Web hosting service
Web Design & Development Guide
Web hosting service
History of web hosting
Internet hosting service
- Full-featured hosting services
Virtual private server
- Web hosting
Remote backup service
Game server hosting
An example of "rack mounted" servers.
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that
allows individuals and organizations to provide their own websites accessible
via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server
they own for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity,
typically in a data center. Webhosts can also provide data center space and
connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their
data center, called colocation.
The scopes of hosting services vary widely. The most basic is webpage and
small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol
(FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web "as is" or
with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service for free to their
subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative
service providers. Personal web site hosting is typically free,
advertisement-sponsored, or cheap. Business web site hosting often has a higher
Single page hosting is generally sufficient only for personal web pages. A
complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database
support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, and ASP.NET).
These facilities allow the customers to write or install scripts for
applications like forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also required.
The host may also provide an interface control panel (e.g. cPanel, Plesk or
others) for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other
services like e-mail. Recently, Web.com holds many patents it claims cover broad
methods for website building and web control panels. Hostopia, a large wholesale
host, recently purchased a license to use that technology from web.com for 10%
of retail revenues. Web.com recently sued Go Daddy as well for similar patent infringement
Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They
are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a
hosting company. To find a web hosting company, there are searchable directories
that can be used. One must be extremely careful when searching for a new company
due to the fact that many of the people promoting service providers are actually
affiliates and the reviews are biased.
Hosting reliability and uptime
Multiple racks of servers, and how a datacenter commonly looks.
refers to the percentage of time the host is accessible via the internet. Many
providers state that they aim for a 99.9% uptime, but there may be server
restarts and planned (or unplanned) maintenance in any hosting environment.
A common claim from the popular hosting providers is '99% or 99.9% server
uptime' but this often refers only to a server being powered on and doesn't
account for network downtime. Real downtime can potentially be larger than the
percentage guaranteed by the provider. Many providers tie uptime, and
accessibility, into their own
Service Level Agreement, or SLA. SLAs may or may not include refunds, or reduced
costs if performance goals are not met. One must be extremely careful when
selecting a new company and they should read all terms and conditions carefully.
A potential customer should also check out the webhosting company's acceptable
use policy (AUP) in order to avoid potential cancellation of
services due to activities that are considered a violation.
Types of hosting
Internet hosting services can run
Hosting services limited to the Web:
Free web hosting service: is free, (sometimes)
advertisement-supported web hosting, and is often limited when compared to
Shared web hosting service: one's Web site is placed on the same server
as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically,
all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the
CPU. A shared
website may be hosted with a reseller.
Reseller web hosting: allows clients to become web hosts themselves.
Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of
these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as
a provider. Resellers' accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have
their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server.
Virtual Dedicated Server: slicing up a server into virtual servers.
each user feels like they're on their own dedicated server, but they're
actually sharing a server with many other users. The users may have root
access to their own virtual space.
Dedicated hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server
and gains full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access
for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. Another
type of Dedicated hosting is Self-Managed or Unmanaged. This is usually the
least expensive for Dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access
to the box, which means the client is responsible for the security and
maintenance of his own dedicated box.
Managed hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server but
is not allowed full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator
access for Windows); however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP
or other remote management tools. The user is disallowed full control so
that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user
to modify the server or potentially create configuration problems. The user
typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the client.
Colocation web hosting service: similar to the dedicated web hosting
service, but the user owns the colo server; the hosting company provides
physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This
is the most powerful and expensive type of the web hosting service. In most
cases, the colocation provider may provide little to no support directly for
their client's machine, providing only the electrical, Internet access, and
storage facilities for the server. In most cases for colo, the client would
have his own administrator visit the data center on site to do any hardware
upgrades or changes.
Clustered hosting: having multiple servers hosting the same content
for better resource utilization.
Some specific types of hosting provided by web host service providers:
- File hosting service: hosts not web pages but files
Image hosting service
Video hosting service
Blog hosting service
Shopping cart software
Web hosting is often provided as part of a general Internet access plan;
there are many free and paid providers offering these services.
A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose
what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server
software, scripting software, and
operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which
offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux
server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The webhosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their
business domain, databases or multi-media services for streaming media. A
customer may also choose Windows for its hosting platform. The customer still
can choose from PHP, Perl, and Python but may also use ASP .Net or Classic ASP.
Web hosting packages often include a
Web Content Management System, so the end-user doesn't have to worry about
the more technical aspects.
One can also use Google to find active webhosting message boards that may
provide feedback on what type of webhosting company may suit his/her needs.
Web hosting service