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Almost everyone has a website nowadays. In fact, many small businesses like to open their own websites first on the internet by which they can get free word-of-mouth publicity. But if you are a buyer, you must have noticed some things about different websites. A few websites are fast and almost every page pops up fast while others take a long time to open even a single page. Sometimes, websites operate flawlessly and efficiently while other sites seem to struggle with every task performed. This is where web hosting services come into play.
What is a website hosting service?
When you open a website, the actual data of the website is hosted or stored on a server or main computer. Large companies called Web Hosting Providers, or Internet Service Providers, rent space on these servers for website owners who can use the space to store their websites and the information on it. When you publish information on the internet on your website, the data is stored on a server. This ensures that when a person clicks on your link, they are immediately redirected to your website and the content that you have stored on the server. Web hosting companies can rent space to people from all over the world so long as they pay for the space. Web server companies also provide space for other servers located in their data centers. That means companies with a lot of space may rent a part of their server space to other smaller web hosting companies in a process called as colocation.
The actual services that are offered by web hosting services will vary considerably. Simple website hosting services are usually offered free to the consumer. These are best for personal websites. A person can easily open their own website, type in content and then update it on their websites and the content goes live immediately. This is one of the simplest ways of starting a website and the data usually appears directly on the website 'as-is.' This is referred to as personal website hosting and it is usually offered free with a limited amount of server space.
Small business will usually want more server space and higher data transfer capabilities. They will also usually want more features, such as blogs, forums, web forms, and so on. In this case, the small business will usually opt for an inexpensive hosting package, usually less than $5/month. This is sometimes referred to as a basic plan or budget hosting from a commercial hosting service.
Business or commercial hosting services are usually faster and offer many more perks for the website owner. These are usually complex sites and comprehensive packages are required along with features like database support and application development platforms like PHP, JAVA and Ruby on Rails etc. These applications will allow users to upload special sections like forums, content management services and surveys. The website hosting service may also allow website owners to install or change existing scripts to revamp their websites.
Types of hosting services
There are several different types of website hosting services and companies present on the internet. Website hosting services may be classified into several different varieties.
1. Private website hosting is done by large companies. Because they require space to share and store interoffice documents and information, they prefer to host their own data on their own servers. This is a private service and only company employees can access the hosting services to use the space.
2. Home hosting is also a form of private hosting. Clients may choose to save their website data on their own personal server and then connect to the internet. These may be purpose made servers or old PCs that have been connected together to provide hosting services for small business owners.
3. Public free and paid website hosting services.
a. Free website hosting services are commonly offered as an incentive to internet customers. Services and capabilities are limited. Different paid hosting companies are available on the internet and they usually advertise their services.
b. Shared website hosting services are also available online. In this shared services, many users can host their website on the same service. Typically all the websites on the same server have the same type of services like shared RAM and CPUs. Shared website services are commonly used on the internet and they are usually paid services.
c. Reseller web hosting services lease space to website owners. Resellers buy their space from the parent company and use the space as they want. They can choose to use the space themselves or they may choose to resell the space. They offer tailored space for each customer and they may even have a shared colocated service for their customers.
d. Virtual Private Servers (VPS) divide their resources into a simple way so that all customers get the maximum benefits. VPS customers are usually allocated resources from one server and customers are allowed root access to their own space. Sometimes, customers are also supposed to patch and repair their own servers in case of serious errors but usually the host takes care of maintenance and repair costs. It's the next best thing to having a dedicated server, but without the higher cost.
e. Dedicated hosting servers are the most popular with small and large companies. The business gets their own space on the server and they can control it completely. They are even allowed root access to their space for alterations. The hosting company also offers self managed or unmanaged services that are the least expensive for large companies. The user can access this server but he or she is also responsible for maintenance and security of their own space and their own server.
f. Managed hosting services are great as the user gets his space but he is not allowed full control on it. Users manage their data with simple FTP or remote management tools and fast services are provided. However, protection and maintenance is done by the hosting service. This server is also leased to the client for a small amount.
g. Colocation services are the most popular for large companies online at present. The service is the same as dedicated web hosting services but the users owns his colocated server. This is the most powerful and fastest website hosting service available on the internet and it's the most expensive as well. The parent company provides no support and the client has to manage everything. The only thing provided by the parent company is electricity, internet access and storage.
h. Clustered hosting is simpler as multiple servers host the same content in many locations. These are really great hosting services as they offer multiple benefits to the client.
i. Grid hosting is form of hosting in which the server acts as a grid with multiple nodes that can be used by consumers.
j. Cloud hosting is rising fast in popularity. This service is powerful, fast and completely reliable. The service is decentralized and this means that local power problems or weather problems do not affect it. In the near future, cloud hosting is expected to be the best hosting service.
How to choose website hosting services?
Website hosting is widely available through the internet. You can pick and choose the type of hosting that you want. However, it's a good idea to compare features about each service along with price. For example, are you going to have a large site or a small one? A blog or a social networking site or an online gaming site will require completely different hosting services and they will cost differently as well. Most hosting services have a package of about $5 to more than $100 to about $500 per month but you can pick the service that you want and then upgrade it as you want. There are a dizzying amount of web hosting services but make sure that you check for reliability. Website hosting services have to be online 24 -- 7. That means the server should be connected to the internet and accessible for users who want to reach it. As a result, most website hosting services are measured by their uptime or the amount of time they are connected to the internet.
Hosting services may promise 99% uptime but what does that mean exactly. The procedure by which you can check uptime is as follows:
• First calculate the amount of time in a year. This formula is used 365 days per year multiplied by 24 hours per day multiplied by 60 minutes per hour = this provides the amount of minutes in a year which is about 525,600 minutes
• Find out how much uptime is being offered by the company. This will be listed by the company on their advertisements as 90%, 99% etc.
• Multiple this with the total number of minutes in a year to get the uptime. For example, a website hosting service with 90% availability will mean a downtime of 36.5 days per year. It will then come to 72 hours of downtime in a month and about 16.8 hours of downtime in a week.
Before choosing any type of hosting service, make sure that they have a minimum uptime of at least 99%. Try to find a web hosting service with the smallest price but the best perks. If you want to, you can upgrade the facilities offered by the web hosting service by choosing additional amenities and adding it to the overall package deal. Finally, if you feel that your website require more facilities and amenities, then dedicated hosting or VPS hosting might be the way to go with a server that will provided the best hosting for your needs.
NOTE: Our goal at FindTop10Hosting.com is to save you time by suggesting the best hosting providers for your needs. Use the tabs on the right to find the best host for your needs by category (Shared Hosting, Business Hosting, etc). These are the hosts we've found that offer the most reliability, services, and features at a reasonable price. You can also refer to the user reviews from customers of these hosts to help you decide who is the best host for your needs.
Latest Guides and Articles
Most web hosting providers are now offering what is called "unlimited hosting." These hosts offer unlimited hosting as a way to get your business in a very competitive hosting market. Customers are attracted to this feature for obvious reasons.
Unlimited hosting means you never have to worry about running out of bandwidth right? Well let's just say you should be aware of the unlimited myth.
The Unlimited Myth
The unlimited myth is really simple. Although this is a good feature in principle,Read more...
Getting your site in the search engines.
Getting your site in the search engines is known as Indexing. The good news is it's really very easy to get indexed.
Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo use crawlers to find pages for their search results. And if another site that is in their index links to you, then their crawler will follow it to your site and eventually index your site.
You can also add your site manually to the search engines and it's really quite easy as well.
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Latest Customer Reviews
"I've used HostGator forever and they are my favorite. I use other hosts as well for SEO purposes but HostGator is an old staple that is hassle free and they make everything easy. Very user friendly. Highly recommend."
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"I want to voice my satisfaction with JustHost. Their customer support has helped me immensely. I recommend."
"I heard a lot of good things about these guys so I gave them a shot for my hosting. I thought they would be a good host, especially since they are wind powered and I like that. But customer service was slow. 5 years ago it would've been acceptable, but these days you should be able to get an answer within minutes, any day of the year, and that's just not the case with FatCow"
"I have had a site hosted on iPage for a couple years with no problems. A couple months ago I built a Joomla site and hosted it with them, but that site started experiencing a lot of downtime and slow loading pages. I contacted technical support several times and was unable to resolve the problem. After researching it a bit, I found out iPage's hosting servers are not optimized for Joomla sites and that's why that site experienced poor performance. So I would say it's a great site for most sites, but if you have a Joomla site you probably should look for another host (that's why I'm here!)"