Web Hosting – A Guide For Beginners

Would you like to learn more about web hosting and its offerings, or maybe you don’t know much about web hosting? There is no shame in not knowing this information. Everyone has to start from the very beginning sometimes. With that in mind, let’s start learning about web hosting.

First, let’s talk about what is web hosting and how does it work?

Web hosting is the commercial provision of storage space and bandwidth on a powerful computer server connected to the internet at very high speed. Hosting companies maintain large computer networks with powerful web servers in a physical location known as a data center. These computer servers are connected to a very fast and usually redundant Internet connection. Data centers have primary and emergency power, fast Internet connections, and security personnel.

Web hosting companies provide the customer with a certain amount of storage space and bandwidth for a monthly fee. After registration, the client can upload files to their personal space on the web server and the information can be viewed by anyone on the internet. The web hosting company’s monthly fee is much less than the cost of running a server at your home or data center. That is the point of these companies’ existence. They will take care of all the hardware, software and other technical requirements for you.

Types of web hosting

There are many different types of web hosting plans, but the three main ones are shared, reseller and dedicated. Each type of hosting has a different purpose.

Shared web hosting

Shared web hosting is the most popular type of hosting. With shared hosting, the web hosting company provides you with a portion of the storage space and bandwidth on a powerful server. Many other websites are hosted on this server, and the hosting company will likely have several such servers in a large data center. The resources of the server are shared by as many other websites as are allocated to a given machine.

Shared web hosting is the best form of web hosting if you are looking for a good price and do not have more than a few thousand visitors a day to your website.

Reseller web hosting

Reseller web hosting is a popular and inexpensive solution for setting up your own web hosting business. There are two types of reseller hosting, private label and reseller hosting.

Private label is the best type of reseller plan because it allows you to have full control over your customers’ websites. With a private label plan, the reseller can keep the full monthly payment from the web hosting customer, but must pay a monthly fee to the larger hosting company for the reseller space. The more hosting accounts a white-label reseller can sell, the more profit they will make. With private label hosting, you can host many more websites than if you used shared hosting for each website. This is a great solution for those who have many websites that need to be hosted in one place to save money.

Vendors sell regular web hosting plans to larger web hosting companies, but you get a discounted price for providing the client and earn a monthly fee for as long as you remain a client. With this plan, you have no control over the client’s website and only keep a portion of the potential monthly income.

Dedicated web hosting

Dedicated web hosting is the most powerful and cost-effective solution for hosting high-traffic websites without having to buy your own equipment and pay hundreds of dollars a month for a fast Internet connection. Dedicated hosting consists of a single server that does not host other servers. This gives you the most configuration options. Anyone with a high traffic website will find that dedicated hosting is an important option.

Web Hosting Considerations

Interested in the other information listed on web hosting plans? In this section I explain the most important aspects of choosing a good web host.

Price

The price of web hosting services is one of the most important considerations. There are many hosting companies with cheap hosting packages, but they may have drawbacks in other areas. Don’t be fooled by the price of the hosting package. There are hosting companies that are very affordable and their other features are just as good. Price may be one of the most important decisions for a web hosting plan, but there are many other things to consider when choosing a quality web hosting plan.

Hard disk space/storage

Disk space is the amount of physical space that your web host provides you with to store your web files. Today, hosting companies offer plans where disk space is usually measured in gigabytes, but some still offer plans in megabytes. Depending on how much storage space you need for your files, you may need more or less. In general, the more storage space offered, the better.

Bandwidth/data transfer

Available bandwidth can be very important when choosing a quality hosting plan. Typically, the more bandwidth your hosting company provides, the better. This means you can increase your website traffic as your business grows. Be wary of web hosting providers that offer unlimited or unmetered bandwidth. Many of these offerings are reputable, but there are some that offer too much bandwidth in the hopes that the average user won’t use it much.

Customer Service

Excellent customer service is very important for any business. Web hosting is no exception. Many hosting companies are available 24 hours a day if you have a problem with your website, but there are some that are only available at certain times of the day. If your website crashes in the middle of the night when they are unavailable, it means a loss of revenue for the company. You should make sure that the web hosting provider you have chosen is always available to provide assistance.

Money back guarantee

Most web hosting companies offer a thirty-day money back guarantee. Some offer them even longer, but be wary of those that don’t offer a money back guarantee. I would not buy web hosting services from a company that does not offer at least a thirty-day money back guarantee, unless they have proven to be an industry leader and have an excellent reputation.

Operating System

The operating system is the software that controls the interaction between the computer user and the computer’s physical hardware. Most Internet websites run on the Linux operating system, which is usually much more stable than Windows. Stability is critical to the operation of a web site. For this reason, I prefer to host my websites on the Linux operating system. Some websites have special requirements that can only be met by the Windows operating system, but there are always alternatives to those requirements.

Backup

A good web hosting company has a regular backup schedule for all web servers. The more often the data is backed up, the better. The web hosting company should back up the website files at least once a day.

Control panel

The control panel is the point of contact that a webmaster uses between the host server and his or her own computer connected to the Internet. A clear and easy-to-use control panel interface is essential. My preferred control panel is cPanel, one of the leading web hosting control panels on the market. Another good solution is Plesk, and many companies create their own control panel for you to use. Most web hosting companies provide a link to a sample control panel that they use with their hosting plans. Using a control panel is a matter of taste, but it should be easy to use.

Email

Email is an essential part of internet communication. Most web hosting companies will provide you with more email addresses and more email storage space than you need. You need to be wary of companies that choose to be a little more strict when it comes to email accounts, and only offer a small number or a small amount of space for messages.

Uptime

Uptime is the term used to describe the frequency with which the average website hosted by a company is available online. No company can be expected to provide exactly 100% uptime. This is not possible due to hardware, software, and power failures, among other reasons. The vast majority of companies are very satisfied and guarantee uptime. However, it is advisable to check the uptime claimed by the company. If it is not at least 99.5%, hosting with that company is probably not worthwhile.

Statistics

As a webmaster, it’s good to know how many visitors have visited you, where they came from, how long they stayed on your site, and how much bandwidth they used. This information is collected by the web server and stored in a log file. A statistical software package can read this data and provide meaningful information to the webmaster. The information obtained from these logs can be very valuable in improving the service to website visitors.

FTP

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a way to quickly send or download many files to or from a web server. Most web hosting companies allow their customers to access their web hosting accounts through FTP. FTP is a very useful and great feature to have when you are paying for a web hosting account.

Scripting

Since the beginning of the World Wide Web, many scripting languages have emerged and evolved into the dynamic and interactive environment we use today. A scripting language is a way to add functionality to a website, whether it is calculating numbers or retrieving information from an external database. Scripting languages have made e-commerce possible. These languages include PHP, ASP, JSP, Coldfusion, VBscript, Javascript, and Perl. Because of the complexity, I will not go into detail in this article. If you know how to use these languages, you should also know what to look for in a web server for these languages.

The database

A database is a place where data is stored that can be used in different ways. Databases are used on the Internet for applications such as shopping carts, bulletin boards, and product catalogs. The more databases your web hosting provider provides, the more applications you can host on your web server. Databases are used by more advanced webmasters, but the information is freely available on the Internet if you are interested.

Conclusions

Web hosting can be a very difficult decision because there are thousands of hosting companies. It is important to find a plan that suits your needs and choose a good hosting company. I hope this article has helped you in deciding on a hosting provider. Have fun hosting!