These days, people rely greatly on the World Wide Web. It is used for entertainment, acquiring knowledge, getting updated, and so much more. The number of personal blogs and e-commerce has also increased. Social media sites also significantly influence everyone.
But for any website to be available on the World Wide Web (WWW), the said website has to be hosted.
What is Web Hosting exactly?
Web hosting is a type of Internet hosting service that allows a website to be accessible in the World Wide Web. A web host will provide space on their servers (that are housed in a data center) for your website’s files so that your website will be accessible on other computers.
It is important though that your website has its own domain name. Domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses or web pages. Servers have a Domain Name System (DNS) to translate domain names into IP addresses.
Types of Web Hosting Services
1. Free Hosting
Free hosting is being offered by some Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This type of hosting is appropriate for web sites that are expected to get low traffic, such as personal sites or sites that were created just for fun. Some companies require you to purchase your domain name, while others offer you a free subdomain under them, such as [yourname.webhost.com]. Most of the time, the connection speed in a free hosting environment is slow. There are possibilities that your website can be down frequently. Sometimes, advertisements are even automatically added. Disadvantage of this is there are only few or no software options, database support is limited or non-existent, and technical support is limited.
2. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is when you and other website owners share the physical server and the software applications within the server in a shared hosting environment. Your web site also gets its own domain name. This kind of hosting is affordable since the cost is also shared with others. This hosting environment is good for small businesses with average traffic. Software solutions such as email and database are often offered. Technical support in the environment is also quite good. However, should you decide that you are not ready for a website but instead you just want to start off with a personalized email address, email hosting is also available.
3. Dedicated Hosting
In this type of hosting environment, you have the entire web server for your website. Faster performance is guaranteed since the server’s resources aren’t shared. Dedicated hosting environment is a good choice for websites that needs a higher level of security and expects high traffic. It is also the most expensive option.
4. Collocated Hosting
Collocation or “co-location” hosting is the type of hosting on which you purchase your own web server and have it placed on the premises of a service provider. You will have full control and responsibility for the server. You are free to install any scripts or applications that you need. Most likely an ISP will have dedicated resources for this like high-security against fire and vandalism, dedicated internet connections, and more. This type of hosting environment requires higher skills since you are responsible for the server’s configuration and debugging.