Web Hosting

Web Hosting

Web Hosting is one of the most common services available on the Internet besides Email Hosting. Even now, the majority of the users are still using email to communicate with each other. But nearly all businesses are already online or are planning to be online. There are also a lot of individuals who wants to be online to put up their blogs, photos etc as well as non-profit organizations trying to raise awareness of their causes. Hence web hosting is a crucial and integral part of the Internet. Web Hosting itself is divided in Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Private Servers Hosting, Dedicated Server Hosting as well as Cloud Hosting. The most competitive services around are that of Shared Web Hosting. There are thousands upon thousands of web hosts around as well as quite a few giant shared hosting companies each hosting millions of domains. Competition in the arena is extreme. You can see how hot the competition is such that even free shared hosting needs advertising! Such free web hosts normally earn by providing free shared hosting in the hope that you will upgrade to their paid services in the future. Some others will put in banners and advertising on your pages to defray the costs of providing free hosting for you.

For Paid shared hosting, their advertising are everywhere on the Internet. Some even uses the TV and other traditional mass media to advertise their shared hosting services. For shared hosting, there are those hosters who compete on prices, they offer extremely cheap prices with bandwidth, hard disk space etc unlimited. These hosters are hoping that they get a large volume of customers so as to enjoy economy of scale. They are also betting on the fact that though they offer unlimited everything, few users would even use a tiny portion of these resources. But due to their promises, their servers are normally overloaded, reliability is an issue. You Get What You Pay For is extremely correct in the Internet world. There are also shared hosting providers that compete based on specializations and good local customer services. These tend to provide reliable and prompt support. But they also cost more as a result. The choices are yours. My recommendations is that it is best for anyone to estimate their present and future requirements and sign up for a package that suits their needs rather than to go for unlimited everything hosting. One good way to check on the reputation of hosters is to go to http://www.webhostingtalk.com and check upon the host in question to see their reviews.

Virtual Private Servers Hosting (VPS) are for users who need more flexibility and resources than shared hosting but do not need the power of a dedicated server. VPS are normally much cheaper than dedicated servers as they allow for multiple VPS in one machine. It is much more difficult to oversell VPS as compared to shared hosting, therefore the performance is usually better but it comes with a more expensive price tag. For developers who are just starting I would recommend that they start with a VPS as it allows them the training of maintaining a server and also also more flexibility. Free VPS are starting to appear, but these are usually very poor configuration and the offers are usually time limited.

Dedicated web hosting are for those who needs the power and flexibility that exceeded that of VPS. For dedicated web hosting it is one server to one customer so the prices are far higher than VPS. But you get the reliability that only you are running in that server. Other customers' problems will not affect you unless of course it is network related such as DDOS which will effect the entire data center or Internet Service Provider. There are two basic types of Dedicated Web Hosting, unmanaged and managed dedicated web hosting. Unmanaged means that you do all the installation, setup and maintenance yourself. The machine usually come pre-configured with only the OS and basic programs. You will need to install the programs you need yourself and to do the regular maintenance and backups. For managed dedicated hosting, the provider will normally install and maintain the server for you including backup. But the extent of managed dedicated hosting varies. You will need to come out with a list of what you need the provider to do and what you or your technicians can do yourselves. Managed dedicated hosting is by far the most expensive second only to Cloud hosting which we will discuss in the next paragraph. Managed dedicated hosting is usually recommended for web developers or huge web sites that do not have the technical expertise to maintain their server but still need a dedicated hosting server. They normally do not find it worthwhile to get their own engineer or technician to maintain their server as it is normally more economical to outsource unless you have tens or hundreds of servers. Cloud Hosting can be even more expensive than dedicated hosting. But there is some controversial over the term “Cloud”. A lot of web hosting companies labelled themselves as Cloud Hosting Providers even without the basic infrastructure of a Cloud. For Cloud Hosting, the cost can be very high if you do not know what you actually want. It is normally cheaper to get a dedicated server instead. Cloud Hosting offers one huge advantage – that is to be able to scale up or down as and when you require. This is extremely good for those users who have huge changes in their usage. For such users, getting a few dedicated servers is much more expensive than getting a Cloud and scale it as and when needed. As you can see, Cloud Hosting requires some technical know-how on what you need to do. I have seen users who do not know what they need but ordered Cloud Hosting and in the end paid far more than the equivalent dedicated server hosting. Only order Cloud when you really need such flexibility. For others, shared, VPS, Dedicated servers are more than enough.


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