An Explanation of Web Hosting
Web site hosting is a service that hosting companies provide so that you can put your site on the World Wide Web.
How can people find your site?
When you develop a website and you wish other people to discern it, you will have to copy (or upload) it to a server. If you try to render the website discoverable on the web by hosting it on your own computer, there is no way for you to keep it always online, which is why website hosting services exist.
How does web site hosting work?
Web hosting companies provide you with hard disk storage space for your site on their high-power computers (web hosting servers) and guarantee uninterrupted Internet access. When someone types your URL (e.g. www.my-best-domain.com) in their browser's URL bar, they will be connected to the server where they can have a glimpse at the content of your website.
Web hosting types
With the advance of online technologies, different types of web hosting services have come into existence to meet the different expectations of website possessors, among them shared website hosting services, virtual web server hosting services and dedicated web server hosting services.
Shared web hosting is the most widely used form of web hosting, and is also the easiest to begin with. It is a service where one single web hosting server is shared among numerous web hosting customers who are restricted by the CPU, bandwidth and web hosting server disk space quotas that they have been assigned. This type of website hosting is typically cheaper - you don't have to purchase the entire server upfront, as it is shared among plenty of users, and the web hosting services provider can afford to provide much lower prices. It is also easier to use - the web hosting server is pre-installed with all the required software and the web hosting services provider takes care of all server maintenance procedures and security updates for you.
The setback of the shared web hosting solution is that you share the hosting server's system resources with other people and if a given website becomes very popular it may affect (and slow down) the rest of the web sites on that server, but most web hosting service providers, including Exclusive Hosting, have security systems at work that hinder that from taking place.
A description of a hosting service
Since shared website hosting is the most commonly used type of web hosting, most hosting providers and web hosting users simply call it web hosting or web site hosting. As there is an enormous competition on the web site hosting marketplace, most web hosting companies try to provide affordable prices and bonuses with their web hosting services. Exclusive Hosting, for example, provides different web hosting plans and two invoicing options - monthly and annual, based on your finances. If you select the yearly invoicing cycle, you will receive a gift - one charge-free domain name registration.
Virtual Server Hosting Plans
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. The virtual server hosting solution is basically the middle ground between the shared hosting solution and the dedicated web server hosting solution. If your website outgrows the resources offered by your shared hosting plan, a virtual hosting server package is a suitable solution. VPS server web hosting account owners still share the hardware resources of the physical machine with other VPS hosting account owners, but the hard disk drive is split up using a special virtualization technology so that each partition has its own guaranteed resources and can be configured almost like an actual dedicated hosting server. The upside is that the CPU and the RAM memory on a VPS web hosting server are not shared. Additionally, the virtualization technology offers you much more freedom to configure your virtual web hosting server, but it also calls for a higher level of technical proficiency.
Dedicated web server hosting plans
With the dedicated server web hosting solution, the user obtains an entire web hosting server and can use all its system resources. The dedicated hosting solution is the most powerful of all website hosting solutions and offers countless configuration options - the dedicated server hosting clients can select the hardware and software specs that will answer their requirements. Dedicated resources and no-holds-barred performance are two reasons why a dedicated hosting plan is an excellent option for a busy corporate site for example - you will not share the physical machine's system resources with anyone else and will be granted full root access. You will exercise complete control over the machine which will permit you to make any configuration modifications that you might require. The setback of the dedicated server web hosting solution is that a more advanced level of technical knowledge is required - unless you engage an Information Technology pro it will be your duty to administer and configure the physical server. The dedicated server web hosting solution also costs much more because the cost of the dedicated server isn't shared among any other customers.
A website hosting recommendation for beginner users
If you are just starting to set up your site and need a hosting solution to commence with the shared website hosting solution remains the wisest choice. If your web site grows beyond your shared website hosting account's resources you can usually upgrade. With NTCHosting for example this is very easy and requires no migration of your web site files because only the parameters of your web hosting account change. You can also upgrade your web hosting plan to a more powerful one at any given moment without worrying about the time remaining until expiration. In addition if you finally reach the most advanced shared web hosting plan and still require more system resources (which is great sometimes - it means that your web site's popularity has grown!) there always is the option to switch to a VPS server hosting solution or a dedicated server hosting solution without the need to swap hosting service providers.