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Best Linux Website Hosting

Best Linux Website Hosting

Best Linux Website Hosting

A website hosting service is a type of internet hosting service that permits individuals and companies to make their website available via the world wide web. Web hosts are organizations that offer space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Website hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation, also known as Housing in Latin America or France.

History

Until 1991, the internet was limited to use only "...for research and education in the sciences and engineering..." and was used for email, telnet, FTP and USENET traffic, but only a small number of web pages. The world wide web protocols had only just been created and not till the end of 1993 would there be a graphical website browser for Mac or Windows computers. Even after there was some opening up of internet availability, the situation was complicated until 1995.

To host a website on the internet, an individual or business would need their own computer system or server. As not all organizations had the budget or expertise to do this, website hosting services began to offer to host users' sites on their own servers, without the customer needing to own the necessary infrastructure required to run the website. The owners of the websites, also referred to as webmasters, would be able to design a website that would be hosted on the website hosting service's server and published to the internet by the website hosting service.

As the number of users on the internet grew, the demand for companies, both big and small, to have an online presence grew. By 1995, companies such as GeoCities, Angelfire and Tripod were supplying free hosting.

Classification

Smaller Hosting Services

The most basic is aweb page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a web site interface. The files are often delivered to the web "as is" or with very little processing. Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service with no cost to subscribers. People and companies may also obtain web page hosting from alternative service providers.

Free web hosting service is offered by various companies with limited services, often supported by adds, and generally limited when compared to paid hosting.

Single page hosting is often sufficient for personal website pages. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting at times has a greater cost depending upon the size and type of the site.

Larger Hosting Services

Many big companies that are not internet service providers need to be constantly connected to the web so they can send email, files, etc. to other sites. The organization may use the computer as a website host to offer details of their goods and services and facilities for online orders.

A complex site demands a more expanded package that supplies database support and application development platforms (e.g. ASP.NET, ColdFusion, Java EE, Perl/Plack, PHP or Ruby on Rails). These options allow clients to develop or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. Also, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is typically used for sites that wish to keep the data transmitted more secure.

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Types of Hosting

Internet hosting services can manage web servers. The scope of website hosting services differs a lot.

Shared Web Hosting Service

One's website is located on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few websites to hundreds of websites. Usually, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features that are available with this kind of service can be quite simple and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers at times provide shared web hosting and website companies often have reseller accounts to supply hosting for customers.

Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller website hosting permits clients to take on the role of website hosts themselves. Resellers may function, for individual domains, under any combination of these types of hosting, depending on who they are working with as a reseller. Resellers' accounts may vary a fair amount in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server. Many resellers provide a similar service to their provider's shared hosting plan and offer the tech support themselves.

Virtual Dedicated Server

Also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS), it divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be split up in a way that doesn't directly reflect the underlying hardware. VPS will generally be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, but, virtualization might be done for varying reasons, which includes the option to move a VPS container from one server to another. The users might have root access to their own virtual space. Clients are generally responsible for patching and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may provide server admin tasks for the customer (managed server).

Dedicated Hosting Service

The client gets his or her own web server and gains complete control over it (user has root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the client usually does not own the server. One kind of dedicated hosting is self-managed or unmanaged. This is typically the least expensive for dedicated plans. The customer has full administrative access to the server, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of their own dedicated server.

Managed Hosting Service

The customer gets his or her own web server but they are not allowed full control over the server (the client is denied root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to control their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The customer is not permitted complete control so that the provider can guarantee the quality of service by not permitting the user to change the server or possibly create configuration issues. The user typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the customer.

Colocation Website Hosting Service

Similar to the dedicated web hosting service, but the client owns the colocation server; the hosting organization offers physical space that the computer takes up and manages the computer. This is the most powerful and expensive type of web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may provide little to no help directly for their client's machine, providing only the electrical, internet access, and storage facilities for the computer. In most cases for colocation, the customer would have their own administrator visit the data center on-site to do any hardware upgrades or changes. Formerly, a number of colocation providers would allow any server configuration for hosting, even ones housed in desktop-style minitower cases, but most hosting organizations now insist on rack mount enclosures and standard system configurations.

Cloud Hosting

This is a relatively modern kind of hosting platform that permits customers powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. A cloud-hosted site may be more stable than alternatives as other servers in the cloud can take over when an individual piece of hardware fails. Also, local power failures or even natural disasters are less problematic for cloud hosted websites, as cloud hosting is decentralized. Cloud hosting also allows providers to charge users only for resources consumed by the user, rather than a flat amount for the amount the user guesses they will use, or a fixed cost upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the decentralization may provide users less control on where their data is located, which could be challenging for customers with data security or privacy issues.

Clustered Hosting

Having a bunch of servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization. Clustered servers are a great solution for high-availability dedicated hosting, or having a scalable web hosting system. A cluster may separate website serving from database hosting capability. (Usually web hosts use clustered hosting for their shared hosting plans, as there are many benefits to the mass managing of clients).

Grid Hosting

This type of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.

Home Server

Sometimes, a sole server located in a private residence can be used to host one or a number of web sites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly older PCs. Some internet service providers purposefully try to block home servers by not allowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the customer's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A good way to get a reliable DNS hostname is by having an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically update the IP address that a URL directs to when the IP address changes.

Some specific types of hosting provided by web host service providers:

  • File hosting service: hosts files, not web pages
  • Image hosting service
  • Video hosting service
  • Blog hosting service
  • Paste bin
  • Shopping cart software
  • Email hosting service
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Host Management

The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the website server and installing scripts, as well as other modules and service applications like email. A web server that does not use a control panel for managing the hosting account, is sometimes referred to as a "headless" server. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce, blogs, etc.).

Reliability and Uptime

The availability of a website is measured by the percentage of a year in which the website is publicly accessible and reachable via the internet. This is different from measuring the uptime of a system. Uptime refers to the system itself being online. Uptime does not take into account being able to reach it as in the event of a network outage. A hosting provider's Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a specific amount of scheduled downtime per year in order to perform maintenance on the computers. This scheduled downtime is generally excluded from the SLA timeframe and needs to be subtracted from the Total Time when availability is calculated. Depending on the wording of an SLA, if the availability of a system drops below that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider at times will provide a partial refund for time lost. How downtime is calculated varies from provider to provider, therefore reading the SLA is imperative. Not all providers produce uptime info. A lot of hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will allow for 43 minutes of downtime each month, or 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime each year.

Obtaining Hosting

Website hosting is often supplied as part of a complete internet access plan from ISPs. There are also a number of free and paid providers offering website hosting.

A client should evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what type of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers supply Linux-based website hosting which offers a wide range of various software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The website hosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multimedia services. A user might also prefer Windows as the hosting platform. The client still can choose from Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, but the customer may also use ASP.NET or ASP Classic. Website hosting packages often include a web content management system, so the end-user doesn't have to be bothered about the more technical parts.

Security

Because web hosting services host sites belonging to their clients, online security is a vital issue. When a customer agrees to use a web hosting service, they are relinquishing control of the security of their website to the provider that is hosting the website. The level of security that a website hosting service supplies is quite important to a potential customer and can be a major topic when considering which provider a customer should choose.

Web hosting server can be attacked by malicious people in different ways, which include uploading malware or malicious code onto a hosted website. These attacks {may|might| be done for various reasons, including stealing credit card data, launching a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) or spamming.

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