An Overview of Web Hosting Services

This article presents an overview of the different types of web hosting services.

Shared Hosting

Shared web hosting is a type of hosting service where multiple websites are hosted on a single web server. Implementing shared hosting lowers hardware cost because there are fewer servers to maintain. Since it costs less to maintain hardware in a shared hosting platform, the hosting service price is also cheaper compare to the others. In fact many shared hosting packages have better discount offers, an example of a great one is available on this page about Hostgator promo codes, go here to see it. One major disadvantage with shared web hosting is that a server failure can take down all the websites. However, there are several things providers can do to minimize this impact. Providers can create a separate server partition for each website. If a single partition fails, it will only impact one website. Providers can also create a daily backup of all the websites so that in the event of a hardware failure, providers can quickly reinstate service using the backups. With shared hosting, providers are responsible for all hardware setup, software setup, and server maintenance. This includes installing the operating system, applying security updates, and performing hardware maintenance. Providers usually use free open source software to create their shared hosting platform. As a result, many providers offer free shared hosting service because of a lower up-front cost required for hardware and software. However, the free ones usually come with ads.

Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller Web Hosting targets people that want to start their own web hosting company. Resellers buy large amounts of web hosting space and bandwidth from providers. Then they create smaller packages, that they resell to make a profit from. Providers usually give resellers permission to set the price, create customized packages, and sell it under their own brand. The ability to buy and resell web hosting solutions using their own identity is attractive because resellers will appear as a web hosting provider, not as a reseller. This is an affordable way for resellers to start their own company because of the lower overhead cost. Resellers only need to focus on advertising and selling, while the providers take care of all the technical aspects of running and maintaining the web hosting platform. However, if there are technical issues with the web hosting platform, resellers will have to rely on the providers to fix it. A technical glitch can cause many inconveniences for their customers. Resellers should choose the providers that have power generators at their data center and a solid backup and recovery plan. More importantly, their hosting platform should have a 99.9% uptime. Reseller web hosting business can be profitable, but the first step is to choose the right providers.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) Hosting

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting refers to a type of web hosting that runs on dedicated virtual servers. A virtual server emulates the hardware of a physical server. It has its own hard disk, memory, network and operating system. By installing multiple web servers on multiple virtual machines, providers create a powerful hosting solution. Since less hardware is required, providers can save money on hardware purchase and maintenance. Energy cost will also be less since there is less power consumption for fewer servers. In addition, if a virtual server crashes, it will only affect one web server. Reinstalling virtual server and recovering web service is also easier than the physical counterpart. Setting up and maintaining virtual servers, as opposed to physical servers, is easier because it can be done remotely. The one main drawback is the limited amount of system resource that can be assigned to a virtual server. System resource refers to CPU, memory, hard disk capacity, and network bandwidth. This limitation prevents VPS hosting from being able to handle web sites with higher traffic. However, the advancement in hardware and virtualization technologies may one day allow providers to create more powerful VPS hosting platforms. Today, many companies are using the VPS hosting platform for their intranet websites.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is a type of hosting where providers lease an entire physical server to their customers. The packages offered by the dedicated hosting providers can sometimes be confusing. In general, providers offer a base package that includes operating system installation, physical server installation and maintenance, and limited server administration. Customers pay extra fees for the operating system license, additional software, and additional server administration. Without an understanding of what these options mean, customers would have a hard time making the decision. To make it easier for customers to choose their option, most providers follow this fee structure: fully managed, managed, self managed, and unmanaged. For customers that do not want to deal with anything on the server side, the fully managed option is recommended. With this option, providers handle all server administration tasks. This includes all monitoring, updates, patches, upgrades and reboot of the server. Customers who are technically savvy can choose the unmanaged option. Unlike the fully managed option, customers handle every tasks related to server administration. Managed and self managed options are loosely defined among providers. Generally, these last two options are recommended for customers who have some server administration skills. Customers need to understand their needs, and choose an option that is best for them.

Colocation Hosting

Colocation hosting providers provide data centers for many different companies to house their critical server and telecom equipments. By using a shared data center, companies can save since they do not have to maintain their own data center. Colocation service providers use state of the art technology to protect their customers’ equipment from fires and hazards. Colocation data centers maintain a safe and secured environment by having uninterruptible power supply (UPS), fire controls, and proper air conditioning. In addition, their network also provides redundancy to ensure their customers’ equipments are always available on the network. Many web hosting providers also use collocation hosting services. Web hosting providers require fast and reliable network because they are dealing with higher bandwidth for web hosting services. Colocation data centers are safely guarded using the best security to prevent unauthorized access. Customers who need to access their physical machines require prior authorization. To gain access inside the data center, customers need to have secure cards. Some data centers have higher security measures that require their employees to escort their customers at all times. Colocation hosting is an effective solution for companies that do not want to incur the cost of maintaining their own data center, which can be very costly.

Clustered Hosting

Traditional web hosting services run on a single machine. Using clustered hosting, web services are installed across multiple physical machines, called nodes. One important feature that this hosting environment provides is high availability. High availability is achieved through the use of a load balancing software. Load balancing software automatically detects a failure of the nodes, and re-directs http requests to the available node. Http requests are protocols understood by web browsers and web servers to display web pages properly. The load balancing process is streamlined, and appears unknown to website visitors. In addition, load balancing can also help increase the performance of the hosting services by distributing http requests across the different nodes. This process help prevents one node from being overloaded with http requests, which can result in web pages not loading properly, or not loading at all. In addition to handling web services, clustering can also be used for other hosted services that include database, email, FTP, and DNS. In a clustered environment, maintenance of the nodes is easy. One node can be taken offline for a hardware repair or upgrade without affecting other services. That is because load balancing will do the proper re-directs to the nodes that are available. Clustered hosting has been one of the most popular choices because it offers many advantages.

Ecommerce hosting

Ecommerce hosting is a type of web hosting that provides website ecommerce solutions to brick and mortar businesses that want to sell their products online. It typically includes an online store that has products for sale, a shopping cart, and a checkout feature. Customers add items to the shopping cart, and then use the checkout feature to pay using some payment options. The checkout feature is implemented using some form of payment processing services, such as Paypal or Google checkout. Ecommerce solutions include a database to store product data and customer information. More importantly, most ecommerce hosting solutions are equipped with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to encrypt all transactions. This security feature help protect customers’ information from being compromised. Most providers provide simple solutions to help customers create an online store within minutes. In addition, most providers include free technical support. All ecommerce providers give their customers the option to purchase different packages depending on their business volume. For example, the least expensive package allows customers to list up to 100 products with some limited bandwidth. Businesses with higher volume can buy packages that allow more product listings and unlimited bandwidth. In general, when customers shop around for ecommerce solutions, they should know their expected sales volume. They should also try out the free demo offer by the providers, to see if they like the features.

Cloud Hosting

One of the latest advanced growing technology is cloud computing. Cloud computing technology enables the sharing of computing resources over the Internet. Some examples of computing resources include word processing applications, email, games, and storage space. To access the resources in a cloud, users do not need an advanced computer with a powerful CPU, and a lot of memory. Instead, users will only need a basic computer and a Web browser because the processing power is provided by a network of powerful computers. This network of computers that made up the cloud is called a cloud computing system. Cloud hosting is a type of hosting that provides hosting services using the cloud computing technology. Businesses that consider using cloud services should understand both the benefits and disadvantages of cloud computing. The main advantage for using cloud hosting services is cost saving and convenience. Businesses that use cloud services have access to their data and applications from anywhere, as long as there is an Internet connection and a Web browser. Businesses can eliminate the need for expensive hardware because all they need is a simple computer with a Web browser to access their applications in the cloud. Another benefit is that companies will not need to buy and maintain their own storage device, which can be expensive. However, security and privacy are the main issues in cloud computing. Cloud providers say they are using state of the art security to protect their customers’ data. They use authentication and authorization techniques to ensure their customers’ privacy is not compromised.

Managed hosting

Managed hosting lets customers decide who is to manage the hosting platform: providers or customers. The first option is called fully managed, and the latter is called unmanaged. Some web hosting providers offer only fully managed solution. For fully managed hosting, the providers take complete control over managing the hosting platform. In other words, providers perform the setup and maintenance of the hosting platform. This includes installation and maintenance of the hardware, operating system installation and maintenance, securing the server, and setting up the web hosting platform. This option is the most expensive. However, it is the best option for those who do not have the expertise to manage the hosting platform. Compared to the managed option, the unmanaged option is where providers let their customers take complete control over managing the hosting platform. In this case, the providers are only responsible for basic operating system installation, and physical maintenance of the server. The customers will need to perform advanced setup and securing their servers. Either way, providers let the customers choose the type of hardware for their hosting platform. Customers decide how much memory, CPU speed, hard disk capacity, and bandwidth to have. Some providers offer add-on services such as storage, backup management, firewall security, intrusion detection system (IDS), secure socket layer (SSL), server monitoring, database, load balancing, and clustering for an additional fee.

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Reseller Web Hosting Reseller web hosts use the resources of a hosting company to sell it as their own by purchasing the services wholesale before selling those services to a third party at a profit. This is particularly profitable to businesses that provide website design and offer hosting as an extra service or as part of the design package. Some web hosts contract with reseller hosts to charge just for each client, so that a certain rate is paid when another client is acquired. There are Read more [...]
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Virtual Private Servers (VPS) Hosting A virtual private server, or VPS, is one of many hosting solutions that small, medium, or enterprise sized businesses may be interested in when seeking to increase their online profiles. Virtual Private Servers VPS hosting can be advantageous to these businesses because it offers them a level of control that is similar to that they would receive through a dedicated server solution without requiring hosting prices that are too far from those present in affordable Read more [...]
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Ecommerce Hosting For companies venturing into ecommerce, it is essential to determine the right ecommerce web host. Below are the most important factors to consider before choosing a host. What is ecommerce hosting? Ecommerce hosting is an abbreviation of electronic commerce hosting. This type of hosting is designed for merchants, also known as emerchants or etailers, to do business over the Internet as opposed to conducting business within a brick-and-mortar storefront. Ecommerce is a Read more [...]
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Colocation Hosting Colocation hosting is an option in which clients normally rent rack space from a provider to house their own servers. However, colocation also includes renting a dedicated server and many providers additionally offer managed server services. A colocation facility provides everything needed for server operation allowing clients to save on startup and overhead costs. Basically, clients simply rent as much rack space as they need for their servers and everything else is handled Read more [...]
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