How Hosting Works
Hosting is a service that hosting providers offer so that you can put your web site on the Internet.
How can people open your site?
When you set up a web site and you want other individuals to see it, you will need to copy (or upload) it to a web hosting server. If you try to render the web site accessible on the Internet by hosting it on your own computer, there is no way for you to keep it always online, which is why hosting services came into being.
How does hosting work?
Web hosting vendors provide you with hard drive storage space for your web site on their high-power computers (hosting servers) and ensure uninterrupted website accessibility. When someone writes your web site address (for instance www.my-best-domain.com) in their web browser's URL bar, they will be connected to the web server where they can have a glance at the content of your website.
Web hosting types
With the advance of Internet technologies, different types of web hosting services have appeared to match the different needs of web site possessors, including shared website hosting services, VPS server web hosting services and dedicated hosting services.
1 website hosted
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5 websites hosted
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Shared website hosting is the most widely used form of hosting, and is also the easiest to start with. It is a service where a single web hosting server is divided between multiple users who are restricted by the CPU, traffic and web hosting server disk drive storage space quotas that they have been apportioned. This form of website hosting is generally cheaper - you don't need to pay for the entire hosting server upfront, as it is divided between plenty of web hosting users, and the web hosting distributor can afford to provide much more affordable prices. It is also much easier to use - the web server is pre-installed with all the required software and the hosting provider takes care of all server maintenance tasks and software updates on your behalf.
The negative side of the shared hosting solution is that you share the hosting server's system resources with other people and if one website becomes really popular it may influence (and slow down) the rest of the sites on that web server, but the majority of hosting firms, including us at 99Web, have security systems at work that obstruct that from taking place.
A definition of a web hosting service
Because shared website hosting is the most popular type of web hosting, most web hosting service providers and web hosting users simply call it hosting or website hosting. As there is a big rivalry on the website hosting market, most web hosting firms strive to provide cheap prices and bonuses with their web hosting services. We, for example, offer different website hosting plans and two invoicing options - monthly and yearly, based on your resources. If you select the yearly invoicing cycle, you will get a present - one free-of-charge domain name registration.
VPS is an acronym for Virtual Private Server. The VPS hosting solution is essentially the middle ground between the shared hosting solution and the dedicated server web hosting solution. If your web site outgrows the resources offered by your shared website hosting account, a VPS web hosting plan is an appropriate choice. private virtual server hosting account owners still share the hardware resources of the physical machine with other Virtual Private Server hosting customers, but the hard disk is split up using special virtualization software so that each partition has its own dedicated resources and can be configured almost like an actual dedicated server. The advantage is that the CPU and the memory on a VPS web server are not shared. What's more, the virtualization software gives you much more freedom to configure your server, but it also presupposes a higher degree of technical expertise.
With the Dedicated Package solution, the user obtains an entire hosting server and can use all its system resources. The dedicated server web hosting solution is the most flexible of all website hosting solutions and offers loads of customization possibilities - the dedicated server web hosting customers can choose the hardware and software specs that will fulfill their demands. Dedicated system resources and guaranteed performance are two reasons why a dedicated hosting plan is an excellent choice for a popular business portal, for example - you will not share the hosting server's system resources with anyone else and will gain root privileges. You will exert complete control over the web hosting server, which will enable you to implement any configuration modifications that you might require. The setback of the dedicated hosting solution is that a higher degree of technical knowledge is needed - unless you engage an IT expert, it will be your responsibility to manage and configure the dedicated server. The dedicated web hosting solution is also far more expensive, since the cost of the server isn't shared among any other clients.
A website hosting advice for beginner users
If you are just starting to build your site and need a hosting solution to begin with, the shared website hosting solution remains the most relevant choice. If your site outgrows your shared hosting account's resources, you can normally upgrade. With us, for example, this is very easy and requires no migration of your files, since only the parameters of your web hosting account change. You can also upgrade your hosting package to a more advanced one at any given moment without worrying about the number of days left until expiration. Furthermore, if you finally reach the most powerful shared website hosting plan and still require more system resources (which is a good thing sometimes - it signifies that your site's popularity has increased!), there always is the possibility to switch to a private virtual web server hosting solution or a dedicated server web hosting solution without needing to swap hosting providers.