Basics of Web Hosting
What is Web Hosting?
The term web hosting refers to the collection of services that are being offered by a company to an individual or business in order to host a website. By hosting a website, we mean, allocating space on a web server to store all the files of a website so that they can be accessed online by anyone having the website address. Every website that you have ever accessed via a browser has been hosted on a server somewhere around the world.
The amount of space allocated to a particular website depends on the size of the website as well as the web hosting package purchases by the owner of the website and depending on the application, owners can choose to purchase different packages or sometimes different types of web hosting as we are going to learn later in the article.
In this article, we are going to go over the basics of the web hosting and equip you with all the information you need to get you started with hosting your first website.
How does Web Hosting work?
Web hosting companies have built large data centers all around the world, which have massive storage capabilities. These data centers host servers that are connected to the web 24/7 and never face any downtime. When your purchase a hosting plan, you are essentially purchasing the storage space and computational capabilities of the server. After you have successfully purchased a plan, you’re allowed to transfer your web data to the allocated space on the web server. Once your data is stored on the web server, it has a specific address and users from anywhere around the world can access your website by visiting that web address.
Types of Web Hosting
While the basic principle behind all types of web hosting is same, the hosting packages differ a lot in terms of how much storage and computational capabilities are being offered by the service provider. The common types of web hosting are;
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is the most commonly used type of web hosting. The term shared refers to the fact that in this type of hosting, your website is sharing the server storage with multiple other websites. The biggest advantage of shared hosting is reduced costs as you only pay up to $5–10 every month. The downside to having shared hosting is that the performance of your website becomes dependent on other sites hosted on the web server, i.e. a famous website hosted on the same server can adversely affect your website’s performance.
Reseller Web Hosting
Reseller web hosting is a type of shared hosting, but it takes things up to the next level. Web hosting companies offer reseller web hosting in order to reach more customers around the globe. In reseller hosting a user purchases a plan and can then use it for his own websites or sell it further to his client making a profit on top of what he has to pay to the web hosting company.
Cloud Based Web Hosting
Cloud based web hosting is a relatively newer technology and is being adopted by large tech companies around the world. In a cloud based web hosting network, hundreds of servers are combined together to form one large server which is also referred to as cloud. The advantage of a cloud based web-hosting plan is that no matter how big a website, the cloud unlike other traditional servers does not get overloaded, instead it distributes the traffic evenly between all its connected servers.
If your website is growing and the traffic is increasing with each passing day, as a website owner, this is usually the first upgrade that people make. In cloud based web hosting, website owners are charged based on the services that the utilized and not a penny more.
Virtual Private Server
A virtual private server as evident from the name is a private server that is virtual in nature. Hundreds of virtual private networks are based on a single physical server. Even though the shared nature of hardware, virtual private networks have their own dedicated slice of computing resources. A virtual private server is the stepping-stone from shared web hosting to having your own fully dedicated machine.
Dedicated Web Server
A dedicated web server is when your web hosting needs outweigh that of a shared web server or even a virtual private server and you require a dedicated web server with your own hardware. In most cases, businesses pay web hosting companies for their dedicated hardware and in other cases they arrange their own locally hosted hardware.
A dedicated web server has a number of advantages over a typical shared web server, as it does not face any downtime, handles traffic in a much better way and no other website has any effect on your website’s performance. The only downside to having your own dedicated web server is the high costs associated with the hardware infrastructure and its maintenance.