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Free Internet Website Hosting

Free Internet Website Hosting

Free Internet Website Hosting

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

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 website pages. The world wide web protocols had only just been put together and not till the end of 1993 would there be a graphical web site browser for Mac or Windows computers. Even after there was additional internet access, the situation was confused until 1995.

To host a web site on the internet, a person or organization would need their own computer system or server. As not all companies had the budget or capability to do this, web hosting services began to supply services to host users' sites on their own servers, without the client needing to purchase the necessary infrastructure required to operate the website. The owners of the sites, also referred to as webmasters, would be able to build a site that would be hosted on the web hosting service's server and published to the web by the website hosting service.

As the number of users on the internet grew, the demand for organizations, both large and tiny, 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 interface. The files are often delivered to the web "as is" or with minimal processing. Many internet service providers (ISPs) provide this service with no cost to subscribers. Individuals and companies may also obtain web page hosting from alternative service providers.

Free web hosting service is provided by different organizations with limited services, at times supported by adds, and often limited when compared to paid hosting.

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

Larger Hosting Services

Many big organizations that are not ISPs need to be permanently connected to the web to send email, files, etc. to other sites. The company may use the computer as a website host to offer details of their products and services and facilities for website orders.

A complex website will have a more expanded package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. ASP.NET, ColdFusion, Java EE, Perl/Plack, PHP or Ruby on Rails). These facilities allow clients to write 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 safe.

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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 placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few websites to hundreds of websites. Generally, 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 relatively simple and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers often provide shared website hosting and web organizations generally have reseller accounts to supply hosting for clients.

Reseller Website Hosting

Reseller web hosting permits customers to become web hosts themselves. Resellers may function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a reseller. Resellers' accounts may differentiate a lot in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan and supply the tech support themselves.

Virtual Dedicated Server

This is 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, however, virtualization might be chosen for a number of reasons, including the ability to move a VPS container from one server to another. The users might have root access to their own virtual space. Customers are often responsible for fixing and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may provide server administration tasks for the customer (managed server).

Dedicated Hosting Service

The customer gets his or her own website server and gains complete control over it (user has root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the client generally doesn't own the server. One kind of dedicated hosting is self-managed or unmanaged. This is generally the least expensive for dedicated plans. The client 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 they are not allowed full control over the server (the client is not given root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); but, they can manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The customer is not given full control so that the provider can guarantee the quality of service by not permitting the client to modify the server or possibly create configuration problems. The client usually does not own the server. The server is leased to the user.

Colocation Website Hosting Service

Similar to the dedicated web hosting service, but the user owns the colocation server; the hosting organization provides physical space that the computer takes up and manages the server. This is the most powerful and costly type of web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may offer little to no assistance directly for their client's computer, providing only the electrical, internet access, and storage facilities for the computer. In most cases for colocation, the client 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 server configuration for hosting, even ones housed in desktop-style minitower cases, but most hosts now expect rack mount enclosures and standard system configurations.

Cloud Hosting

This is a relatively new kind of hosting platform that permits clients strong, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. A cloud-hosted site may be more reliable than alternatives as other servers in the cloud can compensate 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 permits providers to bill users just for resources consumed by the user, rather than a flat amount for the amount the user expects they might use, or a fixed cost upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the decentralization may provide users less control over where their information is located, which could be a deal breaker for users with data security or privacy worries.

Clustered Hosting

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

Grid Hosting

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

Home Server

Usually, an individual computer placed in a private residence can be used to host one or multiple websites from a generally consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PCs. Some internet service providers purposefully work to block home servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the client's connection and by refusing to supply static IP addresses. A well-known opportunity to get a reliable DNS hostname is by creating an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically change the IP address that a URL directs to when the IP address changes.

Some specific kinds of hosting supplied 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 might 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 website server that does not use a control panel for managing the hosting account, is often 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 available 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 when there is a network outage. A hosting provider's Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a specific amount of scheduled downtime each year in order to perform maintenance on the systems. The scheduled downtime is often 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 computer drops below that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider sometimes will supply a partial refund for time lost. How downtime is determined changes from provider to provider, therefore understanding the SLA is crucial. Not all providers release uptime stats. Most 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 per year.

Obtaining Hosting

Website hosting is at times supplied as part of a complete internet access plan from internet service providers. There are also many free and paid providers offering website hosting.

A client 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. Many hosting providers provide Linux-based web 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 may want to acquire other services, such as email for their organization domain, databases or multimedia services. A user may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The user still can choose from Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, but the client may also use ASP.NET or ASP Classic. Web hosting packages at times include a web content management system, so the end-user doesn't have to be bothered about the more technical components.

Security

Since website hosting services host sites which belong to their customers, web security is an important topic. When a client agrees to use a website hosting service, they are relinquishing control of the security of their site to the service provider that is hosting the website. The degree of security that a website hosting service supplies is very important to a prospective customer and can be a major component when considering which provider a customer may choose.

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

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