What Is Web Hosting

What Is Web Hosting ?

Web Hosting Types | How To Select Best Hosting Plan ?

The web hosting is simply a renting a storage space and other services on the web server in order to make your website live on the internet. 

The web hosting companies rent out the storage space on the web server as paid service  for hosting the websites , blogs and web applications. The hosting companies offer different hosting packages suitable for different hosting needs.

If you are looking for a comprehensive resource for understanding in simple language  what is web hosting , different types of  hosting plans , how to select the best hosting plan for your blog or website then you will find this article valuable.

What Is Web Hosting ?

Table Of Contents

What Is Web Hosting ?

If you are planning to start your blog or a website for your business then selecting the right hosting plan is crucial step to ensure its success.

The website files are stored on a special computer ( Web Sever ) so that your website is permanently connected to the internet and public can access your website.

It is a common practice amongst the web designers and website owners to avail the services offered by the hosting companies. 

The hosting companies offer  the storage space on the web server and other associated services which provides the run-time environment to the websites .

What Is Website , How Website Works

Most website designers first design and create the website off line on a local computer . Once the website design and development work is complete then the website files ( HTML , CSS , JavaScript And Database )  are uploaded on the live web server .

The website becomes live when the website files are uploaded on the live web server which makes the website  accessible to the public. 

And therefore, you need to rent out a storage space on the web server where you can upload your website .

What Is Web Hosting ?

What Is A Website , What Is web Hosting

The web hosting companies offer different hosting packages tailor made for various user requirements . These packages are basically a bundle of services which include server storage space , SSL Certificate , Website backup service , Privacy protection , Email accounts and other services .

There are many web hosting service providers available in the market . The hosting companies include both local companies and also some well known international brands. Some of the reputed international brands include Bluehost , Godaddy , Siteground , and Hostgator.

Before we start discussion on the web hosting , let us take a quick look at what is a website or blog , How website works  and various components of the website structure.

A website is simply a collection of inter related web pages . These web pages are linked together with the help of a website navigation menu .

Each web page is designed to address one particular aspect of the business . For example , it is a common practice to include home , about us , products , services and contact  pages in almost all websites and blogs .

There has been a significant growth in the number of websites joining the world wide web . The number of internet users are also growing at rapid pace due to the advent of digital revolution. The smart phone is no longer a fancy gadget but an essential tool for a common man .

And therefore , large number of people are looking for a reliable , secure and economical hosting service providers .

What Is Web Server ?

A web server is a robust computer system specially designed to offer reliable and secure run-time hosting environment for hosting websites , blogs and web applications.

The web server hardware is robust system because the web server are kept powered on continuously so that the hosted websites can be accessed any time.

The web servers are equipped with a server operating system  which allows them to function as service provider and respond to all the http requests sent by the client machines .

Web Server
Full Stack Developer . Client Server Architecture , Server Stack

In client server architecture , when the request is sent to the web server by the client ( Your browser )  , the web server responds with the corresponding website files ( HTML , CSS , JavaScript And Data ) .

The client browser program then receives this files sent by the web server and presents the web page to the user .

Why Do You Need A Web Hosting ?

The website files are required to be stored on a special computer called web server . The web server is a special robust computer system specially designed for renting storage space and other services for hosting the websites on the internet.

Hosing a website on your own server is an expensive proposition . The web server is a special type of computer equipped with set of hardware and software .

The web server also needs a very reliable power backup , precision air conditioning , technical staff to trouble shoot and to maintain the web server .

How Website Works , Hosting

And hence , it is a more practical and economical option to avail the hosting services offered by other companies rather than hosting the website on your own server .

The hosting companies such as Bluehost , Godaddy , Siteground , Hostgator and other such web hosting companies are specialist in offering hosting packages .

Types Of Web Hosting Plans

The web hosting companies offer different types of web hosting plans suitable for different needs . 

The customer can choose the package best suited as per the needs depending upon the size of the website and the traffic volume.

The most common type of web hosting plans includes :

  • Shared Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • VPS Hosting

Hosting Types Based On The Web Server Operating System

Based on the operating system installed on the web server , the hosting type can be of two types :

Shared Hosting

What Is Shared Hosting ?

The shared hosting is the most basic and entry level plan offered by almost all hosting companies . The shared hosting is also the most popular and economical plan offered by almost all  web hosting companies.

In shared hosting plan , multiple websites are hosted on the same server . The shared hosting plan allows the hosting company to share the resources of a single web server with multiple websites .

The web server shared resources includes , storage space , processor time , main memory RAM ( Random Access Memory ) and bandwidth.

Shared Hosting

In simple terms a shared hosting plan is a great option for start-up website owners to launch the website in cheapest budget .

It takes some time to generate the traffic to the website and the  shared hosting can help the new website owners to save substantial amount during initial phase of the website .

Advantages Of Shared Hosting

  • Shared Hosting plan is the Cheapest hosting plan offered by most of the hosting service providers .
  • The shared hosting plan can be upgraded to the nest higher plan depending upon the volume of traffic to the website.
  • The shared hosting plan can be easily managed by the user as the server setup and configuration are managed by the hosting service provider . As such no special technical knowledge is necessary to mange the shared hosting.
  • Most shared hosting plan can easily handle almost up to 5000 visitors per day . This meets the requirements for most of the new website during initial phase . This leads to substantial saving .

Disadvantages Of Shared Hosting

  • In Shared Hosting plan the web server resources are shared by multiple websites hosted on the same server . And thus , the shared hosting plan is the slowest plan .
  • The shared plan does not offer the optimal website speed .
  • The shared plan may not support the website as the volume of traffic grows over a period of time adversely affecting the user experience.
  • The shared hosting offers only limited access to the web server . And therefore the user lacks the freedom to customize the server settings .

Dedicated Hosting

What Is Dedicated Hosting ?

As the name suggest , In dedicated hosting , the entire single web server is allocated for hosting a single website hosted on that server.

The dedicated hosting is a premier service plan offered by almost all hosting companies . The dedicated hosting is relatively far more expensive as compared to shared hosting .

In dedicated hosting , the entire resources of a single web server are available for a single website . 

And therefore , the dedicated hosting is preferred choice for websites where the server performance is important criterion.

Dedicated Hosting

The dedicated server comes with specific hardware configuration and the user select the dedicated hosting plan as per the needs. The dedicated hosting also allows the user to configure the hosting environment  in terms of software installed on the server.

The dedicated hosting is considered to the best option for big businesses with  large website and the high traffic volume where the hosting plan charges can be justified due to very high traffic volume.

Advantages Of Dedicated Hosting

  • The dedicated Hosting comes with some assured level of server performance . This allows the large websites to effectively handle the volume of online business transactions without any server performance issue.
  • The dedicated hosting plan despite being expensive offers the flexibility and the scalability as per the needs .
  • The dedicated servers can be configured for optimal website speed and performance . The used can install some specific software on the server required for the website functionality.
  • The dedicated server can easily handle the peak traffic without any technical performance issues.
  • The VPS server has its own operating system and the VPS virtual server can be independently rebooted.

Disadvantages Of Dedicated Hosting

  • The dedicated Hosting is considerably expensive and the actual price of the package depends upon the hardware configuration and other services that are part of the package .
  • The dedicated hosting offers considerable access to the web server . And therefore , some technical knowledge is required to manage and customize the server as per the needs. 

VPS Hosting

What Is VPS Hosting ?

The VPS stands for Virtual Private Server . The VPS hosting is also alternately referred as cloud hosting or Virtual Server hosting . The VPS  hosting is based and operates on the cloud computing technology.

The VPS hosting mimics the dedicated server by networking multiple web servers based on cloud computing technology . The VPS hosting provides access to the resources of multiple cloud based web servers. There can be many VPS hosted on a single physical web server.

In simple terms , the VPS hosting is just a cheaper alternative to dedicated hosting which is the very expensive . And hence , the VPS hosting bridges the gap between very cheap shared hosting plan and expensive dedicated server

VPS Hosting

The VPS hosting is considered to be the most reliable and safest option since the VPS hosting pools the resources from multiple cloud servers . As such, even if one server fails , the other server can step in and bridge the gap .

The VPS hosting work out to be relatively cheaper as compared to the dedicated hosting . The VPS pricing model generally depends upon the server resources consumed .

Advantages Of VPS Hosting

  • The VPS hosting offers a very high level of reliability and safety since the VPS virtual server pools the resources from number of cloud based servers.
  • The VPS hosting plans are relatively cheaper as compared to dedicated hosting . The dedicated. 

Disadvantages Of VPS Hosting

  • The VPS hosting is a virtual server and can only mimic dedicated server but actually it is not a dedicated server hardware.
  • The VPS server does not provide direct access to the physical server hardware .
  • The hardware resources of the actual web server are shared by number of VPS virtual server hosted on the same physical web server . 

Reseller Hosting

What Is Reseller Hosting ?

The reseller hosting is all about buying the web hosting at wholesale rate from any web hosting companies and then selling the part of this web hosting plan to many retail customers .

Most hosting companies offer Reseller Hosting Plan that reseller can directly buy from any reputed web host . The reseller then can sell a portion of this package to number of other retailed customers .

The reseller hosting allows you to start your own web hosting company without the hassle of  owning and maintaining your own web server .

In reseller hosting , you simply buy a bigger hosting plan at much cheaper rate with any web host and sell this plan in parts to the retail customers with some profit .

How Reseller Hosting Works ?

Reseller Hosting

Reseller Hosting Plan

The Reseller Hosting plan offered by web host companies  usually consist of  three components .

  • The Storage On The Web Server.
  • The Web Hosting Bandwidth.
  • Number Of C Panels.

Let us consider one example  , a web designer can buy a reseller hosting plan from any web host . The web designer later on can sell a portion of this to his clients for which he has developed the website .

Most Reseller Hosting Plans offered by web host such as Bluehost , HostGator , GoDaddy starts with 50 GB storage space , 1000 GB Bandwidth and some fixed number of C Panels . 

The reseller can sell portion of this storage ( Example 10 GB to 5 Customers ) along with bandwidth and C Panel with some profit .

These retail customers are directly managed by the Reseller in terms of customer service and management of reseller hosting plan through C Panel.

Linux Hosting

What Is Linux Hosting ?

The Linux hosting is a type of hosting in which the web server operating system is Linux operating system . The Linux hosting is considered as a very stable hosting and offers many advantages as compared to hosting types .

The Linux operating system installed on the web server  is a very popular choice for web server based operating system . The Linux OS is extensively used in the web hosting industry my all web host companies to offer various hosting services .

The Linux is a Unix OS based , open source and supported by huge community. 

The Linux is widely used  operating system for computers, servers, mainframes, mobile devices and embedded devices. The Linux OS is open source and therefore available for free which reduces the server operating cost .

Linux Hosting

The Linux based web servers do not support Microsoft developed web applications such as IIS, .NET, and ASP pages. And for this reason , the windows servers becomes a default choice for IIS, .NET, and ASP based web applications.

Windows Hosting

What Is Windows Hosting ?

The MS Windows OS is considered to be the most commonly used operating system for desktop computer due to its simplicity and ease of use.

However , The MS Windows OS for web servers is a fairly complex and expensive operating system as compared to Linux OS .

The Windows OS for Web servers has some major limitations and does not support major scripting language such as PHP . The PHP is extensively used as server for server side programming .

And therefore , Linux as become default choice for Server Operating System. The Linux OS powers over 80% of the web servers world wide  which makes it most widely used server OS.

Windows Hosting

How To Select The Best Web Hosting ?

Selecting the right web host brand and the hosting plan is a crucial step for your website success . You need to consider number of factors regarding the web host company and the hosting plan best suited for your needs .

And, some of these factors includes :

  • Sever Storage Size And Storage Type.
  • Processor Type And Number of Processor Cores
  • Web Sever RAM Memory Size.
  • Hosting Bandwidth .
  • Web Host Track Record And Reliability.
  • Hosting Plan Inclusions And Exclusions.
  • Hosting Plan Renewal Charges.
How To Select Web Hosting

Server Storage Size And the Storage Type

The first factor that should be considered while selecting the web host is storage size and the storage type. The size of the storage space available on the web server for uploading the website files and the website database.

And the storage type refers to the type of the disk memory . The solid state drive ( SSD ) type storage type is considered to be the fastest .This can significantly improve your website loading speed.

Processor Type And Number of Processor Cores

The second factor that should be considered while selecting the web hosting is the processor ( CPU ) type and number of cores on the processor.

The web server is essentially a high performance robust computer system. The microprocessor used in a web server provides the processing power to the server .

All the latest processor chips are multi-core processor . Each processor core functions as a mini processor. And this multiplies the processing power of the microprocessor and significantly improves the web server performance.

Web Hosting Server Performance
Web Hosting Server Performance

Web Sever RAM Size

The third criterion is the, availability of the, RAM Memory on the web sever .The higher the RAM memory size is an important parameter that affects the server performance .

The higher size of the RAM memory can easily support the peak volume of traffic. Similarly the inadequate size of the RAM can slows down the server performance and consequently the website speed .

Web Sever Bandwidth

The fourth criterion, is the hosting bandwidth. In simple terms , the bandwidth defines, the rate of data transfer between the website and computer.

To simplify , the bandwidth can be compared to the number of lanes available on the highway. Whereas the number of cares in each lane indicates the traffic volume .

And therefore , unlimited bandwidth is required, to support the, higher volume of traffic . The limited bandwidth can affect the performance of the hosted website.

Web Host Track Record And Reliability

The fifth and the most important factor that affects the website performance is the reliability of the web host and the quality of the customer support . The reliability of the web hosting company should be checked before selecting the web host .

The web host previous track record and the positive customer reviews from the existing customers is a good indicator to ensure the reliability of the web host.

The good customer support, and access to the  24 by 7 customer support team is required to effective manage the website .

The Hosting Plan Inclusions And Exclusions

Further , the hosting package inclusions, and, the exclusions, should also be taken into account, while selecting the, web host .

For example , the Bluehost provides free SSL certificate with the hosting plan . whereas, other hosting companies charge separately for SSL certificate over and above the hosting plan charges .

The Hosting Plan Renewal Charges

The hosting package year on year renewal charges is another important factor that needs to be taken into account before selecting the web host .  

Most web host companies, offer heavy discounts on the fees only on the first year and renewal fees are significantly higher to be paid every year.

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