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Your Guide to Web Hosting

If you want to become a major player in the online business community and increase the size of your business, developing a website is a necessity. After you have thought of the idea, it is important to continue and consider a domain name and then give proper thought to where you should host your new website. There are many hosts out there so choosing the right one is important which is why you should consider the following advice about web hosting.

How would you define web hosting?

Web hosting is far more than just a domain; it is a collection of files that are linked by means of HTML code that enables the text and graphics to come together on a computer to show what a website is truly about. Having a computer with special software will enable you the opportunity to save your made files and let others see, as long as they have internet access. In broad and basic terms, web hosting is when someone rents space that is found on a web server. The web server is where a computer makes the requests for files that have been previously stored there. The server is also able to pass on the files to the internet which enables them to be viewed on a computer that requests them. There are similarities to be drawn between a waiter in a restaurant and the term "server."

There are many services that are provided by a web server. It has the ability to display files to other people surfing the internet and it can provide further uses. These may include offering the ability to generate email accounts and addresses that are relevant to the domain name which will allow the sending and receiving of emails. In addition to this provision, the ability to make and control databases, show moving images and a number of other options are provided to the user. It does not matter about the computer as the software is what is important in making a server.

I don't need to say that the monthly payment you make after purchasing a web hosting is needed for the purpose of maintaining and upgrading the server's hardware and software. It also includes the charge of keeping it online all the time in a secure data center with the aid of a fast Internet connection, and the payment of the people who are doing all these. One can surely roll his or her computer into a web server as soon as it is decided but the idea of entrusting a dedicated person (for this job) with this job is often a better and reasonable one. It requires you to pay that person but it is ideal if the person does it in a reliable manner.

Web Hosting varieties

Shared Hosting- Although there are websites such as Yahoo! which are able to provide access for everyone on the internet, it is more common for a site to have a narrower target market, which means they don't require an almost infinite amount of pages. This means that the complete services of a web server is not required by the majority of web sites. It is said that in excess of 95% of the websites that are available are hosted on shared hosting sites. This is where more than a single website is held on a specific server and this method costs less than a dedicated hosting service. This is due to the fact that is spreads resources and costs over a number of different users. The reduction in cost is a reason for its popularity and shared, or virtual, hosting allows every client to have an agreed proportion of the resources available on the server. Depending on how much resources are being used, with respect to number of email accounts, amount of disk space being used, size of bandwidth, the price will vary accordingly.

Dedicated Hosting- There is many reason to choose a dedicated host. You may believe that your website will be able to draw in a high amount of visitors, you may not wish to take up most of the resources on a shared server or perhaps you do not wish to share a server with other companies that you believe may overload and crash the server. For all these reasons, having a dedicated web host may be the right decision for you. This is when a complete server is given over to be rented by one firm. Whilst the client takes control of the use of the server and its configuration, owning the machine and being responsible for the hardware is still in the hands of the web-host. If this sounds too much, semi-dedicated hosting may be preferable to your needs. This is where an entire server will be allocated to a very small number of clients and there will be clear and distinct differences marked between the organizations. Another term for this type of hosting is managed hosting and this style of hosting is a costlier experience than the one offered by shared hosting.

Server Co-Location- If money was no object, a great option is to contain everything within your own web server and domain and this can be done by buying a server and looking after it yourself. However, there are many issues that can arise from this and would you be able to react to power shortages, natural disasters, floods, break ins, staff error and many other problems that may cause problems? All of these issues may prevent your server from running on a speedy internet connection but help is at hand from a data center. Placing your server in a secure outlet with a guaranteed power source and reliable and fast internet connection is called a Co-location. This situation placed the client in charge of maintaining the software and hardware needs of the server as the data center will not become involved in this issue. If a client has the talent, ability and hours to look after this form of server, it can be an improved and less expensive variant compared to dedicated hosting.

UNIX Hosting-Although variations of web hosts have been mentioned it is more accurate to say that different version of the UNIX server is where the majority of web servers are run on. The UNIX system was pushed by universities as a method to assist servers and networks. The open source nature of the UNIX operating system has enabled technically minded people to gain the code for the system and produce variations of it. The popular ones of BSD and Linux that are part of the UNIX system have produced variations such as Red Hat Linux, Debian, FreeBSD and SuSE. This means that UNIX hosting is a low cost and highly efficient operating system for web hosts to get their hands on. This in turn allows the web host to charge a lower price for their services. Key benefits of the UNIX hosting platform is that the software will allow users the ability to complete a great number of programming applications and the platform is generally considered to be secure, reliable and packing a mighty punch. The phrase 'UNIX hosting' now comes to mean any platform that has been derived from the traditional form if UNIX.

Windows Hosting- It is no secret that Microsoft offers a huge range of commercial products and services and the Windows Server 2003 is but one of them. This product needs a license for the buyer to operate it and this immediately makes it a costlier system than its competitors. Considering it is dearer, it also provides less power and a lower level of security than UNIX systems, which are ideal for clients who are in a network situation. Many programmers have a preference for ASP, ASP.NET and ColdFusion and these scripting languages have to be run on server that is dedicated to Windows with the Microsoft SQL server or Microsoft Access and its database programs being strong examples. If you like the concept of being able to use these then you will require having a Windows host.

About the author: Matt Hedges, 12 year veteran of the web hosting industry, is the head staff writer for, a web hosting review site.






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