What Is Web Hosting and How Does It Work?

You have got your brand-new small business all set up now and you are prepared to start the next phase and build a web site to say to the world wide web that you’re here and you have something to offer. You’ve identified an appealing domain name  and now… what’s next? Well, the response is you’ll want to locate web hosting for the website you have built. So just what does that mean and how can you determine what type of web hosting you will need? First we will begin with the basics.

What exactly Is Web Hosting Anyway?

Simply, web hosting is leasing space on a web server. A web site isn’t simply a domain name. It is a number of files connected together by HTML code to show text as well as images on a computer. In order for any person to view this collection of files you’ve created, it must be stored on a computer somewhere which has access to the world wide web.

Not just any computer will do. A web server is a computer set up using special software that enables it to receive requests from the web for the website records it has saved on it and to deliver those records out over the web so the requesting computer can show them.

In addition to making sure your files can be viewed by online users world wide, a web server provides additional important services as well. Most notably is the capability to create e-mail addresses based on your domain name and to send and receive e-mail with them. The web server also features a variety of software installed on it that enable your internet site to run programs, create and manage databases, show video, and several other features you might find beneficial. Nearly any type of computer system can operate as a web server, but it is the software program that’s on it which makes it a server.

When you purchase webhosting, the fee you pay each month goes toward the ongoing upkeep and upgrading of the server’s hardware and software.  Also, the fee goes towards the expense of maintaining it online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a secure data center having a speedy and powerful connection to the web, and to cover the expertise of the individuals who perform all that work.

It’s totally feasible to convert your own home or office pc into a web server if you need to, but typically it is much more cost-effective to pay somebody else who’s specialized in offering this service in a  reliable fashion than it is to try and do it yourself.

What Are The Different Types Of Web Hosting?

Web hosting offers come in many flavors, but the primary three are shared, dedicated and reseller. Each form of hosting is for a different purpose.

Shared Web Hosting

Shared hosting is simply the concept of hosting multiple websites on a specific server. More than 95% of all internet sites on the web are being run in a shared hosting environment. Because the resources of the server can be divided between the clientele hosted on it, so can the expenses of operating the server, meaning shared hosting is universally less expensive than any other type.

Shared hosting packages are usually designed to ensure that each customer is allocated a specific quantity of each resource, with varing payment levels representing different quantities of resources such as disk space, bandwidth, email addresses, etc.

So, if you are searching for a great price and have daily visitors to your site of less than two thousand, then shared hosting is the way to go. Shared hosting is also referred to as virtual hosting.

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated web hosting is the most powerful and cost-effective option of hosting a busy web site without turning to purchasing your own equipment and spending 100’s of dollars monthly for a fast Internet connection.

Since a dedicated web server is assigned to only a single client, the client has the option to host single/multiple web sites, alter the software settings, manage larger site traffic and scale the bandwidth as needed.

Therefore, dedicated hosting requires a larger premium and generally commences at $50 per month and can range up to $200 – $500 per month. As a result, dedicated hosting is routinely utilized by high traffic and extremely important websites.

Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller web hosting is a well-known, low-cost alternative to starting your personal web hosting enterprise. There are two types of reseller hosting, private-label and a reseller of services.

The private-label is the best form of reseller plan since it allows you to keep complete control over your client’s websites. A private-label plan allows the reseller to keep the entire monthly payment of the web-hosting client, but the reseller have to shell out a monthly fee to the larger hosting company for the reseller space.

The more web hosting accounts a private-label reseller can market, the bigger the profit for them. Private-label hosting enables you to host a lot more websites than if you were utilizing shared hosting for each. This is an excellent alternative for anyone who has several sites they need to host in a single location to save money.

The reseller of services plans, resell the standard website hosting plans of a larger hosting company, but you receive a reduced price for supplying the customer with the service and earn a monthly fee for as long as they continue to be a customer. This plan doesn’t allow control over customer web sites and you only retain a portion of the potential monthly earnings.

Web Hosting Terms You Need To Know Before Buying…

Price

The cost of website hosting services is one of the most important features to be aware of. There are lots of internet hosting businesses out there with low-cost internet hosting packages, but they may be short in some areas. Do not let the price tag on a hosting package deceive you. There are a few hosting companies around that have fantastic prices and the other features are usually every bit as good. Price may be one of the most important feature of a website hosting plan, but there’s a lot more to take into account in selecting a top quality web host.

Disk Space / Storage Space

Disk space is the amount of physical storage space a web host offers to you to store your web related files. Hosting businesses nowadays have plans with disk space being measured typically in terms of gigabytes, but several are still providing plans in the megabytes for storage space. According to your preferences with regard to file storage space, you might need more or less. Usually the more disk space provided, the better.

Bandwidth / Data Transfer

The volume of bandwidth accessible can make a huge difference in selecting a top quality web hosting plan. On the whole, the more bandwidth a hosting company makes accessible to you, the better. It indicates you are able to support more visitors to your web site as your online business expands. Steer clear of hosting services that provide unlimited or unmetered bandwidth. Even though many of these may be genuine offers, there are a few on the market who will be overselling their bandwidth hoping the common user won’t make use of much.

Customer Support

In any enterprise, it is extremely important to give outstanding customer service. Web hosting is no exception to this. Several of the hosting providers are accessible around the clock in case you have an issue with your web site, but there are a few who will only be available specific hours of the day. In the event your web site goes down in the middle of the night when they’re not available, this usually means lost earnings for a business. You must make certain the web host you choose is always accessible for support.

Money Back Guarantee

Nearly all web hosting companies will offer a thirty-day money back guarantee. Quite a few will offer one even longer, however be skeptical of the hosts who offer no money back guarantee. I would definitely not invest in web hosting services through a provider who does not give at least a 30 day money back guarantee, unless they have established themselves to be a leader in the marketplace and possess a superb reputation.

Operating System

An operating system is a piece of software which regulates the interaction among the computer user and the physical hardware of the machine. A wide majority of all internet websites on the Net run on the Linux operating system. Linux is typically a lot more stable than Windows. Stability is vital in operating a web site. For this reason, It is preferred to host your web sites on the Linux operating system. A number of sites have certain specifications that only the Windows operating system can satisfy, but there are always alternatives to those requirements.

Backup

An excellent web hosting company will have a regular timetable to backup the files on all the web servers. The more frequently the files are backed up, the better. At the very minimum, a internet hosting company should backup web site files daily.

Control Panel

The control panel is the point of contact the web site administrator will have between the host server and his or her own machine connected via the Internet. It is crucial to have a properly arranged and simple to use control panel interface.A popular control panel is cPanel, which is one of the leading web hosting control panels on the net today. Plesk is another excellent one, and quite a few providers will develop their own control panel for you to use.

Most web hosting companies will supply a website link to a demonstration of the control panel they utilize with their hosting plans. The control panel used is a matter of preference, but it should be user friendly.

Email

Email is an essential component of communication on the World wide web. Almost all web hosting companies will give you more email addresses and additional space to keep email messages than you will possibly require. What you need to be on the look out for are the businesses that have made a decision to be a little strict on their email accounts and only provide a small number or a small amount of message space.

Uptime

Uptime is a phrase used to explain how frequently the average web site hosted by a company is accessible online. No provider should be expected to offer an exact 100% uptime. This is unattainable due to issues such as hardware, software, and power failures.

A vast majority of the companies tend to be really good with uptime, and they guarantee it. However, it is still a good idea to be mindful of the uptimes published by the company. If it is not at least 99.5%, it is probably not worth hosting with that company.

Statistics

As a webmaster, it is beneficial to know just how many site visitors you’ve had, where they arrived from, how long they stayed on your site, and how much bandwidth they’ve used. This information is compiled by the web server and is put in a log file. A statistics software package can read this data and present meaningful data to the webmaster. The data collected from these logs can be extremely useful in improved services to the viewers of the web site.

FTP

FTP stands for file transfer protocol. It is a way of rapidly uploading or downloading numerous data files to and from a web server. Most web hosting companies will allow their clients access to their web hosting accounts via FTP. FTP is quite useful and is a wonderful feature to possess when spending for a web hosting account.

Scripting

Since the World Wide Web started, several scripting languages have been developed and have progressed into the dynamic and interactive environment we enjoy today. A scripting language is a means of adding functionality to a web site, whether it be to calculate numbers or to load information from an external database.

Scripting languages have made electronic commerce feasible. A few of these languages include PHP, ASP, JSP, Coldfusion, VBscript, Javascript, and Perl.  If you know how to use these languages, you should know what to look for in a web server for them.

Databases

A database is a place to store data that can be utilized in a wide variety of ways. Databases are used on the Net for applications such as shopping carts, message boards, and product catalogues.

The more databases the web hosting provider permits you to build, the more applications you can set up on your web server. Databases are used by the more advanced web master, but information and facts are freely available online should you be interested.

You could devote a lengthy amount of time trying to understand everything there is to know about web hosting, but if you’ve read this far then you should be equipped with the fundamental knowledge you need to understand what different web hosts are offering you.

Your next task is to figure out what you need and go out and find a host that wants to give it to you at a great price!

Check out two of the best known hosting providers below:

Lunarpages.com Web Hosting

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