Have you ever imagined the power that a single web site has? Web sites are broadcasted to a global audience everyday, and this powerful communication tool makes a single individual reach so many people for so little time and money.
With the beginning of web hosting, practically anyone can now create his or her own web site. A simple web site costs very little to maintain and operate, and free web hosting is widely available from a host of providers. These web sites run on free hosting domains.
If I have an idea for a website, there are several things that I need to get started. I need to think of a unique domain name that I will use.
The domain name is a unique name which identifies one or more IP addresses (IP stands for Internet Protocol, which identifies computers and other devices on a network). For example, in the URL http://www.cnn.com, the domain name is cnn.com.
Let’s say I choose mywebsite.com as my domain name. What I need to do next is to check the domain registry and make sure that mywebsite.com is not taken yet. Assuming that it is available, I will have to register the name so I can claim its ownership.
This is also called “reserving” or “parking” the domain name. Now for me to park the domain name, it has to be hosted or live on a particular server. Once it is registered, web hosting occurs.
Web hosting provides online systems for storing information such as images, videos, and other content that can be accessed through the web.
Web hosting companies provide individuals and organizations the space on their servers and the needed internet connectivity. These companies also provide space and internet connectivity for servers other than their own to be placed in their data centers.
The scope of web hosting is very diverse. File hosting (also called web page hosting) is the most basic service, wherein the files and web pages I created can be uploaded to the internet through a web interface called FTP or File Transfer Protocol.
The FTP is a type of software which is used as a standard for transferring files between computers with different operating systems. It can handle any file types without added processing, but sometimes requires long login procedures. This simple web hosting applies only to simple web pages such as personal web sites.
Complex sites, such as those maintained by big corporations require comprehensive systems which include database support and application platforms such as PHP, Java, and ASP.NET. These features can allow clients to install scripts for forums and content management.
Web hosting can be categorized into several types. These include: free hosting, image hosting, shared hosting, cluttered hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated hosting, and collocated hosting.
Free hosting is widely available in the internet, but is particularly limited if you will compare it to paid hosting. These services usually require their advertisements on your site, and have small disk space and traffic limits. But this service is very helpful and most people start their web pages through free hosting.
Image hosting, is another type of service which is usually free but requires registrations. They allow users to upload images on their servers.
Shared hosting occurs when a web site is placed on the same server that shares with several other sites. This service type has some restrictions, though, as to what exactly could be done. Another problem is when a site is down; it also brings the other web sites on the server down.
Clustered hosting, on the other hand is intended to get rid of problems which shared hosting can cause. This system allows customers with clustered security handling, and load balancing.
Reseller hosting is a service designed for users who want to become hosts themselves. A reseller gets a large amount of space and divides it to users on his/her account. With dedicated hosting, you can get your own server. There are no restrictions in terms of space and traffic, apart from the measures designed to maintain network integrity.
In colocated hosting, you can purchase a server and install at any host’s data center. This type of service is usually chosen by users who have administration experience. It is also the most expensive since a user do not colocate many servers.
Web hosting offers a customer with many options. There are many providers offering this service for free or for a fee. The choice is basically that of the user, and this depends on the website which will be set up.
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James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
HostingLiving.com and writes expert
articles about hosting.
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