Web Hosting Made Simple
What is web hosting anyway? What do I get when I buy a web hosting
To make thing clear from start lets just say how it all works.
Web pages basically consist of text and images. Generically, the information
contained by these files is called content. The look of the web page is called
design. In order to be accessible to online users, all these files must be
stored on a web server. You can think of web servers as computers storing
the files of tens or hundreds of web sites. These computers are all connected
to the Internet through high-speed connection. When you access a web page,
your browser connects to the web server that stores that page and downloads
it to your computer.
So a web server is a must when you plan to share your web site content with
online users via the Internet. There are thousands of web servers in the
world, and there are companies that own them. Such a company is called
A web-hosting provider can have dozens of web servers hosting thousands of
web sites. The web server computers are found usually in large numbers and
are all housed in special buildings or sections of buildings called data
center. Apart from the high-speed Internet connection, these locations are
set up to ensure the optimum operational conditions and security for the
web servers. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning) control,
fire protection, virus protection, data backup facility, power backup, even
autonomy in case of disaster. Another term for the web servers in the data
center is a web farm.
To be able to run your site properly you need a space on the web server to
store your data and an Internet connection to it. The amount of data available
to you on a web server is simply referred as space and is usually quantified
in MB. The Internet connection needed so that your web site can be accessed
online is referred as bandwidth and is also measured in MB or even GB. Having
the glimpse of the basics, it must be said that different web-hosting providers
offer different space and bandwidth. Space and bandwidth are usually the
main characteristics of a web-hosting plan.
The terminology associated with web hosting can be quite dazzling: virtual
web hosting, dedicated hosting; co-locating hosting, shared hosting reseller
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting or virtual web hosting are two terms for the same thing.
Shared web hosting means that on a web server are hosted many web sites that
all have a defined quota of HDD space and bandwidth. They all run simultaneously
and there can be from hundreds to thousands of web sites on the same web
server. Given the high number of web sites should you worry about exceeding
the performance of the web server, issue better known as slow server response,
meaning that your visitors will have to wait too long for your web pages
to load. That is usually not a real problem when dealing with serious web
hosting providers, because the operational parameters of the web servers
are monitored and appropriate actions will be taken in order to maintain
the level of service contracted. The greater number of web sites sharing
the resources of a web server (HDD space, bandwidth, memory, CPU time), the
web hosting provider can afford to offer its services at a lower cost. A
minus would be that, even with high level of service, you will have to accept
a slower server response time when choosing shared web hosting.
Reseller Web Hosting
When web-hosting providers offer their services, typically with a discount,
to a third-party (a reseller that will thus become a web-hosting provider
itself) and the latter subsequently offers web-hosting services under his
branding. Indeed technically the reseller web hosting is very similar to
shared web hosting, as many web sites end up sharing space and bandwidth
on the same web server. The resellers usually are web designers or web developers
who offer web hosting services as part of their integrated services. As the
web-hosting provider offers resellers important discounts, the price they
can offer is among the smallest in the industry. Compared with the shared
web hosting, this system has technical support problem. It takes time and
communication problems may occur on the course of your problem from the reseller
to the web-hosting provider. Unless your site is a personal web site or
non-commercial one, this poor support issue is enough to not consider this
your primary option. Continuing this line of thought, how can you distinguish
a reseller from a real web-hosting provider? Its not the professional
design of the web site, not even the support contact facilities offered as
may resellers might have contracts with the provider on the technical support
and the person taking your calls might be working for the provider and identify
himself to you as an employee of the reseller. Solid company information
is made available usually only by serious providers. The price, that can
get as low as under 5$/month is another hint, but you should consider it
carefully with prices dropping through the industry.
Dedicated Web Hosting
In dedicated web hosting one single web server is rented to a single customer.
Although this is the common belief, web-hosting providers usually divide
a single web server computer between up to three customers. On the other
hand there are web-hosting providers that actually give an entire web server
to a customer. Even with three customers sharing the web server, the dedicated
web hosting option offers the customers the option to host more than one
web site, configure the software to best meet the needs of his site or scale
the available bandwidth. The high prices combined with the availability of
resources recommend this type of web hosting for highly important web sites
such as e-commerce sites.
Co-location Web Hosting
Co-locating web hosting is similar with dedicated web hosting. The main
difference is that while in dedicated web hosting the web server computer
belongs to the web-hosting provider and is only rented by the customer, in
co-locating web hosting the customer owns the web server computer. The
web-hosting provider only houses the web server computer and sells bandwidth
to the customer. This gives the customer using co-locating web hosting full
control of the web server combined with the security of the data center.
Now you should be equipped with the necessary information to decide on you
web hosting. You shouldnt try and find the lowest price possible, but
give some extra thought to the quality of service you are buying and to the
support offered by a web host provider.
About The Author
Calin Indre is editor at HostPinPin
), a Cheap Web Hosting Directory. HostPinPin.com is a resource for webmasters
and consumers looking to find a web hosting company. Providing web hosting
articles, tips, web hosting reviews, compare web hosting plans and more.
This article may be reprinted or published without the authors consent as
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