Web Hosting 101: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know

One of the most crucial technologies that makes it possible to set up and access websites on the Internet is hosting. It is this service that enables people from across the world to view any site on the World Wide Web. And yet, not many know how a hosting service works. So let’s take a look at the technology, the different types of web hosting and a little bit on what you should look for in a good host.

At the heart of a web host is a server on which your hosting company allots space to your site. These servers are usually housed in a data center that is either owned by the web host or is leased by them. Depending on the hosting package you take, you either have to share space on a server, along with other customers, or you are allotted a dedicated server solely for your sites.

Depending upon how sophisticated and functional your site is, the web host will offer various platforms such as PHP, ASP.Net and Ruby on Rails to enable more features on the site. And for managing most of the applications and services, your hosting account may also include an easy to use control panel.

What kind of hosting do I need?

Most of the leading web hosting companies offer various types of hosting packages: Shared, Dedicated, VPS and Cloud-based. If you are just running some small, personal sites or have just started dabbling in Internet Marketing, a Shared hosting would do. But if you are running some serious traffic to your sites, I highly recommend you to take a look at Dedicating hosting, which means all the resources to that server will be exclusively available for your site, along with benefits like better speed and more security. Of course, for really critical business sites, you may want to explore a Cloud-based host.

And if web hosting as a business fascinates you, you can sign up for a reseller web hosting account, which means you can become a hosting provider yourself.

Once you have an idea of what kind of hosting would suit your business, you should check out some of the hosting providers in the market. One of the most important factors in considering a host is its uptime. Does a particular host go down frequently? Are there too many complaints by webmasters on their sites being offline at most times? A hosting provider’s customer support is also an important criteria for me-if they are not very prompt in addressing the issues or don’t have at least basic technical knowledge, I wouldn’t sign up with them. You should also look at their hosting features-a standard cPanel, a website builder and an application to easily install content management systems such as WordPress are something every decent host should provide.

Now that you have a basic knowledge of what web hosting is, what types of services they provide and how you should choose one that suits your need, go ahead and put that site you always wanted to build on the internet.

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