What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting means a memory location space (known as servers) where all the data of a website can be stored and made available to the users. Servers are nothing but special computers that remain connected with the internet 24*7.Whenever a user visits a website, he actually gets connected to these computers and views the data stored in them. In other words it means posting a website or web page onto the Internet
Web hosting is very important for making website accessible via the World Wide Web . The specialised agencies which provide web hosting services are known as Web hosts or web hosting service providers.
Each websites’ data is stored in a unique memory location that is named after its domain or URL. Therefore before hosting a website you should own a domain name. If you do not have a domain, the hosting companies will help you purchase one.
Is it possible to host a website your personal computer?
After learning the fact that servers are nothing but computers, some of you must have been thinking whether it is it possible to host a website your personal computer. The answer is yes, you can subject to certain conditions:
You have to install a WWW server software on your computer. This is a software that allows Internet users to access the web files on your computer.
You have to check whether your Internet service provider supports running websites on your home computer . If yes than what is its bandwidth quota i.e. the amount of traffic that it can handle.
.Also ,if you host a website on your PC, it has to stay on at all times. Each time you turn it off or reboot, your website will become unavailable.
Most probably , your website will load slowly as compared to a website hosted by professional hosting servers as home internet connections are not designed for serving web pages.
Types of Web Hosting Services
The scope and types of web hosting services varies greatly. Therefore you should choose an appropriate type of web hosting service that is most suitable for your website. The main types of web hosting services are:
In this type of hosting environment, two or more website owners share one server. This means that all the resources of the shared server such as bandwidth, space, database, FTP accounts and email accounts are shared by a number of websites hosted by that particular server. These hosting services are very suitable for beginners because they are quite affordable. This is because the cost to operate the server is shared between several site owners.Shared hosting plan prices are usually offered with prices ranging from $3 to $10 per month. Also, you don’t need to posses any special knowledge in website and server administration as the hosting provider takes care of the administration chores. However, shared hosting services makes the site slower to load and are usually prone to hacking attacks. Any malicious activity that the server suffers affects the whole network of websites using the server.
In such a hosting environment, you have the entire web server to yourself i.e. you have all the server’s resources entirely, without sharing with other website owners. This makes the site very fast and efficient. It is suitable for websites that requires a lot of system resources, are of diverse nature with huge traffic and need to be extremely secure. However, this also means that you will be responsible for the cost of server operation entirely. Thus they are quite costly.
In this type of hosting, you will purchase your own server and have it housed at a web host’s facilities. The main difference between a collocated server and a dedicated server is the ownership of the server. With a dedicated server, the user is provided with exclusive use of a server that is owned by another entity, generally the hosting provider. A collocated server is owned by the user and is housed in a rental space along with the servers of many other companies and individuals. In other words, with a dedicated server you rent the server and with a collocated server, you rent the space to house your server. You will be responsible for the server itself. An advantage of this type of hosting service is you have full control of the web server. You can install any scripts or applications you need. However it is much more costly.