To answer the question “What is Web Hosting?” let’s first look at how hosting works and then some of the typical options for hosting websites.
So, What is Web Hosting?
A web hosting server is a computer that is permanently connected to, and available through, the internet. It provides the disk space to store the various files that comprise the contents of a web site.
When people want to look at your site and enter your website address, their browser will be directed to the web host server associated with that domain name by its nameservers and DNS system. When it is connected, it will retrieve the relevant files from the web host server and transfer a copy to display.
As you can see, there are two main resources that a web host server has to provide – disk space and bandwidth (amount of data transfer) – and for which it charges.
There are hundreds of web hosting companies and they provide a number of services. The most common of which are:
Shared hosting is a very popular method of hosting a website (or sites).
In this instance, the same server is used to host multiple websites which all share its resources and operating system. Each site is provided with its own administration panel and is kept secure and separate from the other sites on the same server.
Shared hosting can be a very cost effective option.
There is a potential downside though, which is that if another site on the same server is deemed to be a spam site, other sites may suffer guilt by association.
Similarly, if other sites traffic levels and usage patterns consume significant levels of resource, other sites on the shared server may suffer performance issues.
The web hosting companies try to ensure that no one site hogs too much resource at any given time.
This allows someone to subdivide a larger package of web hosting resources into smaller hosting account packages for resale to their clients for use with individual sites. Each of the site accounts they create has its own administration panel, disk space, bandwidth, email addresses, etc.
The reseller has a master administration panel for overall creation and management of the separate accounts
Reseller packages are also popular with internet marketers, as they allow easy creation and management of multiple sites for their own use (something many internet marketers tend to do for example as they build multiple affiliate sites or host several client sites etc).
Virtual Private Server
This is a method of dividing a single server in to multiple (virtual) server environments, each of which has its own operating system, and can be independently rebooted. VPS hosting is a kind of half way house between shared and dedicated hosting.
With this type of option, the server is, as its name implies, dedicated solely to one client. This can be useful for people with sites with high levels of traffic and resource requirements. There is also no concern about other unknown sites on the the server form a security or resource and performance perspective.
Which Hosting Provider do you Recommend?
I get asked this fairly often.
My experience with Hostgator to date has been only good, if not excellent, and I have no hesitation recommending them. I know many others rate them highly too. I have used them for several years and have been impressed with their speed of response to support issues and the service they provide for a very reasonable cost (I use their reseller hosting services).
A very, very big ‘like’ about Hostgator is that they provide cPanel as the administration interface for managing resources. cPanel just keeps things easy!
If you don’t use Hostgator, at least make sure the hosting provider offers cPanel! I’ve tried others and they are total dinosaurs in comparison!
You want to be building and creating websites, not struggling with a web host!
And even though the cost of their hosting plans is amongst the best value in the market, I also have a great discount code available for Hostgator to help lower the cost even further.
Click here to find out more about Hostgator web hosting and get a big discount with the best Hostgator Coupon Code.
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