Web Hosting Basics
It is not practical for most individuals or businesses to own their own server. To own your own server is costly and requires a great deal of technical knowledge. Therefore, most people outsource their web-hosting needs to hosting providers. The web-hosting provider is then responsible for running and maintaining the web servers.
A web server stores the files, images and data for your website. Once you a website is hosted it can be seen from any computer that has a web browser and Internet access. Someone will type the website address for the site into their browser. The web server can then download the site onto that person’s computer and display the pages in their web browser.
A web server is similar to your own computer, but of course it is much more powerful and much faster. Web servers are stored in data centers. High-speed connections run thousands of servers. These servers work to put websites online so they can be accessed by anyone, anywhere.
Your web-hosting provider will provide you with space on a web server. The web host is responsible for keeping maintaining the server so that your website stays online. When any problems with the web server, arise the host must work to quickly and effectively solve the problem. Your web host provides you with access to the equipment and technical knowledge needed to host your website.
When searching for web hosting, you will find that there are paid and free hosting services. Tripod and Geocities are two examples of free hosting providers. Most free hosting providers will require you to place ads on your website. These ads often annoy viewers and make your website look less than professional. They use the ads to generate revenue since they are not charging you to host your website. In most cases the features and technical support that free hosts offer are limited. If you need to host a business website, you should not use free hosting services. Your website may experience too much downtime and you are not likely to have the features you need to run an ecommerce website.
When you select a paid hosting provider you can access a variety of services and features. Types of paid web hosting include: shared, dedicated and managed services. Shared hosting is the most basic level of web hosting. With shared web hosting services, there are several websites on one server. For most websites this form of hosting is cost effective and reliable.
In some cases a website needs more sophisticated services. This can be especially true for large ecommerce websites. For these websites, managed or dedicated services may be the best option. Dedicated hosting is when there is one website on a server. When someone buys dedicated server hosting, for the most part they are responsible for maintaining the server and for administrative tasks. Consumers can also use managed hosting services. With managed hosting, you have a dedicated server so that your website is the only one hosted by the server. However managed hosting includes monitoring, maintenance and technical support. Your hosting provider will be responsible for these tasks and not you.
Know that you know a little more about the basic of web hosting, you may be ready to look for a hosting provider. Take your time to shop around and look for the hosting plans that best meet your needs. Do not be afraid to ask a potential host questions. This will help you better understand what they have to offer and you can learn how quickly and efficiently they answer questions.
© Peter Todorov 2004
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