What Actually is Web Hosting?
If you would like to launch a web site and make it accessible to the whole world, it has to be located on a server. This service is called hosting.
Host your web site at home or elsewhere
You could host your web site on your own personal computer at home or at work, on a personal computer which belongs to a friend of yours, and so on. If it is a site for testing purposes, there would be no real need for you to look for a more stable web hosting solution than that. If you wish to launch a real website, though, which will be visible to a lot of viewers and you want to make it reliable, you will also need a dependable web hosting server where you will host it.
Why do you require a web server for your web site?
When you own a website, it is hosted on a physical machine. That physical server has its own physical address called Internet Protocol address. Typing the Internet Protocol address of the machine in your browser's address bar, though, is not the best and most appropriate means to access a web site. That is how and why domains came into being and why you need one for your site. So, to set up your site, you need a domain name of your own and a web server to host your web site on.
Monthly Traffic: Unlimited
Hosted Domains: 1
Email Addresses: 500
FTP Accounts: Unlimited
Service Continuity: 99.9% Uptime
Hosting your site yourself
If you are an IT professional and know how to deal with a web server, you can have a web hosting server of your own and host your site on it. This will enable you to exercise full control over the physical machine, to implement server configuration modifications and to apply software updates yourself rather than having to rely on the data center personnel. The drawback, however, is that you will need to guarantee the visibility of you site and to take care of all server maintenance tasks yourself. If you are using a licensed OS, you will also need to invest money in the license, which normally costs more if bought for an entire physical machine.
Using a hosting vendor
If you don't want to deal with server maintenance tasks, the most logical step to take is to register an account with a web hosting packages provider. These are firms that offer clients powerful web hosting servers with different hardware configurations in exchange for a certain tax. The hosting servers are kept in data center facilities with special cooling and backup power systems to guarantee continuous service uptime.
Types of hosting services
The web is an immense ocean and there are plenty of web hosting corporations offering various website hosting services to the myriad of web site proprietors out there. The hosting services vary from charge-free hosting services, where you can host simple, HTML-based sites, to expensive dedicated server hosting services that can suck your resources dry. So, what type of hosting satisfies your requirements?
If you possess a small or mid-size site that has a few hundred guests tops, you could safely make use of a shared web hosting solution. Shared web hosting signifies that many web hosting customers and websites are hosted on one and the same hosting server, thus lowering the price of the web hosting service. Shared web hosting accounts commonly include CPU, RAM, bandwidth and server disk drive storage space quotas to guarantee that the sites accommodated on the hosting server do not interfere with each other and do not use more system resources than they are allotted.
In case your web site is more resource-devouring, you should choose a virtual server web hosting solution, which is the middle ground between the shared web hosting solution and the dedicated hosting solution. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It offers full root access, which enables you to make server configuration changes - something that would be inconceivable on a shared server. The virtual servers also offer burstable memory options. Separate RAM and CPU portions are assigned to each single private virtual web server, without anyone else utilizing them. Typically there are other private virtual web servers beside your own that use the system resources of the physical server, which could sometimes affect the overall performance, but in most circumstances it is not a problem. Should the system resources of the VPS hosting server, however, be inadequate for your needs, it is obviously time to shift to a dedicated web server.
The dedicated web server is a server that you rent, which is used just by you for your very own web site needs. Nobody else uses its resources and you obtain complete root-level access, can choose the hardware in advance, add upgrades at a later time and add RAM or hard disks. Unlike with the virtual private hosting servers where virtualization is mainly at the Operating System level and all virtual containers share a single kernel, with a dedicated hosting web server you can revise the kernel of the Operating System (usually Linux-based) too.
Pick your hosting packages provider
If you have a vision of what your website is going to include, or if you have only a loose idea that has not completely evolved yet, your first step towards the creation of your website should be to discover a web hosting plans provider. The smartest step to take is to find a hosting vendor that supplies a big assortment of web hosting services so that you do not have to switch service providers in case you first use a shared website hosting solution and then outgrow the shared web hosting resources and have to shift to a virtual server hosting solution or a dedicated server hosting solution. My personal favorite is NTC Hosting, which furnishes discounted shared hosting packages, affordably priced OpenVZ and Virtuozzo-based VPS hosting server plans, semi-dedicated server hosting plans with their own Control Panel user interface and even dedicated server packages. I am pretty pleased with all their offers, because they all include charge-free presents - the shared web hosting plans include a free domain name if they are paid for on a yearly basis, the more powerful private virtual web server packages and dedicated hosting web server packages include a free domain reseller account and billing software should you decide to use them for reselling purposes. Add the topflight 24x7 tech support service and you have all you would normally need. You could, of course, find other web hosting vendors depending on what exactly you are looking for, by conducting an online survey or by examining different hosting reviews online. The best option, though, is a hosting solutions provider that is also a domain name registrar and has servers in more than one country - both requirements fulfilled by NTC Hosting, which has web servers in the United States, in Britain, in Sweden and in Australia, and offers a multitude of domain name extensions for registration.