So you want to know about web hosting and what you need to do for it or you don’t know much about web hosting? There is no shame in not knowing this information. Everyone has to start at some point in the beginning. On that note, start learning about web hosting.
what is web hosting and how does it work?
Web hosting is the business practice of providing space and bandwidth to a high-powered computer server that is connected to the Internet at very high speeds. Hosting companies maintain a large network of high-powered web server computers in a physical location as a data center. These computer servers are very fast connected, and usually redundant, Internet connections. Data centers have primary and backup power, a fast Internet connection, and security monitoring staff.
Web hosting companies provide a portion of disk space and available bandwidth to the customer for a monthly fee. Once the customer is signed up, they can upload files to their personal location on the web server and the information can be viewed on the Internet for anyone interested. The web hosting company’s monthly fee is far less than what it costs to run a server from your home or data center. This is why these companies exist. They take care of all the hardware, software and other technical requirements for you.
Types of web hosting
There are many different types of web hosting offers, but the main three are shared, reseller and dedicated. Each type of hosting is for a different purpose.
Shared web hosting
Shared web hosting is the most popular form of hosting. Shared hosting is a part of disk space and the bandwidth provided to you by a web hosting company on a high-powered server. Many other web sites have been hosted on this server, and the hosting company is likely to have some of these servers in a large data center. The server’s resources are shared by many other websites allocated to that computer.
Shared web hosting is the best form of web hosting if you are looking for a great value and there are no more than a thousand daily visitors to your site.
Reseller web hosting
Reseller web hosting is a popular, low-cost solution for starting your own web hosting business. There are two types of reseller hosting, private-label and reseller services.
Private-label reseller is the best type of plan because it allows you to maintain complete control over your customer’s websites. A private-label plan allows the reseller to keep the full monthly payment of the web-hosting customer, but the reseller must pay a monthly fee to the larger hosting company for the reseller space. The more hosting a private-label reseller can sell, the greater the profit for them. Private-label hosting allows you to host many more websites than if you were using shared hosting for each. This is a great solution for those who have multiple sites to save money that they have to host in one place.
Resellers of services plans resell the regular web hosting plans of a large web hosting company, but you get a discounted price to provide customers and earn a monthly fee as long as they remain customers. This plan does not allow control over customer web sites and you only keep a portion of the potential monthly revenue.
Dedicated web hosting
Dedicated web hosting is the most powerful and cost effective solution for hosting a busy web site without having to buy your own equipment and paying hundreds of dollars per month for a fast internet connection. Dedicated hosting consists of a single server, with no other hosts on that computer. This allows for the largest configuration options. For anyone who has a busy website, obtaining dedicated hosting is a necessary option.
Web hosting idea
Wondering about all the other information listed in web hosting plans? In this section, I will explain the most important considerations in choosing a good web host.
Web hosting cost
The most important is the price of web hosting services. There are many hosting companies with cheap hosting packages, but they may be lacking in other areas. Don’t let the cost of a hosting package fool you. There are some hosting companies that have very good prices and other facilities are as good. Price can be one of the most important decisions of a web hosting plan, but there is a lot to consider when choosing a quality web host.
Disk Space / Storage Space
Disk space is the amount of physical storage space that a web host gives you for storing your web files. These days hosting companies plan that disk space is mostly measured in terms of gigabytes, but some are still offering plans in megabytes of storage space. Depending on your requirements for file storage space, you may need more or less. Generally the more disk space offered, the better.
Bandwidth / data transfer
The amount of available bandwidth can make a big difference in choosing a quality hosting plan. In general, the more bandwidth a hosting company provides you, the better. This means that as your business grows, you can support more traffic to your web site. Beware of web hosting companies that offer unlimited or no bandwidth. While many of these are valid offers, there are some who are expecting their bandwidth that the average user will not use much.
In any business, providing exception customer service is very important. Web hosting is no exception to this. Many of the hosting companies are available all day and night if there is a problem with your web site, but there are some that are available at certain hours of the day. If your web site goes down in the middle of the night when they are not available, it means lost revenue for the business. You should ensure that the web host you select is always available for support.
Money back promise
Most web hosting companies will offer a 30-day money back guarantee. Some will provide one for a long time, but beware of those who offer no money back guarantee. I would not buy web hosting services from a company that does not offer at least a 30-day money back guarantee, as long as they have proven themselves to be industry leaders and have an excellent reputation.
An operating system is a piece of software that controls the interaction between a computer user and the machine’s physical hardware. A large proportion of all web sites on the Internet run on the Linux operation system. Linux is generally a lot more stable than Windows. Stability is important in running a web site. For this reason, I like to host my web sites on the Linux operating system. Some sites have specific requirements that can only satisfy the Windows operating system, but there are always options for those requirements.
A good web hosting company will have a regular schedule for backing up data on all web servers. The more frequently the data is backed up, the better. At the very least, a web hosting company should backup web site files daily.
The control panel is the point of contact that the web site administrator will have between the host server and their machine connected via the Internet. A well organized and easy to use control panel interface is required. My favorite control panel is cPanel, one of the major web hosting control panels out there today. Plesk is another good one, and many companies will create their own control panel for you to use. Most web hosting companies will provide a link to a demo of the control panel used with their hosting plan. The control panel used is a matter of priority, but it should be user friendly.
Email is an essential part of communication on the Internet. Most web hosting companies will give you more email addresses and more space for email messages that you will need. The things you need to look at are companies that have decided to be a bit strict on their email accounts and only provide a small number or a small amount of message space.
Uptime is a term used to describe how often an average web site hosted by a company is available online. No company should be expected to provide accurate 100% uptime. This is impossible due to things like hardware, software and power failure. A vast majority of companies are very good with uptime, and they guarantee it. It is still a good idea to be aware of the updates posted by the company. If it is not at least 99.5%, then it is probably not worth hosting with that company.
As a webmaster, it is good to know how many visitors you have, where they come from, how long they stay on your site, and how much bandwidth they have used. This information is collected by the web server and is kept in a log file. A statistics software package can read this data and provide meaningful information to the webmaster. The information gathered from these logs can be very valuable in better services for web site visitors.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a way to quickly upload or download multiple files from a web server. Most web hosting companies will allow their customers to access their web hosting accounts through FTP. FTP is very useful and a great feature when paying for a web hosting account.
A database is a place to store data that can be used in many ways. The database is used on the Internet for applications such as shopping carts, message boards and product catalogs. The more databases web hosting providers allow you to create, the more applications you can deploy on your web server. The database is used by more advanced web masters, but the information is freely available online should you be interested.
Web hosting can be a very difficult decision with many hosting companies. It is important to find a plan that suits your needs and is a good hosting company. I hope this article was useful in your decision as to which company to host with. Happy Hosting!