Web hosting (or simply hosting) is a type of internet service which allows for a website to be reachable from any point of the world. You can think of the web hosting as a service of “storage” of your site.
How does it work?
The website itself is located on a web server. You can think of the server as a very powerful computer, which allows for fast operations, has large data storage capacity and high reliability. Those servers are located in data centers. The data centers are basically big “storage” facilities, containing lots of servers. These servers are connected to a high speed internet connection and are maintained by staff of specialists. In addition to that, the data centers have special systems against fire, floods, hacking and physical theft. Generators, would support the electrical power in case of failure of the electrical system. All this guarantees constant and unimpeded work of the servers. This leads us to the web hosting providers. These are the companies which offer web hosting services. Typically, they have their own data centers or rent resources from a data center. The services which they offer are various and the main groups are: Shared Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Server and Collocation.
The shared hosting service allows a large number of different websites to be located on a single server. This means, that if you use this service your website will be located on a server on which there will be lots of other websites, not connected with your account. These websites share the resources of the server between themselves. The resources are distributed according to the needs. In that way, one website may use more RAM while another may use less RAM. The shared hosting service is suitable for small websites which do not need a lot of server resources. A disadvantage of the shared hosting plan is the so called downtime. Downtime essentially means that your website is not accessible through the internet. Sometimes this problem may arise because of problematic websites located on the server, problematic server requests etc. Hosting providers try to minimize downtime as much as possible and in lots of cases you may not even realize that your site experienced downtime.
VPS or Virtual Private Server is a service similar to the shared hosting. In VPS plans, there are several accounts located on a single server. However, the resources per account are fixed. For example, a given server may be divided in 10 equal parts and each of those parts will be used by a single account. In that way your website always has a fixed amount of resources. The result is, that the service is more stable and less downtime occurs. However, the downside is that VPS is more expensive than shared hosting.
The dedicated server plan basically means that you rent a server located in the data center of the hosting provider. In that case you have all the server resources at your disposal. The only drawback is the higher price compared to VPS or shared hosting plan. This service is typically used for large websites (or a large number of websites owned by a single party) and companies that need more resources, stability and control.
With the colocation service you place your own server and in a data center or you simply purchase one of the servers of the data center. In that way you can have your own web server but use the advantages of a data center: continuous power supply, fire & flood protection, protection against hacking and physical theft of data. The server itself is owned by the customer and the hosting provider receives rent for the physical space at which the server is located. This service offers all kinds of advantages like physical access to the server, security and flexibility.
Some advice when choosing a web hosting service
- Choose a web hosting service that suits your needs. The cost of the service is an important factor but do not base your choice entirely on that. In the long run you may lose more by choosing a cheaper service.
- Do not base your hosting provider choice on uptime guarantees. After all there almost certainly will be some downtime and it is much more important to choose a provider that handles problems quickly.
- Support is the key. If a hosting provider has poor support than it is certain that you will experience problems sooner or later.
We at Code+ always assist to our clients in their web hosting choice. If you need assistance for setting up a hosting service do not hesitate to contact us.