There are many important procedures and processes in the online world. One process that is hugely important and a vital aspect of the World Wide Web is web hosting. This article looks at exactly what web hosting is, and what different types of free web hosting you can use – enjoy!
What is web hosting?
So what is web hosting and why is it important? Firstly, without web hosting, there would be no internet and we would not be able to view websites. When you view a website – http://www.google.com for example, you are actually requesting a file – that file is stored on a web server. Your web browser sends a request to the server, and the server sends back the relevant file, thus allowing you to view the web page. This browser/server interaction is vital and web hosting is essentially a method of storing the web pages so that they can be accessed and shared on the web. As you will see below, there is actually several different types of web hosting available.
Shared Web Hosting – the ideal solution for small businesses and beginners
The most basic type of web hosting is shared web hosting. This is currently the most popular type of web hosting available and is often used in reseller web hosting packages. As you would expect, shared web hosting involves sharing server space with other websites. You are essentially purchasing part of a web server and there could tens or even hundreds of other people using the same service.
This type of web hosting is the cheapest available due to the distributed cost of the server. Furthermore, the setup and configuration of the server are usually taken care of – you literally create an account and upload your web files and job done. The main downside to this type of server is the available bandwidth and loading speeds. As you are physically sharing the server resources with others, there is no guarantee that your website will take priority – loading times could suffer and you could have an intermittent service.
Virtual Private Server Web Hosting – similar to a shared web hosting solution
VPS web hosting is still a form of shared hosting solution, but it offers greater stability and quality. VPS represents the next generation of shared hosting and most hosting providers are turning to this solution. VPS hosting involves providing each user with their own virtual web server – a physical server could have 10 VPS servers for example. The main difference is, is that each virtual server has its own allocated resources – you are not competing with others as you would be in a shared web hosting setup.
The fact that you have your own resources creates a much more reliable, robust and fast web hosting service. The only downside is that this type of web hosting is obviously more expensive than simple shared web hosting.
Dedicated Hosting – Perfect for large businesses and enterprises
As the name would suggest, dedicated hosting provides you with your very own server. This is not a form of shared hosting and is mainly suited for large businesses who need greater web server resources and processing power. A company could purchase a dedicated server and do practically whatever they want with it. There is no competition from other companies, and in most cases, you can upgrade the server as you see fit.
This type of setup is obviously the most expensive type of web hosting available and is usually reserved for enterprise-level businesses. Furthermore, the server is usually a blank slate, and you may need to employ someone who has web server knowledge and understands how to configure them etc.
Cloud Hosting – similar to VPS web hosting but distributed
Finally, we have cloud hosting. This type of web hosting is hailed as the future and many companies are turning towards this as a solution. Cloud hosting is essentially a form of VPS hosting that uses a distributed network of servers. Instead of having 1 dedicated virtual server, you may pull the resources and processing power of several different servers around the world. This type of hosting provides excellent flexibility and can give users a much more resilient service – if one server is struggling, the cloud hosting service can simply pull resources from another location.
You should now have a clearer understanding of the different types of web hosting available. As you can see, you have a great deal of choice when it comes to web hosting. Always ensure that you