A Lesson In Web Hosting
Every website needs a home – a place in which it can be stored, aka “hosted.” Unless your profession is in web hosting or within a similar field of IT, the term “web hosting” and the technological process behind it may seem a bit confusing! Where your website resides, however, is one of the most important components of your site’s performance. To gain a better knowledge of web hosting, let’s take a quick peek into what the service actually is, how it works and what types of hosting options there are to choose from.
Web Hosting 101
Simply put, web hosting providers are companies that provide Internet connected servers for the use of making websites accessible online. Web hosts provide their customers a place to store and serve their website. Web servers are efficient and powerful computers where website files reside. When someone visits your site, they’re viewing files from the server that are rendered in the web browser. Because there are various web hosting types, it’s important to understand what each option offers in order to choose the best home for your website (more on that later).
So how does hosting work? First, the web host sectors out server space and network bandwidth to you in order to make your website accessible online. It is their responsibility to make sure the server and networks are reliable with high availability times by keeping up with continuous maintenance and upgrades for both hardware and software. The larger the web host, the greater the amount of servers and services they offer. Hosting providers operate their servers out of data centers, which are large facilities that offer the fastest Internet connections, 24/7 monitoring, security, UPS and battery backups as well as environment control. Because of the controlled environment, data centers provide the best location for these hardware systems so that everything may run as smoothly as possible on a daily basis. Any computer can actually be used to host a website, but nothing compares to the systems used by hosting companies. Their servers are exceptionally powerful and can store tremendous amounts of data.
There are four common types of web hosting services to consider for your website and they include self-hosted, shared hosting, virtual dedicated/private server (VPS) and dedicated server hosting.
Self-hosted websites are exactly what you think–hosting provided by yourself, using your personal Internet connection. If you believe you have enough knowledge of web hosting, it’s possible to host your website without a professional. Be cautious, however, as many ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) don’t accept this type of activity. You could violate your Terms of Service, so be sure to check for approval. Self-hosting gives you complete power and control over your website. Hosting is free, and you can do whatever you choose with the site. But be aware that the upload speed of your Internet connection is a significant factor in determining the speed of your website. If your ISP has a monthly allowance, any upload traffic you use to host your site will also affect that. Self-hosting may seem like an easy option, but only choose this route if you are confident in your level of technical knowledge.
Shared hosting involves your site sharing a server with hundreds of other websites on the same server. This means that all of the server system resources are shared amongst every website on the server. Shared hosting typically comes with set pricing/package options, including domain name registration, an allotment of network bandwidth and disk storage space. You can also install blogging and forum web applications – they’re easy to use without the need of extensive technical knowledge. There are many online shared hosting providers with low prices and “getting started” plans, but when it comes to online hosts, you will get what you pay for. As time goes on, you may realize that an online host cannot provide you with the same attention and benefits as an in-person, hosting agency can. Hosting agencies are ready to provide you with immediate support, including prompt action and solutions. They may provide homes to numerous websites, but they’ll also treat their clients like individuals.
Virtual Dedicated (Private) Hosting
Virtual dedicated hosting utilizes server hardware that is shared amongst several virtual machines each running their own Operating System. This provides security to those needing a dedicated hosting environment, without having to pay for the more costly dedicated server. With administrative access, you’re able to install almost any software that runs on that particular Operating System. Virtual servers are commonly offered by companies as an extension to their current web hosting services. Keep in mind that when using virtual dedicated hosting, the package tiers will specify the servers disk space limitations, processor time and RAM allowances.
Dedicated hosting gives you the benefit of an entire server devoted to your website. It can be a simple single system or an elaborate network of servers that you can “rent” from the hosting provider. With dedicated hosting, you’ll have administrative access to the server and you can modify almost anything. There’s no restriction on the number of websites you can host, and you can install almost any software program your heart desires. Monthly fees can start at $160 depending on the hosting provider and their package tiers. Be aware that a high level of technical knowledge is required to run a dedicated server. With the experience and credentials to manage your website effectively, let Sage Island host and manage your dedicated server for you.
If you’re looking for a reliable web host, let Sage Island be your website’s home. Our dedicated hosting team monitors our elaborate networks 24/7 to ensure your data is safe and accessible at all times. With a proven track record of excellent customer service, you won’t find better assistance from any other provider. Contact us today to start planning your hosting solution.