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Web Hosting Services

Apr 28, 2008
A web hosting service is a kind of Internet hosting service that permits individuals and organizations to give their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that give space on a server they own for use by their customers as well as giving Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also give data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, called collocation.

Service scope
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 generally delivered to the Web "as is" or with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers. Personal online site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or cheap. Business online site hosting often has a higher expense.

Single page hosting is usually sufficient only for personal web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that gives database support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, 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 needed.

The host may also gives an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. 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 because many of the people promoting service providers are actually affiliates and the reviews are biased.

Hosting reliability and uptime
Hosting uptime 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 famous 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 (SLA). SLAs may or may not include refunds or decreased costs if performance goals are not met.

Types of hosting
Internet hosting services can run Web servers; see Internet hosting services.

Hosting services limited to the Web:
  • Free web hosting service: is free, (sometimes) advertisement-supported web hosting, and is often limited when compared to pay hosting.
  • Shared web hosting service: one's Web site is placed on the same server as several 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 online site may be hosted with a reseller.
  • Reseller web hosting: permits customers 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 devoted server to a collocated server.
  • Virtual Devoted Server: dividing a server into virtual servers, where each user feels like they're on their own devoted server, but they're actually sharing a server with several other users. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. This is also known as a virtual private server or VPS.
  • Devoted 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 kind of devoted hosting is Self-Managed or Unmanaged. This is generally the least expensive for devoted plans. The user has full administrative access to the box, which means the customer is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own devoted 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 permitted 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 change the server or potentially create configuration problems. The user typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the customer.
  • Collocation web hosting service: similar to the devoted web hosting service, but the user owns the collocation server; the hosting company gives physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most powerful and expensive kind of the web hosting service. In most cases, the collocation provider may give little to no support directly for their customer's machine, giving only the electrical, Internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for collocation, 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 matter for better resource utilization. Clustered Servers are a perfect solution for high-availability devoted hosting, or making a scalable web hosting solution.
  • Grid hosting: this form of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.
  • Home server: generally a single machine placed in a private residence can be used to host one or more online sites from a generally consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PC's.
Some ISP's actively attempt to block these servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A common way to attain a static IP is by making an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically change the IP address that a URL points to when it changes.

Some particular kinds 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
  • One-click hosting
  • Shopping cart software
About the Author
Veena Lodha is working for Creative Web Solutions.
Creative Web Solutions is a web site designing company based in Mumbai India providing ecommerce web site development, flash web site, business web site development, Search Engine Promotion, Search Engine Ranking, Outsourcing web design, Internet Marketing, Logo Designing.
For more Information please visit : http://www.creativewebsols.com/
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