Definition of Hosting
Hosting is a service that companies provide so that you can publish your website online.
How can people access your site?
When you build a website and you want other individuals to visit it, you will need to publish (or upload) it to a web server. If you attempt to make the website visible online by hosting it on your own personal computer, there is no way for you to keep it online all the time, which is why website hosting services came into existence.
How does hosting work?
Hosting corporations offer you content storage space for your website on their high-end computers (servers) and guarantee continuous website accessibility. When somebody writes your web address (for example www.my-best-domain.com) in their browser's URL bar, they will be connected to the web server where they can have a gaze at the content of your site.
Web hosting types
With the development of online technologies, several types of web hosting services have come into existence to meet the different expectations of web site proprietors, including shared website hosting services, virtual server hosting services and dedicated web hosting services.
Shared website hosting
1 website hosted
30-Day Free Trial
5 websites hosted
30-Day Free Trial
Shared hosting is the most widely used type of hosting, and is also the easiest to start with. It is a service where a single web hosting server is shared among many customers who are restricted by the CPU, web traffic and server hard drive space quotas that they have been allocated. This type of hosting is typically cheaper - you don't need to pay for the whole server upfront, as it is shared between lots of web hosting customers, and the web hosting company can afford to offer much more modest prices. It is also easier to use - the server is pre-installed with all the necessary software and the web hosting services provider handles all server maintenance procedures and software updates for you.
The weakness of the shared hosting solution is that you share the hosting server's system resources with other web hosting users and if one site becomes really busy it may influence (and slow down) all the other web sites on that hosting server, but the majority of hosting providers, including us at Small Business Digital Toolkit, have protection systems at work that hinder that from happening.
A description of a website hosting service
Because shared hosting is the most widely used form of web hosting, most hosting suppliers and hosting users simply call it web hosting or website hosting. As there is an immense competition on the website hosting market, the majority of web hosting distributors try to offer reasonable prices and bonuses with their hosting services. We, for instance, provide different web hosting packages and two billing options - monthly and annual, depending on your funds. If you select the annual invoicing cycle, you will obtain a gift - one cost-free domain name registration.
VPS is an abbreviation of Virtual Private Server. The VPS hosting solution is essentially the middle ground between the shared hosting solution and the dedicated hosting solution. If your website outgrows the resources offered by your shared hosting package, a virtual server web hosting package is a possible option. VPS hosting clients still share the hardware resources of the physical server with other virtual server web hosting account owners, but the hard disk space is split up using a special virtualization technology so that each partition has its own dedicated system resources and can be configured practically like a full-fledged dedicated hosting server. The upside is that the CPU and the RAM memory on a virtual private web server are not shared. Furthermore, the virtualization technology gives you much more autonomy to configure your virtual private web server, but it also calls for a more advanced level of technical knowledge.
With the Dedicated Server solution, the user gets an entire hosting server and can use all its system resources. The dedicated server hosting solution is the most reliable of all website hosting solutions and offers a multitude of configuration options - the users can choose the hardware and software specifications that will match their requirements. Dedicated system resources and no-holds-barred performance are two reasons why a dedicated hosting server is a perfect choice for a heavy-content corporate web site, for instance - you will not share the web server's system resources with anyone else and will get full server root privileges. You will exercise full control over the physical machine, which will allow you to make any configuration modifications that you might need. The disadvantage of the dedicated hosting solution is that a higher degree of technical proficiency is needed - unless you employ an IT pro, it will be your obligation to administer and configure the dedicated web server. The dedicated server hosting solution also costs much more, because the cost of the physical server isn't shared among any other clients.
A website hosting recommendation for beginner users
If you are just starting to set up your website and are looking for a hosting solution to begin with, the shared web hosting solution remains the smartest choice. If your website grows beyond your website hosting account's resources, you can usually upgrade. With us, for instance, this is extremely easy and requires no migration of your data, because only the parameters of your website hosting account change. You can also upgrade your hosting plan to a more powerful one at any particular time without having to worry about the time left until expiration. Besides, if you finally reach the most advanced shared hosting plan and still need more system resources (which is great sometimes - it signifies that your web site's popularity has grown!), there always is the option to switch to a private virtual web server hosting solution or a dedicated server hosting solution without needing to switch hosting service providers.