the website owner.

Cloud Hosting – Cloud Hosting is a recent development on hosting services where instead of having a single physical server system such as shared and dedicated hosting, cloud hosting operates on virtual servers. Virtual servers do indeed run on physical hardware as required of any server system, but the computing load is shared between multiple servers across scattered locations that are interconnected to operate as a single server. Since the servers are scattered, it provides a higher level of flexibility where prime real-estate becomes an issue for hosting service providers. The great thing about cloud hosting is that since multiple server locations share the same files, if one server location suffers from a shutdown, then all of cloud hosting client’s data is safely backed up and recoverable in a separate server location.

What You Need To Look For In Choosing The Best Web Hosting

Not all web hosting provide the same service. Below are some pointers you can use when choosing a web hosting service

  1. Bandwidth and and Storage Capacity – You can never anticipate whether you have the need to upload a boatload of content ranging from posts, images, to HD videos. From bloggers that frequently share high quality images and videos, to e-commerce websites that need to present a lot of varying types of content, all of those take bandwidth to run and high storage so you’d ideally want a hosting service that offers unlimited bandwidth and storage.
  2. Reliability – No one wants a web hoster with unreliable service that makes your website inaccessible for some time. Any website owner wants a reliable web hosting provider with proven and tested service. Another key aspect of reliability is support. Web host providers cater to clients all around the world and you may be one of those unfortunate users that has a website crashing, thus losing valuable traffic. So you’d want a web hosting service that features 24/7 customer support to cater to any of their client’s real-time inquiries.
  3. Security – If your web hosting’s servers crashed, you’d ideally want them to be exceptionally prepared to handle such situations. For example, if a natural calamity hits your web hosting’s server location and causes a blackout, then your web hosting provider should ideally have contingency plans such as generators to keep their servers from crashing. Before any of that happens, an ideal web hosting should backup your data on a daily basis. Additional security features such as firewall protection and constant network monitoring should be a top priority for any web hosting service to ensure their client’s data is secure from network intrusions.

After knowing what web hosting means, their different types, and what you should be looking for in a web hosting service, don’t be afraid of committing yourself to a plan with your chosen web hosting service because you’re now aware of the range of services they’ll provide for web-related needs.

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