Even though there are over half a billion websites in the world, not many people actually understand what makes these sites show up on the Internet. This is taken care of by what is called a hosting service. And that is exactly what this article is about.
There are several important things about web hosting that you should be aware off. But the most important detail is this—without a reliable web hosting service, you might as well cancel your web plans because your website will end up being next to worthless.
When we started on the internet, we had a service that worked wonderfully and any problems were taken care of in very short order. Unfortunately, we found out that it was a one man operation that could not be duplicated after that one man died suddenly. We lost some sites and parts of others. Two lessons were learned:
1. Back up your sites regularly.
2. Larger organizations and reliability are extremely important as well as plans, price and service.
In case you are curious, now we’re using BlueHost. I’ll tell you a little bit about it at the end of this post.
So What is Hosting?
It is a service that provides customers with server space for their websites. Say you wanted to invite a person to your home. In real estate terms, the domain name of your website would be the address of your home. The hosting service would refer to the actual land on which you home is built.
It doesn’t matter if you have a domain name, unless your website has been hosted on the correct server space which is linked to your domain address, all that your visitors will find is a blank error page.
Plans and Packages
Each provider has several hosting packages. In truth, there is no hard and fast rule on how to go about choosing the right plan. The ideal hosting package varies for different individuals and companies. Which plan you want will depend on what your needs are.
If you expect to have a small site, then a basic hosting plan may be enough.
On the other hand, a larger package may be required for an e-commerce site.
There are hundreds of hosting providers across the country. Most of these companies offer any of four different kinds of hosting plans. These are:
- Shared Web Hosting: With this plan, multiple websites are hosted on a single server. Beyond having their own dedicated space, all the resources are shared. This includes the ram, bandwidth and processing power. Often you can host unlimited domains, have unlimited hosting space, and unlimited file transfers. Shared web hosting offers affordable rates and is a the most inexpensive web hosting option.
- Dedicated Server: As the name suggests, with a dedicated server the hosting frame is assigned to one exclusive client. Dedicated servers are often used by large businesses and corporations with broad needs. Websites hosted on dedicated servers are capable of handling high traffic and boast faster speeds. Think large sites like Yahoo or Google. Owners can also choose to have multiple domains hosted on their server. This is a popular option for companies with several subsidiaries. Because of the exclusive nature of this service, dedicate hosting plans are the most expensive.
- Virtual Dedicated Server: This, also known as Virtual private server, offers the speed of a dedicated server without necessarily assigning the exclusive use of the hardware to the client. Instead of being assigned one sole client, the server is divided between different hosts. Each client is given their own assigned RAM and disk space (just as is found with dedicated servers) while splitting the overall processing capacity. This drastically reduces the cost of hosting package. Clients can also choose to install different operating systems.
- Reseller Account: This is a unique hosting package that allows account holders to retail part of their space to a set number of secondary clients. Owners of reseller accounts are given permission to assigned multiple c-panel accounts and share the resources allocated to them. With a reseller package, you can take as much of the hosting space as you require and then sell the rest at your own price. To achieve this, the company will issue administrative controls that allow you to assign disk space and create subdomains.
As I mentioned earlier, the hosting package you choose will is the one that should meet your needs.
Where Do You Look
You don’t need to look too far. Most of the popular hosting services tend to offer multiple hosting packages with different rates. You’ll find companies offering dedicated, virtual dedicated and shared hosting services. Many of these companies will also allow you to migrate between different packages as your needs grow.
A good example is BlueHost. This is the one that we use. BlueHost is a hosting company that offers world class 24/7 service backed by state of the art technology. It won’t unravel and disappear the way our first one did! BlueHost also supports many of the popular CMS services including Joomla, Drupal and WordPress making it a great choice for personal, social or commercial websites. If you need hosting or are considering changing your service, check it out here.
Boogiejack.com – What Is Shared Hosting
SearchServerVirtualization.Techtarget.com – Virtual Private Server Definition
Godaddy.com – Virtual Dedicated Servers