Introduction to Web Hosting
Published: Mar 17, 2010
Web hosting is a service that permits web users to post Web pages on the Internet. A Web host or hosting service provider (HSP) offers the technologies and services needed for Web sites to be shown on the Web.
The customer accessing the internet can utilize the Web hosting service and allows them to publish their own information resources on the net for any internet user to access. Recipients use clients, or Web browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator to request content from the Web over their own Internet connection.
Web sites are hosted, or stored, on a special computer called a server. The server, or host computer, allows Internet users connected anywhere to reach your site when they put in your domain address, for example: www.yourcompany.com. Then the Internet user will be able to browse through your Web site. Hosting companies usually require you to own your own domain name and help you purchase one if you don't have a domain name.
To have a Web site on the Internet you first need to have a Web server. Web hosts provide the equipment and other technical resources that are required to provide a consumer with their own customized Web site, since owning and operating a Web server is expensive and is very technical. Hosting companies charge a rental fee for the service of storing your Web site and allowing Web site to be accessed.
Web hosting services are outsourced and thus transfer the responsibility for maintaining your Web site infrastructure to a more competent organization. Web hosting saves manpower and costs for many individuals and small businesses and also improves their own company focus. They gain access to in-depth expertise; free internal resources for core competencies; and obtain access to world-class capabilities to control IT.
Web hosting does not include the authoring of a Web site or the development of database-driven components. Web hosting is offered to the consumer in multiple formats based upon the user's requirements. These requirements are incumbent upon cost and infrastructure provided.
Web hosting can be obtained free of cost from content portal sites such as Yahoo! GeoCities. Such content sites invite individual users to establish Web sites on their domain in order to create a critical mass of core content on their online property. Since it is free, they offer limited service depth and quality of service. The "paid" class of Web hosting services however does provide such services. Paid services are normally offered by Internet service providers (ISPs) or by hosting service providers (HSPs). Paid services provide domain name personalization, service depth and high levels of quality of service. The paid class of Web hosting includes shared, dedicated and managed services. Shared is the most basic level of hosting. With shared hosting, numerous Web sites are shared on one server. While an economic solution, they typically cannot handle large amounts of storage or traffic. If a consumer's needs are more sophisticated, then they might opt for either dedicated or managed services.
Dedicated hosting allots a Web site its own server. Here the webmasters have full control over the back end of the server, including choice of OS.
Managed hosting, on the other hand is a dedicated server that is accompanied by a full suite of technical support, maintenance and monitoring services.