A Definition of Hosting
Hosting is a service that web hosts provide so that you can publish your site on the web.
How can people access your site?
When you set up a website and you want other individuals to visit it, you will need to publish (or upload) it to a web hosting server. If you attempt to make the site visible on the Internet by hosting it on your own personal computer, there is no way for you to keep it always online, which is why website hosting services came into being.
How does website hosting work?
Web hosting corporations provide you with disk drive storage space for your website on their high-end computers (servers) and ensure uninterrupted network connectivity. When someone writes your domain name (e.g. www.my-best-domain.com) in their web browser's address bar, they will be connected to the hosting server where they can take a peek at the content of your web site.
Types of hosting
With the development of Internet technologies, different types of hosting services have come into being to fulfill the different expectations of website owners, including shared web site hosting services, VPS web server hosting services and dedicated web hosting services.
Shared website hosting is the most commonly used form of website hosting, and is also the easiest to begin with. It is a service where a single web server is divided among a lot of users who are limited by the CPU, web traffic and hosting server storage space quotas that they have been assigned. This type of web hosting is commonly cheaper - you don't need to purchase the whole web server upfront, since it is shared between lots of customers, and the hosting provider can afford to offer much more reasonable prices. It is also easier to use - the server is pre-installed with all the required software and the web hosting supplier handles all server maintenance procedures and software updates on your behalf.
The weakness of the shared web hosting solution is that you share the server's system resources with other web hosting users and if one site becomes really popular it may influence (and slow down) the rest of the websites on that server, but most hosting companies, including NTCHosting, have security platforms at work that hinder that from taking place.
A description of a website hosting service
Because shared hosting is the most commonly used form of website hosting, most web hosting firms and web hosting customers simply call it hosting or website hosting. As there is a great competition on the hosting market, the majority of hosting distributors try to provide modest prices and gifts with their web hosting services. NTCHosting, for example, provides different web site hosting packages and two billing options - monthly and annual, depending on your resources. If you choose the yearly invoicing cycle, you will receive a present - one free domain name registration.
Virtual Web Server Hosting Packages
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. The private virtual web server hosting solution is basically the middle ground between the shared hosting solution and the dedicated server hosting solution. If your website outgrows the resources offered by your shared web hosting package, a private virtual web server hosting plan is an excellent option. virtual server hosting account owners still share the hardware resources of the physical server with other VPS server hosting account holders, but the hard drive space is split up using a special virtualization technology so that each partition has its own guaranteed resources and can be configured almost like a real dedicated web server. The upside is that the CPU and the RAM memory on a VPS hosting server are not shared. Moreover, the virtualization software offers you much more freedom to configure your private virtual hosting server, but it also calls for a higher degree of technical knowledge.
Dedicated hosting services
With the dedicated server web hosting solution, the client obtains an entire server and can utilize all its system resources. The dedicated server hosting solution is the most robust of all hosting solutions and offers multiple customization possibilities - the dedicated web server hosting clients can select the hardware and software specifications that will match their needs. Dedicated system resources and no-holds-barred performance are two reasons why a dedicated hosting server is an excellent choice for a heavy-content business web site for instance - you will not share the web server's resources with anyone else and will gain full root privileges. You will exert full authority over the physical machine which will allow you to implement any server configuration changes that you might need. The weakness of the dedicated web server hosting solution is that a more advanced level of technical know-how is needed - unless you hire an IT professional it will be your obligation to manage and configure the physical machine. The dedicated hosting solution is also far more high-priced since the cost of the dedicated web hosting server isn't shared between any other customers.
A web site hosting tip for novices
If you are just starting to create your site and are searching for a website hosting solution to start out with the shared website hosting solution remains the most logical option. If your web site grows beyond your website hosting account's resources you can normally upgrade. With ExclusiveHosting for instance this is very easy and requires no migration of your web site files because only the features of your web site hosting account change. You can also upgrade your web site hosting plan to a more powerful one at any particular time without worrying about the number of days remaining until expiration. Besides if you finally reach the most powerful shared web site hosting plan and still need more system resources (which is great sometimes - it suggests that your website's popularity has increased!) there always is the possibility to switch to a virtual server web hosting platform or a dedicated server without having to swap web hosting service providers.