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Fire Department Website Hosting

Fire Department Website Hosting

Fire Department Website Hosting

A website hosting service is a kind of internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the world wide web. Web hosts are organizations that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by users, as well as providing internet connectivity, usually in a data center. Website hosts can also supply 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

Up till 1991, the internet was restricted 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 tiny number of web pages. The world wide web protocols had only just been created and not until the end of 1993 would there be a graphical web site browser for Mac or Windows computers. Even after there was more internet availability, the situation was complicated until 1995.

To host a website on the internet, a person or business would need their own computer or server. As not all companies had the money or capability to complete this, website hosting services started to provide services to host users' websites on their own servers, without the customer needing to acquire the necessary infrastructure neededd to run the website. The owners of the sites, also referred to as webmasters, would be able to construct a site that would be hosted on the website hosting service's server and published to the web by the web hosting service.

As the number of users on the world wide web grew, the pressure for companies, both large and small, to have an online presence increased. By 1995, companies such as GeoCities, Angelfire and Tripod were offering free hosting.

Classification

Smaller Hosting Services

The most simple is awebsite page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a web site interface. The files are generally delivered to the web "as is" or with almost no processing. Many internet service providers (ISPs) supply this service at no charge to users. Individuals and companies may also get website page hosting from alternative service providers.

Free website hosting service is offered by different companies with limited services, often supported by adds, and at times limited when compared to paid hosting.

Single page hosting is sometimes sufficient for personal web pages. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting often has a higher expense depending upon the size and type of the site.

Larger Hosting Services

Many large organizations 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 supply details of their products and services and facilities for online orders.

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

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Types of Hosting

Internet hosting services can run web servers. The scope of web hosting services differs quite a bit.

Shared Website Hosting Service

One's website is located on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few sites to hundreds of sites. Generally, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this type of service can be fairly basic and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers generally sell shared website hosting and web organizations generally have reseller accounts to provide hosting for clients.

Reseller Web Hosting

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

Virtual Dedicated Server

This is also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS), it separates server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be split up in a way that doesn't directly reflect the computer's hardware. VPS will sometimes be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, but, virtualization might be desired for different reasons, which includes the ability to move a VPS container from one server to another. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. Users are generally responsible for fixing and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may supply server admin tasks for the client (managed server).

Dedicated Hosting Service

The client gets their own web server and has full control over it (user has root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the customer typically doesn't own the server. One type of dedicated hosting is self-managed or unmanaged. This is sometimes the least expensive for dedicated plans. The customer has full admin access to the server, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of their own dedicated server.

Managed Hosting Service

The client gets his or her own website server but is not allowed full control over the server (the user is not given root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); but, they can control their data via FTP or other remote management software. The client is disallowed complete control so that the provider can guarantee the quality of service by not allowing the customer to modify the server or possibly create configuration problems. The customer sometimes does not own the server. The server is leased to the customer.

Colocation Web Hosting Service

Almost the same as the dedicated website hosting service, but the customer owns the colocation server; the hosting company provides physical space that the server takes up and manages the computer. This is the most powerful and costly kind of website hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may offer little to no assistance directly for their client's machine, providing only the electrical, internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for colocation, the user would have his own administrator go to the data center on-site to do any hardware upgrades or changes. Formerly, a number of colocation providers would accept any computer configuration for hosting, even ones housed in desktop-style minitower cases, but most hosts now demand rack mount enclosures and standard system configurations.

Cloud Hosting

This is a modern kind of hosting platform that allows clients powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. A cloud-hosted website may be more reliable than others since other servers in the cloud can compensate when an individual piece of hardware goes down. Also, local power failures or even natural disasters are less of a problem for cloud hosted sites, as cloud hosting is not centralized. Cloud hosting also permits providers to invoice users just for resources consumed by the client, rather than a flat fee for the amount the user expects they may use, or a fixed rate upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the decentralization may give users less control over where their information is located, which could be a deal breaker for users with data security or privacy concerns.

Clustered Hosting

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

Grid Hosting

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

Home Server

Generally, an individual computer situated in a private residence can be used to host one or more sites from a generally consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built computers or more commonly older PCs. Some ISPs purposefully work to block home servers by not allowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user's connection and by refusing to offer static IP addresses. A wonderful method to attain 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 supplied by website host service providers:

  • File hosting service: hosts files, not website 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 can also offer an interface or control panel for managing the web server and installing scripts, as well as other modules and service applications like email. A web server that doesn't use a control panel for managing the hosting account, is generally 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 differs 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 during network outage. A hosting provider's Service Level Agreement (SLA) might include a specific amount of scheduled downtime each year in order to perform maintenance on the servers. The scheduled downtime is at times not included in 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 computer drops below that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider generally will offer a partial refund for lost time. How downtime is determined varies from provider to provider, therefore going through the SLA is not to be taken lightly. Not all providers produce uptime info. Quite a number of hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will provide for 43 minutes of downtime per month, or 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime every year.

Obtaining Hosting

Web hosting is generally provided as part of a larger internet access plan from internet service providers. There are also a number of free and paid providers offering website hosting.

A client is encouraged to 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. A number of hosting providers provide Linux-based website hosting which provides a wide range of various software. A usual configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The web hosting customer might want to acquire other services, such as email for their organization domain, databases or multimedia services. A client may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The customer still can choose from Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, but the user may also use ASP.NET or ASP Classic. Web hosting packages at times include a website content management system, so the end-user doesn't have to be bothered about the more technical items.

Security

Since web hosting services host websites which belong to their clients, online security is an important issue. When a client agrees to use a website hosting service, they are giving up control of the security of their site to the service provider that is hosting the website. The level of security that a website hosting service supplies is super important to a prospective customer and can be a major issue when considering which provider a customer may choose.

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

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