What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting (aka web site hosting, hosting, and web host) is the business of housing website and placing a website online to be
accessed by other peoples. More important than the performance of the server for hosting web sites file is the fast connection to the Internet.
Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should have high uptime. Quality web hosting companies should have a minimum uptime of 99%.
Apart from the reliability and speed of access is the security of the web host. Last but not least, technically competency of hosting service provider,
speed of responses of hosting service provider, speed of fixing problems of hosting service provider and support hours of hosting service provider
are all important factors that measures the quality of a web hosting company.
Types of Web Hosting
There are various types of web hosting solutions. Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with the different types and what makes each unique
to really know the best web hosting that will suit your needs.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting (also called virtual hosting) is the most common type of hosting service used. It works as follows, your website is hosted
on a powerful web server which is shared with other customers who also use that web host. Since all the resources are shared, it is important to
ensure that no one user is hogging the pooled resources. Thus, Shared Hosting has restrictions on traffic volume and scripts that
can be executed on the web host. When shopping for shared web hosting, you must check the terms of service to see if there are any scripts
or types of software that are not allowed by the host. Shared or virtual web hosting has several things going for it.
They are usually the cheapest and most affordable solutions for an online presence of a website. In shared web hosting environment
customers need not to maintain the web server as hosting company will be the one to manage and monitor the server providing what it takes to
make sure all is up and running always.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) Hosting
A Virtual Private Server (VPS), also referred to as Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS), is a method of splitting a powerful physical server
into multiple virtual servers via a virtualization software. Each virtual server provides the features of a dedicated server.
At first blush it sounds somewhat contradictory – how can you have a dedicated server if it is being shared by multiple users?
It is true that with a Virtual Private Server you still share system resources like the CPU and RAM with other users but the resources are allocated
in such a way that each hosting client is only allowed to use an allocated percent. Each virtual server looks and acts like a dedicated server;what’s more,
Each virtual server can run its own full-fledged operating system, and each server can be independently rebooted.
VPS hosting solutions allows you to run web applications without adversely affecting other clients. With VPS hosting solutions, customers
can use a (virtual) server at an affordable price; much cheaper than a dedicated server.
Dedicated Hosting and Collocated Hosting
Dedicated Hosting and Collocated Hosting is an ideal hosting plan for high-traffic websites, custom development projects that use special software,
and web sites that require a high degree of uptime and total control of the hosting environment. Unlike dedicated web hosting solutions which allow
a client to lease the complete computer and have access to all its resources to host one or multiple websites, Collocated hosting lets you place your
own web server in the data center of a provider. This is pretty much the same as running your own server in your own office, only that it is located at
a place better designed for it. These hosting solutions gives the customer a more reliable hosting service. However, it requires higher level of skills
with regards to setting up and maintaining the server; besides, these solutions are the most expensive hosting solutions.
Choosing a Web Host
Once you have your domain name, you will need to choose a web host. It is very important that you choose a good web host.
Good doesn’t mean expensive. Good means reliable with great support. Here are some criteria for choosing a web host.
1. Reliability and speed of access
Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should have high uptime. Quality web hosting companies should have a
minimum uptime (the time when it is functional) of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low, it really should be 99.5% or higher.
2. Web control panel
The web control panel should allow you to manage different aspects of your web account easily. Typically,
and at the very minimum, it should allow you to manage your domain name(s), database(s), email account(s), and FTP account(s).
3. Technical support
Look for hosting service provider that provide 24/7 technical support. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at
the most inconvenient of times. Besides speed of responses, technically competency is more important. You wouldn’t want to sign up
for a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.
Look for hosting service provider that provide all features you want. Ask yourself questions like
what programming language your site requires? Is it PHP or ASP ?
Number of email addresses you requires ?
5. Back up system
A good hosting company must provide a backup for your web sites. Quality web hosting companies
should provide web site backup at least once a week.
A good hosting company should provide good security since web hosting sites are increasingly being
exploited by hackers. A web host should have a level of protection to spyware, spam, viruses,
DDoS attacks, phishers, or other threat you could conceive. After all, security greatly
depend on yourself as well.