Web hosting is a prime service that users can utilize after obtaining either dial-up or broadband Internet access. It lets users broadcast their own information resources to any Internet user, who is interested in accessing them. It makes use of the server/client model for content distribution. A web host will provide its client with the right to access a web server that will push the client's content to recipients on request. Recipients use web browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator to request content from the web, over their own Internet connection.
The websites are stored or hosted on a special computer called a server. It permits Internet users who are connected anywhere to reach a particular site, when they put the host's domain address in the web browser. The host computers are set up so that when someone types a web address in the browser, the address will follow a route from computer to computer until it reaches the host computer and website. After that, the Internet user will be able to browse throughout the website.
Web hosts provide the technical resources and equipment that are required to offer a customized website to a consumer.
Many small businesses take advantage of web hosts in order to free themselves from preoccupying their scarce human and financial resources on hosting issues. Companies and individuals outsource their web presence to achieve the following objectives: improve own company focus, reduce operating costs, gain access to in-depth expertise, free internal resources for core competencies, and obtain access to world-class capabilities to control IT functions which are difficult to handle. In multiple formats, web hosting is offered to the consumer, based upon his/her requirements. These requirements are dependent on the cost and infrastructure provided.
Types of Web Hosting
Web hosting services are present in all sizes and shapes. It is useful to break down all services into several "classes", in order to understand the most fundamental differences in pricing and functionality. Each "class" speaks about the needs of a particular type of customer.
1) Shared Hosting
This is the most basic and important of all services. The hosting service providers put several websites on a single powerful machine.
2) Virtual Dedicated Hosting
This is a fairly new web hosting service, which seems to be a bridge between "shared" and "dedicated" hosting. Several websites are hosted on a server, but the number of such sites is small and each one is provided with a dedicated "copy" of the operating system, along with a portion of computer resources. Also, a copy of web server software, in addition to direct "root-level" access is provided to the customer.
3) Dedicated Hosting
A dedicated hosting service is a type, in which the client leases an entire server, which is not shared with anyone else. This type of hosting allocates a website to its own server. This is more flexible because it has full control over the back end of the server, including the choice of OS.
4) Colocated Hosting (Colocation)
Colocation provides ultimate degree of flexibility. This type of hosting consists of buying and installing your own server on the provider's premises.
5) Managed Hosting
It is accompanied by a full suite of technical support, maintenance, and monitoring services. In managed hosting, customers are provided with their own servers, but are still responsible for virtually all administrative and maintenance duties.
Web Hosting Server Technologies
The different hosting technologies are as follows:
1) Windows Hosting
This is hosting of web services that use Windows operating system. User should choose this type of hosting, if he wants to use Active Server Pages as server scripting, or if he wants to use a database like Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server. It is also the best choice if the user wants to develop a website using Microsoft Front Page.
2) Unix Hosting
This is hosting of web services that use UNIX operating system. It was the first reliable and stable web server operating system.
3) Linux Hosting
This means hosting of web services that uses Linux operating system.
4) ASP - Active Server Pages
This is a server-side technology developed by Sun. With JSP, dynamic web pages can be created by embedding Java code inside HTML pages. The code is run by the web server, before the page is returned to the browser. Since JSP uses Java, the technology is not limited to any server-specific platform.
Microsoft developed this software as a website design tool. FrontPage provides users with an easy way to develop a website, without any deep knowledge of web development. Most Windows hosting solutions maintain FrontPage servers for users that use FrontPage to develop their website.
This is a server-side scripting language which allows creating dynamic web pages by embedding script code inside HTML pages. The code is run by the web server before the page is returned to the browser.
8) Cold Fusion
Macromedia developed this software, which is another server-side scripting language used to develop dynamic web pages.