So first of all, what is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service which allows us to upload webpages and full websites on the internet. Hosting providers allow the necessary technologies and services required in order for users to view our website or webpage on the internet. Generally one websites is often stored one hosting provider’s server. I say generally as you may split out your website over a number of servers if you have for example online email and other online applications, but this is quite advanced so let’s stick to the basics. One website generally have one hosting server.
To view a website, users type the website name into the browser and the computer then connects to the server with the website, and it can be viewed in the browser. To avoid having to use IP address number in your web browser, you must own a domain name which converts the IP address into an easy to remember text name. Most hosting companies can provide support for purchasing of such domains.
Typically, web hosting features include: bandwidth, disk space, email accounts, ftp access, MySQL Databases and more.
Network bandwidth is used as a synonym for data transfer; essentially, it is the amount of data carried from point A to point B within a period of time. Bandwidth expressed in bits per second bps, with more modern networks using megabits or gigabits per second Mbps, Gbps.
Hosting providers offer a certain disk space for your website, files, pictures etc. When building a website, you need to create a plan: what kind of website it will be, how many files will it have, will you need email accounts, databases and other options, before checking available provider plans and selecting the most suitable plan based on your requirements.
It’s a common feature of a hosting provider. A provider can supply a couple of email accounts to an unlimited amount, it depends on the plan. When we register our domain, we get a permanent email address with our unique name, which means people can find us easier on the internet.
When our webpage is ready, we need to transfer it to the server. We can transfer these files using FTP. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files between a client and server on a computer network. FTP is built using client-server model architecture and uses separate controls and data connections between the client and server.
There are 4 main types of web hosting: Shared, VPS, Dedicated & Cloud.
Shared Web hosting.
This is a server where resources can be shared between multiple users. Each user has its own limit of disk space, traffic, email accounts, ftp accounts and other things. Another notable aspect is that performance resources are also shared such as: CPU, RAM, Apache Server and MySql Server. This type of hosting is a budget option.
VPS Web Hosting.
VPS – Virtual Private Server (Privacy, customisation, control and dedicated resources). Probably this the most popular and stable hosting method. VPS servers are much more flexible with enhanced configuration options. It allows the user to modify their environment without affecting others, something not offered in shared hosting. Every user on VPS has their own virtual machine with a percentage of resources available on the server, if resources, for example disk space is running low, it can be increased in a matter of minutes through your hosting provider.
Dedicated Web Hosting.
This hosting option provides a customisable personal server which can be tailed to your requirements: including the operating system, RAM, HDD and other hardware components. Users can also install anti-virus software, configure firewall and other software. This type of hosting offers high performance and stability to ensure all websites are running well and with no downtime. Providers also offer server monitoring facilities for better operation. If you would like to have more control over your data privacy this hosting plan is right for you.
Cloud Web Hosting.
Cloud web hosting is essentially the same as VPS hosting. Cloud hosting security is guaranteed by many servers, not by one server as it’s a shared or dedicated system. This makes it even more scalable, in addition to providing a host of additional benefits, mainly based on security. Cloud hosting has a high protection level against DDOS attacks for example as its resource is spread over many servers. Therefore it is harder to target with DDOS then a single server.
Before choosing the right hosting package, firstly you need to decide what type of hosting you need as per your individual requirements.