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The Best Website Hosting

The Best Website Hosting

The Best Website Hosting

A web hosting service is a kind of internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website available via the world wide web. Web hosts are organizations that supply space on a server owned or leased for use by users, 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 established and not until the end of 1993 would there be a graphical web browser for Mac or Windows computers. Even after there was some opening up of internet availability, the situation was challenging until 1995.

To host a website on the internet, a person or company would need their own computer system or server. As not all organizations had the money or experience to complete this, website hosting services started to offer to host users' websites on their own servers, without the client needing to configure the necessary infrastructure neededd to run the web site. The owners of the sites, also called webmasters, would be able to develop a website that would be hosted on the web hosting service's server and published to the internet by the web hosting service.

As the number of users on the world wide web grew, the demand for organizations, both big and small, to have an online presence grew. By 1995, companies such as GeoCities, Angelfire and Tripod were providing 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 sometimes delivered to the web "as is" or with minimal processing. Many internet service providers (ISPs) provide this service at no charge to users. Individuals and companies may also obtain website page hosting from other service providers.

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

Single page hosting is at times sufficient for personal web pages. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting sometimes has a higher investment 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 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 website orders.

A complicated site demands 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 customers 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 safe.

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Types of Hosting

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

Shared Web Hosting Service

One's site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few sites 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 type of service can be relatively basic and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers often make available shared web hosting and web organizations generally have reseller accounts to provide hosting for clients.

Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller web hosting permits clients to be web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are working with as a reseller. Resellers' accounts may differentiate quite a bit 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 tech support themselves.

Virtual Dedicated Server

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 does not directly reflect the server's hardware. VPS will often be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, however, virtualization may be done for a number of reasons, including the option to relocate a VPS container between servers. The users might have root access to their own virtual space. Clients are typically responsible for patching and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may supply server administration tasks for the client (managed server).

Dedicated Hosting Service

The client 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 user typically does not own the server. One kind of dedicated hosting is self-managed or unmanaged. This is sometimes the least expensive for dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the server, which means the customer is responsible for the security and maintenance of their own dedicated server.

Managed Hosting Service

The user gets his or her own web server but they are not allowed full control over it (the client is denied root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The client is not permitted complete control so that the provider can guarantee the quality of service by not allowing the user to modify the server or possibly create configuration problems. The user generally doesn't 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 user owns the colocation server; the hosting company offers physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the computer. This is the most powerful and costly type of web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may supply little to no help directly for their user's server, providing just the electrical, internet access, and storage facilities for the server. 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, many colocation providers would allow any computer configuration for hosting, even ones housed in desktop-style minitower cases, but most hosting companies now insist on rack mount enclosures and standard system configurations.

Cloud Hosting

This is a new kind of hosting platform that allows clients strong, 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 computers in the cloud can take over when an individual piece of hardware goes down. Also, local power failures or even natural disasters are less of a problem for cloud hosted websites, as cloud hosting is not centralized. Cloud hosting also allows providers to bill users just for resources consumed by the client, rather than a flat fee for the amount the client guesses they will use, or a fixed cost upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the decentralization might give customers less control over where their data is located, which could be challenging for clients 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 creating a scalable web hosting system. A cluster may separate web serving from database hosting capability. (Sometimes web hosts use clustered hosting for their shared hosting plans, as there are many options to the mass managing of clients).

Grid Hosting

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

Home Server

Sometimes, an individual computer placed in a private home can be used to host one or multiple sites from a typically consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly older PCs. Some ISPs purposefully try to block home servers by blocking incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the client's connection and by refusing to offer static IP addresses. A easy opportunity to keep a reliable DNS hostname is by creating 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 kinds of hosting provided by web 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 supply 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 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 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 such as during network outage. A hosting provider's Service Level Agreement (SLA) might include a specific amount of scheduled downtime per 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 system drops lower than that in the signed SLA, a hosting provider at times will supply a partial refund for time lost. How downtime is calculated changes from provider to provider, therefore going through the SLA is crucial. Not all providers provide uptime information. A number of hosting providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime which will allow 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 complete internet access plan from internet service providers. There are also a lot of free and paid providers offering website hosting.

A client must 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 website hosting which offers 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 website hosting customer might want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multimedia services. A customer may also prefer Windows as the hosting platform. The user still can choose from Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, but the customer may also use ASP.NET or ASP Classic. Website hosting packages at times include a web content management system, so the end-user does not have to be bothered about the more technical items.

Security

Because web hosting services host websites belonging to their clients, internet security is a vital issue. When a client agrees to use a website hosting service, they are handing over control of the security of their site to the provider that is hosting the website. The level of security that a web hosting service supplies is extremely important to a potential client and can be a major issue when considering which supplier a customer should choose.

Website hosting computers can be targeted by malicious people in different ways, which include uploading malware or malicious code onto a hosted site. These attacks {may|might| be done for different reasons, such as stealing credit card info, launching a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) or spamming.

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