What is Web Hosting?

Most of us have heard the term “web hosting”, but how many of us know what it actually is? If you are an individual or business and you want a website to promote yourself, you must deal with a web hosting company in order to publish your site.

web hosting

When you consult a web hosting company, they give you the tools and information that you need to make your website live on the World Wide Web. Many web hosting companies offer a wide range of features, but all of them have the same fundamental purpose: To host websites on the internet.

Some companies host millions and millions of websites so you may wonder how they handle all this information. Web hosts provide space on a server that you either buy or lease to hold your content. They also provide the connectivity to the internet. All companies should provide a safe storage for all of your information without worrying about it being hacked. Not all companies provide the best security so you should always be wary about smaller companies hosting your website.

There are many types of web hosting so be sure to do your research before making the leap. Some services do just file hosting, while others do only image or video hosting. There is also blog hosting, e-mail hosting and shopping cart service. If you are looking for only one of these services, you might want to look at smaller companies who specialize in these services. Some of the larger web hosting services provide all of the above, but they cater to larger companies. If you are starting off small, it’s best to acquire smaller services one at a time to save money and time until you are ready to expand.

The major types of web hosting are home server, virtual dedicated server, colocation, managed, dedicated, cloud, grid, clustered, shared, and reseller. Home server is a single server in a residence using a standard broadband connection. Virtual dedicated server or VPS divides resources into virtual servers. Colocation web hosting involves a colo server owned by the client where the host provides the space and maintains it.

Managed hosting services give clients their own server, but the client is not given administrative access while dedicated hosting gives them full access. Cloud hosting is actually a hosting platform that scatters the content on multiple servers allowing the network to maintain stability even if some hardware goes out. Grid hosting is also distributed hosting, but the cluster acts as a grid. Clustered hosting is distributed as well, but multiple servers host the same content. Shared hosting puts your site on a server along with many other sites. Finally, reseller hosting lets you be the web host. Any other combination of hosting can be used under this type.

Now that you know what web hosting is; do your research on the different types available to see which one is best for you. There are far too many choices to give details on all of them. Web hosting has grown enough in recent years that you have many more choices than you have ever had before. If you are on a fixed income, you can purchase a la carte hosting services or cheap services that specialize in your specific type of content. If you are a growing business, bigger web hosting companies can provide all the space and technology you could ever need, as long as you pay for it. With web hosting, as with any other service, you get what you pay for.