Web Hosting Guide
What is Web Hosting?

What is Web hosting? If you are going to build a website you need to know what web hosting is. This article defines web hosting, explains what web hosting products and services web hosts offer, and gives an example of different types of Web hosting.

What Is a Web Host?

It's possible to do the entire set up of a website, including multiple pages, and elaborate multimedia on your own computer. In order to have a website appear on the Internet, it needs to be served so that it is accessible via the Internet. It is possible to use one's own server. But most people use a web host to serve their website. Web hosting is the business of serving web sites so that they are accessible via the Internet.

What Products and Services do Web Hosts Offer?

In order for a website to be hosted, there must be a domain name that identifies it and by means of which people can find it. Because of this close connection between domain names and web hosting, you will find that there are many domain name registrars that also provide web hosting, or—to look at it the other way—many web hosts that provide domain name services. 

However, although you do need a domain name for your website, it is not necessary to use a web host that is a domain name registrar. First of all, you can register a domain name through one company and do your web hosting through a different company. Or—in some circumstances—you may wish to use a web hosting service that allows you to create your website as a sub-domain of their URL, in which case, you do not need to register your own URL.

There are other basics that a web host supplies and other products and services that may be be offered, but are over and above the basics. The basics are disk space, bandwidth, and a way to get information and media uploaded to your website. Without these three things, a website is impossible. Beyond these core basics are other items that are often very important: technical support to help you if anything goes wrong; email connected to your site URL, and a site builder to help you  build a website. Other features, products, and services are offered, but they may be at higher tiers of service and/or be part of an upgrade.

Tiers of Web Hosting Service

Some web hosting is all of the same type. But web hosts often offer a choice of some standard levels of service. These are often:

  • Shared hosting—web hosting in which many accounts share space and resources on a server.
  • Virtual Private Server or Virtual Dedicated Server (VPS or VDS)—web hosting in which accounts share a server, but the space and resources are dedicated, so that one account's use cannot (or at least, should not) affect other accounts.
  • Dedicated Hosting—web hosting in which an account has its own server and resources
  • Collocation Hosting—web hosting in which the account owner supplies the server, which is located at the web hosting server farm, with all security, redundancy, and reliability issues being in the web host's care.

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