You have your new business all established now and you're ready to take the next step and create a website online to tell the world that you're here and you have something to offer. You have found a domain name easy to remember to call your own and now ... What now? Well the answer is that you need to find web hosting for the website which will be built. So what does that mean and how to determine what type of web hosting you need? First let's start with the basics.
Just what is web hosting anyway?
In simple terms, web hosting is renting space on a web server. A website is not just a domain name, is a collection of files linked together by HTML code to display text and graphics on a computer. In short, anyone could see this collection of files we have created, has to be housed in a computer somewhere that has Internet access. Not every team is going to do, of course. A web server is a computer configured with special software that allows you to receive requests from the Internet for website files you have stored on it and send the files over the Internet so that the team can show their interest. It is very similar to a waiter in a restaurant to take your order and bring food from the kitchen asked, hence the name "server."
Along with making sure your files can be viewed by Internet users worldwide, a web server provides other important services. First is the ability to create email addresses based on domain names and to send and receive email with them. The Web server also has several types of software installed on it that allow your website to run programs, create and manage databases, display video, and many other functions that might be of interest. Almost any computer can function as a Web server, but it is the software that is in it which makes it a server.
When you buy webhosting, the monthly fee you pay is the ongoing maintenance and improvement of server hardware and software, the cost of maintaining online 24 hours a day, seven days a week at a secure data center a fast and powerful Internet connection, and to pay for the experience of people who do all the work. It is entirely possible to make your own home or office on a web server, if you really want, but in most cases is much cheaper than paying someone who is dedicated to providing this service in an appropriate manner that is reliable to try to do it yourself.
What kinds of web hosting are there?
Shared Hosting - Most websites are not huge affairs with hundreds of pages and thousands of files and graphics, and are targeted toward a particular audience, so you do not have many visitors as the big general sites like Yahoo! that target everyone who uses the Internet. As such, the average website therefore will not require all the resources of an entire Web server to run it. Web servers are designed to be able to handle tens, even hundreds of websites at once because they are powerful machines.
Shared accommodation is simply the concept of hosting more than one website on a given server. Over 95% of all websites on the Internet and run in a shared hosting environment. Since the server resources can be divided among the clients hosted on it, so reducing the operating costs of the server, so shared hosting is universally cheaper than any other type. Shared hosting packages are usually designed so that each client is assigned a certain amount of each resource, with different payment levels representing different amounts of resources such as disk space, bandwidth, email addresses, and so on . Shared accommodation is also known as virtual hosting.
Dedicated Hosting - If you have a larger website, powerful receiving many visitors and has a tendency to hog resources, then you might want to have a web server all to yourself. Some companies also prefer the added security of not having to share the server with any other person who might do something by accident or on purpose to shock. Rent the use of an entire server is known as hosting dedicated. The web hosting company remains the owner of the machine and is responsible for maintaining the hardware and software hosting, but you have more control over the configuration and server usage. There is also such a thing as semi-dedicated hosting, where a web server is only divided by a very small number of customers, such as 2-4, with strong divisions between each to avoid interfering with each other. Since the hosting company is still responsible for maintaining the server, this type of accommodation is also known as managed hosting. For obvious reasons, dedicated hosting always costs much more than shared hosting.
Server Co-Location - If you really want to have complete control over every aspect of your web server, it might choose to buy one and keep for yourself if you have enough knowledge. However, you may still not have the resources to keep your server completely secure from power outages, roof leaks, thieves, unwary workers and other hazards and keep on the internet at a fast connection and high bandwidth at all times. You need a data center to provide services for you. Co-location is the rental of physical security, continuous power and fast, reliable Internet connection to a server that you own. The data center is not responsible for any hardware and software maintenance of a co-located server, you are. This can be a cheaper alternative to dedicated hosting if you have the necessary experience and time to run a web server.
Some web hosts are offering UNIX hosting and Windows hosting. What's the difference?
The terms UNIX hosting and Windows hosting refer to the operating system (OS) running on the server. The operating system, of course, is software that allows the computer to operate and manage the hardware and other software that is installed on it. It is very likely that you're reading this on a computer with a Windows operating system version, operating system world's most popular personal computer business. Other operating systems are growing in popularity are Macintosh and various versions of Linux. However, the operating system you use on your computer is irrelevant to the type of accommodation you choose. Here are some key features of UNIX and Windows:
Most Web servers in the world today run on one of the many variants of UNIX. The UNIX operating system was originally developed by universities for servers and networks, and many different versions have been written by programmers around the world under the open source protocol, which means that the code for the operating system is openly available to programmers to customize and make improvements. Linux and BSD are the most popular forms of UNIX and come in many varieties, such as Red Hat Linux, Debian, SuSE and FreeBSD. Most of these versions different (and much of the software that runs on them) you can get for free, which makes UNIX hosting cheaper for a web host than other operating systems and allows them to offer lower prices. UNIX hosting platforms are generally considered stable, secure, powerful and fast. Most web programming applications can be performed by software that is available for the UNIX platform. "UNIX hosting" has become a generic term to refer to any platform that is derived from the original UNIX.
Microsoft has developed its own operating system for servers as a special version of its Windows operating system, Windows Server 2003. It is a commercial product that requires operators to purchase a license, which increases the cost of operating the network host and usually results in higher prices for housing. Windows is designed to be easy to use, but are generally considered less powerful and secure than UNIX to work in a networked environment. ASP, ASP.NET and ColdFusion are scripting languages that only run on a Windows server, like Microsoft's SQL Server and Microsoft programs, Access database. These are popular for certain applications, web programming, and if you plan to use to build your website, you will have to find a Windows host.
What are some of the terms I need to know when I choose a web host?
Disk space or storage - Because your website is a collection of files that are offered online to view, must be stored somewhere for retrieval and take up space. Each web server has a finite amount of hard disk memory to divide and offer hosting customers. Usually the space is divided by different package levels so the more you pay, the more space you can save images, web pages, videos and any other files you want from the web server's hard disk. If your site is larger than the space is given, you must buy more disk space to host network.
Bandwidth or data transfer - When you visit a website and see a page, it will transfer a copy of the files that compose that page via the Internet from the web server to your computer. If the page you are viewing consists of an HTML file is 3 KB in size and three pictures of 47KB, 100KB and 250 KB, then you have just used 400KB of bandwidth or transfer of data, because that is the amount total data you just downloaded from the web server to view that page. Bandwidth is a commodity such as disk space that the web host has to buy its Internet service provider, so it also divides and offered to customers in specific amounts. amounts of bandwidth is usually measured in gigabytes (GB), because although only one copy of your files must be stored on the server, or even billions of copies can be downloaded for viewing. If your site is viewed more times the amount of bandwidth allowed can handle, your website can be turned off until the start of the next billing period, or may be billed for the excess amount used, depending on the policies of their host. You can always buy more bandwidth as more traffic to your site.
Uptime - In an ideal world, every web server to be running and offering their web pages for the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week forever. However, Web servers are computers, and like any other team, things happen to make them fail, or are old and obsolete and require maintenance and repair. When a web hosting provider gives you a guarantee of operability of 99%, are saying that the Web server is up and running for 99% of billing period. If they fail to meet this guarantee, most web hosts refund some portion of their money in terms of the amount of downtime than they experienced.
Traffic Statistics - Website traffic statistics programs try to track visitors to your website. Can measure the amount of times their site was visited, how many unique visitors and how many returned more than once, which pages were most popular, where visitors came to your site, what search terms you used in engines search, and many other types of information that may be useful in marketing your site to a targeted audience. These statistics can be displayed in tables, graphs and charts by hour, day, week, month or year. Some statistics programs are better than others and offer more types of data, better displays, easier navigation or other useful features. Most web servers today offer some sort of traffic statistics software with their hosting packages.
CGI Scripts- Many web hosts offer a variety of free CGI scripts with their packages. These are things like counters, guestbooks, form mail programs, forums, and other programs that allow your site to perform the functions desired. You can use the host offers or can load and run custom CGI scripts written by yourself or any other person to perform different tasks like conducting a survey or customer information for editing an automatic price quote. Most CGI scripts are written in common programming language such as Perl, PHP or ASP.
You can spend much time trying to learn everything there is to know about web hosting, but if you've read this far, you should be armed with basic knowledge you need to understand what different web hosts offer.
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