What is Web Hosting?
If you want to set up a website and make it visible to the whole world, it has to be located on a web hosting server. This service is known as web hosting.
Host your site at home or elsewhere
You could host your web site on your own personal computer at home or at work, on a computer which belongs to a comrade of yours, and so on. If it is a web site for experimenting purposes, there would be no real need for you to search for a more powerful website hosting service than that. If you wish to establish an actual website, though, which will be visible to lots of viewers and you wish to make it dependable, you will also require a stable server on which you will host it.
Why do you require a web hosting server for your website?
When you have a web site, it is located on a physical server. That physical machine has its own physical address called IP address. Typing the IP address of the physical server in your browser's address bar, though, is not the best and most convenient method to open a website. That is how and why domains came into existence and why you need one for your web site. Thus, to establish your website, you need your own domain and a web server to host your web site on.
Hosting your web site yourself
If you are an IT pro and understand how to administer a web server, you can have a web server of your own and host your website on it. This will enable you to exert full authority over the web server, to make server configuration modifications and to apply software updates yourself rather than having to rely on the datacenter personnel. The negative side, however, is that you will need to ensure the accessibility of you site and to cope with all server maintenance procedures yourself. If you are utilizing a licensed OS, you will also have to invest money in the license, which is normally more expensive if bought for a whole machine.
Using a hosting services provider
If you don't want to take care of server maintenance procedures, the most logical step to take is to open an account with a website hosting vendor. These are companies that offer customers powerful web servers with various hardware configurations in exchange for a certain tax. The web servers are located in data centers with special cooling and emergency power supply systems to ensure constant Internet connectivity.
Varieties of web hosting services
The Internet is a bottomless ocean and there are many web hosting corporations offering different hosting services to the plethora of website owners out there. The web hosting services range from cost-free hosting services, where you can host basic, HTML-based websites, to expensive dedicated web server hosting services that can suck your monthly budget dry. So, what type of hosting meets your demands?
If you have a small or mid-size web site that has a few hundred guests tops, you could safely resort to a shared web hosting solution. Shared hosting signifies that many shared hosting customers and websites are hosted on the same server, thus decreasing the price of the service. Shared web hosting accounts normally include CPU, memory, web traffic and hosting server hard drive space usage quotas to guarantee that the web sites accommodated on the hosting server do not meddle with each other and do not utilize more system resources than they are allotted.
If your web site is more resource-devouring, you should choose a VPS server web hosting solution, which is the middle ground between the shared web hosting solution and the dedicated web hosting solution. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It offers full root privileges, which enables you to make server configuration changes - something that would be impossible on a shared server. The virtual web servers also offer burstable RAM options. Separate RAM memory and CPU portions are assigned to each individual virtual web hosting server, without anyone else utilizing them. Typically there are other VPS hosting servers aside from your own that share the resources of the physical server, which could at times influence the overall performance, but in most cases it is not a problem. Should the system resources of the virtual private hosting server, however, be inadequate for your needs, it is apparently time to migrate to a dedicated hosting server.
The dedicated hosting server is a server that you rent, which is utilized solely by you for your very own web site needs. Nobody else shares its resources and you receive full root access, can choose a hardware architecture in advance, add updates at a later time and add RAM or hard drives. Unlike with the private virtual hosting servers where virtualization is mainly at the Operating System level and all virtual containers share a single kernel, with a dedicated hosting server you can update the kernel of the OS (typically Linux-based) as well.
Select your web hosting accounts provider
If you have a vision of what your website is going to contain, or if you have only a vague idea that has not completely matured yet, your very first step towards the creation of your site should be to find a hosting packages provider. The best solution is to discover a web hosting distributor that supplies a big array of website hosting solutions so that you do not need to swap providers in case you first use a shared web site hosting solution and then outgrow the shared hosting resources and need to move to a virtual server web hosting solution or a dedicated server hosting solution. My personal favorite is NTC Hosting, which provides reasonably priced shared website hosting plans, cut-price OpenVZ and Virtuozzo-based VPS web servers, semi-dedicated web hosting server packages with their own Control Panel and even dedicated hosting server plans. I am rather pleased with all their offers, because they all include charge-free extras - the shared web hosting plans come with a free-of-cost domain if they are paid for on an annual basis, the more powerful virtual server web hosting plans and dedicated server web hosting plans offer a free domain reseller account and invoicing software should you decide to use them for reselling purposes. Add the first-rate 24x7 tech support service and you have all you would normally need. You could, without a doubt, discover other web hosting providers depending on what exactly you are looking for, by conducting an online survey or by checking additional online web hosting reviews. The most appropriate choice, however, is a hosting distributor that is also a domain name registrar and has web servers in more than one country - both prerequisites fulfilled by NTC Hosting, which has servers in the United States of America, in the UK, in Sweden and in Australia, and offers a lot of domain extensions for registration.