Hosting is a service that web hosts offer so that you can upload your web site to the Internet.
How can people visit your web site?
When you build a website and you would like other individuals to notice it, you will have to copy (or upload) it to a web server. If you try to make the website discoverable online by hosting it on your own PC, there is no way for you to keep it online all the time, which is why hosting services came into existence.
How does hosting work?
Web hosting providers provide you with space for your website on their high-end computers (web hosting servers) and ensure continuous network uptime. When someone types your domain (e.g. www.my-best-domain.com) in their web browser's URL bar, they will be connected to the server where they can examine the content of your web site.
With the development of Internet technologies, different types of web hosting services have appeared to match the various requirements of website possessors, including shared website hosting services, virtual server hosting services and dedicated server hosting services.
Shared website hosting
Shared website hosting is the most popular type of hosting, and is also the easiest to begin with. It is a service where one single hosting server is divided between multiple shared hosting account holders who are restricted by the CPU, web traffic and web server hard disk storage space quotas that they have been allotted. This form of hosting is normally cheaper - you don't have to buy the entire web hosting server upfront, since it is shared among many web hosting account owners, and the web hosting distributor can afford to provide much more affordable prices. It is also easier to use - the web hosting server is pre-configured with all the necessary software and the hosting supplier handles all server maintenance tasks and software updates on your behalf.
The downside of the shared hosting solution is that you share the server's system resources with other users and if a given website becomes really popular it may affect (and slow down) the rest of the sites on that server, but the majority of hosting distributors, including us at , have protection platforms at work that prevent that from happening.
A definition of a hosting service
Since shared web hosting is the most widely used type of web hosting, the majority of web hosting vendors and hosting clients simply call it web hosting or website hosting. As there is an enormous competition on the hosting market, most web hosting service providers try to provide low prices and gifts with their hosting services. We, for instance, offer different web hosting packages and two invoicing options - monthly and annual, based on your resources. If you pick the yearly invoicing cycle, you will obtain a present - one free-of-cost domain name registration.
VPS is an abbreviation of Virtual Private Server. The VPS hosting solution is essentially the middle ground between the shared hosting solution and the dedicated hosting solution. If your web site outgrows the resources offered by your shared web hosting package, a virtual private hosting server package is an excellent choice. VPS hosting customers still share the hardware resources of the physical machine with other private virtual server hosting clients, but the hard drive space is split up using special virtualization software so that each partition has its own guaranteed system resources and can be configured practically like an actual dedicated hosting server. The advantage is that the CPU and the memory on a VPS web hosting server are not shared. Also, the virtualization technology offers you much more freedom to configure your private virtual server, but it also presupposes a more advanced degree of technical expertise.
With the Dedicated Server solution, the user obtains an entire dedicated web hosting server and can utilize all its system resources. The dedicated web server hosting solution is the most powerful of all hosting solutions and offers a multitude of customization options - the dedicated server web hosting users can select the hardware and software specifications that will fulfill their requirements. Dedicated resources and guaranteed performance are among the reasons why a dedicated server is a perfect choice for a large-scale business portal, for example - you will not share the hosting server's resources with anyone else and will be given full root-level access. You will have complete control over the machine, which will enable you to implement any server configuration changes that you might need. The weakness of the dedicated web hosting solution is that a more advanced level of technical proficiency is needed - unless you hire an Information Technology pro, it will be your responsibility to manage and configure the physical machine. The dedicated hosting solution is also far more costly, since the cost of the physical machine isn't shared among any other users.
A hosting advice for novices
If you are just beginning to build your web site and are looking for a website hosting solution to start out with, the shared website hosting solution persists to be the most appropriate choice. If your web site grows beyond your website hosting account's resources, you can normally upgrade. With us, for instance, this is extremely easy and requires no migration of your files, because only the features of your hosting account change. You can also upgrade your hosting plan to a more powerful one at any particular moment without having to worry about the time remaining until the expiration date. In addition, if you eventually reach the most powerful shared website hosting package and still need more resources (which is a good thing sometimes - it signifies that your website's popularity has risen!), there always is the option to move to a virtual web server hosting platform or a dedicated server web hosting platform without the need to swap hosting service providers.