Overview of Website Hosting Services

23 Feb 2014 06:51
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Website hosting services are businesses that lease out space on a server to clients who do not have their own web servers, as well as providing Internet connectivity and file maintenance. They store website files in very powerful web servers connected to a fast network. The scope of web hosting ranges from small-scale file or web page hosting to complex packages that provide application development platforms, database support, control panel or interface management and other service applications such as e-mail.

Two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a web host service are reliability and up-time. The reliability of a system refers to the percentage of the year in which users are able to reach or access a website via the Internet. On the other hand, up-time refers to the system being online, without taking into account the ability to access it during a network outage. Calculation of the system's expected downtime per year involves multiplying the up-time guarantee with the number of minutes in a year; that is, 525,600. Therefore, if the up-time guarantee is 99.99%, then the allowable downtime per year is 0.0001 multiplied by 525,600 minutes, which equals to 52.56 minutes per year.

Types of Website Hosting Services

Some hosts offer free web hosting services, which often use advertisements to generate income. Such hosts usually feature a directory or subdomain as opposed to paid hosts that normally provide a second-tier domain in addition to the hosting. Apart from being free, they are easy to set up, they allow scalability, and are excellent for practice; however, they have a number of limitations. They do not allow clients to use their own domain name, they allow very limited control, they feature intrusive and distracting advertisements, and finally, they offer very limited space and bandwidth. For more information on shared hosting features visit NCM Online.

A shared web hosting service refers to a service where numerous websites reside on the same server. The number of websites hosted by a single hosting service may range from a few hundred to thousands, typically sharing a common pool of server resources, with each site occupying a specific partition on the server. The benefits of shared web hosting far outweigh the disadvantages for many individuals and businesses. The hosting company performs the server maintenance operations and it is cheaper than a dedicated hosting service. Shared hosting has a few disadvantages as well; for example, it does not allow system modification, and it offers limited resources. For more information on shared hosting features visit NCM Online.

Large businesses prefer investing in dedicated website hosting services. In this type of setup, each client gets a web server and enjoys considerable control over it; however, the client does not own the server. There are two types of dedicated hosting services; namely, unmanaged and managed. In a managed hosting service, the user is able to manage data via various remote management tools; however, the service provider retains full control of the root access. When it comes to unmanaged or self-managed hosting, the user enjoys full administrative access and control of the server, including maintenance and security.

Cloud website hosting services involve clients sharing physical servers at the hosting company, but with each server partitioned into unique virtual servers for each client. Each virtual server is separate from the others, with a unique IP address for each client. This type of setup offers more control and greater performance than shared hosting; and yet is less expensive than dedicated hosting. Cloud hosting service providers charge clients for the resources they consume, as opposed to a flat fee or fixed cost applicable to other types of hosting services.

A collocation hosting service is similar to a dedicated service; however, the user owns the server, while the hosting company merely provides the physical space for the server and takes care of it. It is the most expensive type of hosting service since the collocation provider provides only the physical space, electricity, and Internet access, while the owner foots the administration, maintenance, repairs, and upgrades costs.

E-commerce website hosting services have gained massive popularity with the growth of online shops. E-commerce hosting is any type of website hosting that allows secure online purchasing, typically using a shopping card, and process credit card transactions. Other types of website hosting services include clustered hosting, grid hosting, virtual private server, and reseller web hosting.

There are many free and paid website hosting services in the market; therefore, clients need to evaluate their primary requirements to choose the best service.

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