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Top Website Hosting Companies 2018

Top Website Hosting Companies 2018

Top Website Hosting Companies 2018

A web hosting service is a kind of internet hosting service that permits 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 customers, as well as providing internet connectivity, usually in a data center. Web 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 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 website pages. The world wide web protocols had only just been established and not until the end of 1993 would there be a graphical website browser for Mac or Windows computers. Even after there was additional internet access, the situation was challenging until 1995.

To host a website on the internet, an individual or organization would need their own computer system or server. As not all companies had the budget or expertise to achieve this, web site hosting services started to provide services to host users' websites on their own servers, without the customer needing to assemble the necessary infrastructure required to run the web site. The owners of the sites, also known as webmasters, would be able to construct a site that would be hosted on the website 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 increased. By 1995, companies such as GeoCities, Angelfire and Tripod were supplying free hosting.

Classification

Smaller Hosting Services

The most simple is aweb page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a website interface. The files are often delivered to the web "as is" or with very little processing. Many internet service providers (ISPs) provide this service free to subscribers. Individuals and companies may also obtain website page hosting from alternative service providers.

Free website hosting service is provided by various companies with limited services, sometimes supported by adds, and generally limited when compared to paid hosting.

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

Larger Hosting Services

Many large companies that are not ISPs need to be constantly connected to the web so they can send email, files, etc. to other sites. The company may use the computer as a website host to supply details of their products and services and facilities for internet-based orders.

A complicated site calls for a more expanded 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 develop 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 website hosting services varies quite a bit.

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. Typically, 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 quite basic and not flexible in terms of software and updates. Resellers at times make available shared web hosting and website companies often have reseller accounts to provide hosting for clients.

Reseller Website Hosting

Reseller web hosting permits customers to become website hosts themselves. Resellers can 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 vary quite a bit in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server. Many resellers supply a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan and provide the technical 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 does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. VPS will sometimes be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, however, virtualization might be desired for a number of reasons, which includes the option to move a VPS container from one server to another. Users may have root access to their own virtual space. Users are often responsible for fixing and maintaining the server (unmanaged server) or the VPS provider may supply server admin jobs for the customer (managed server).

Dedicated Hosting Service

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

Managed Hosting Service

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

Colocation Website Hosting Service

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

Cloud Hosting

This is a relatively modern kind of hosting platform that permits users strong, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. A cloud-hosted site might be more stable than alternatives as other computers in the cloud can compensate when a single piece of hardware fails. Furthermore, 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 invoice users just for resources used by the client, instead of a flat fee for the amount the customer expects they may consume, or a fixed amount upfront hardware investment. Alternatively, the decentralization may give customers less control on where their data is located, which could be challenging for clients with data security or privacy worries.

Clustered Hosting

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

Grid Hosting

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

Home Server

Typically, a sole computer situated in a private home can be used to host one or a few sites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PCs. Some internet service providers purposefully attempt to block home servers by not allowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A quick method to attain a reliable DNS hostname is by obtaining 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 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 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 at times 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 site is measured by the percentage of a year in which the site 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 such as during network outage. A hosting provider's Service Level Agreement (SLA) might include a reasonable amount of scheduled downtime per year in order to perform maintenance on the systems. This 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 provide a partial refund for lost time. How downtime is determined varies from provider to provider, therefore going through the SLA is imperative. Not all providers show 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 each year.

Obtaining Hosting

Website hosting is sometimes supplied as part of a larger internet access plan from internet service providers. There are also a number of free and paid providers offering web hosting.

A client must 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 supply Linux-based website hosting which offers a wide range of different 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 have other services, such as email for their organization domain, databases or multimedia services. A customer might also prefer Windows as the hosting platform. The client still can choose from Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby, but the user may also use ASP.NET or ASP Classic. Web hosting packages generally include a website content management system, so the end-user doesn't have to worry about the more technical parts.

Security

Because website hosting services host websites belonging to their customers, internet security is an important concern. When a customer agrees to use a website hosting service, they are passing on control of the security of their website to the service provider that is hosting the website. The level of security that a web hosting service offers is super important to a potential customer and can be a major consideration when considering which provider a customer may choose.

Website hosting server can be targeted by malicious organizations in different ways, which include uploading malware or malicious code onto a hosted site. 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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