A web host is a person or company that provides services for hosting websites. The term comes from the old days of the World Wide Web when websites were hosted on servers owned by individual companies called "web hosts". Today, in most cases, web hosts provide space and bandwidth, which they rent to other companies to host their sites.
Web hosting has two basic types: Shared Hosting and Virtual Private Servers (VPS). A shared host is one where many different people share the same server or server location. This is the most common type of hosting. A VPS provides the user with an entire server (or a partition of a server), which can be used to host their website(s).
Usually, web hosting providers offer different services, including domain name registration and management, subdomains, e-mail services, databases, FTP access, and other services necessary for running websites or applications on the web. Web hosting is typically cheaper than business-class or dedicated server solutions.
How does web hosting work?
With the advent of the World Wide Web, websites became important. Websites link people to information about events, products, and people of all kinds. However, without the hosting of websites, users can't access these websites. A website consists of many files; the most basic are HTML files that describe how your site looks or it's content. Other common web pages include pictures (JPEG), Flash (SWF), and music (MP3). When a user requests your website, these files are assembled by the webserver to create the page that is delivered to them.
Since the webserver is generating content for many different users, it requires heavy resources. The most important resource is bandwidth, so you need to use dedicated servers. But it also needs CPU time, hard drive space, and memory. Therefore, you need a company that has all of these things available in order to store your website's content.
Shared hosting allows many different users to share the same hardware. In a shared hosting environment, the webserver is just one of many that share the same hardware. The web server software runs on top of an operating system such as Microsoft Windows or Linux. The server provides all of the basic functionality, such as receiving files from clients and delivering them to clients. Websites can be configured to operate on a single web server, or they can be spanned across several web servers for greater reliability and performance – see load balancing – so many different users can use the same hardware.
When visitors request the content on your web server, the webserver first determines which of its many users has asked for the content. Various mechanisms help specify which user is requesting the content, some more reliable than others. The most reliable means is to locate a session cookie. This is a unique value assigned to each user's session with the website, often for security purposes. When you are logged in to your account, this value contains information about where you are on your website and what pages you have visited. When you are logged out, it includes information on your account. When the webserver receives the request for content, it looks up this value in its database of users. If it finds a match, it delivers the content to the user. If not, it returns an error to the user saying that there is no account on file with that session cookie.
This system has many advantages for users and web hosting companies alike. The biggest advantage is cost. It does not cost the web hosting company anymore to provide you with one million page views than it does to provide you with one page view. It also provides some measure of protection against denial-of-service attacks. Since many users are using the same resources, an attacker must bring down all of their sessions which is significantly harder than just bringing down a single user's session.
Types of web hosting
- Shared web hosting
A shared hosting account is the simplest type of web-hosting account to set up. It provides you with a single server share with other customers. The server is configured to handle only one domain name, so it can't be used for multiple websites. Your website will have to be hosted somewhere else if it needs more than one domain name. If your business requires more than one website, you should look into dedicated or VPS hosting instead.
- Dedicated web hosting
Dedicated web hosting is a solution for businesses requiring all but the simplest needs from a web-hosting package. A true web-hosting account should have at least two separate server accounts, each with its own computer or other hardware. In addition, each dedicated server should also be configured to handle multiple domain names and email addresses. For example, a dedicated web hosting account could have three "virtual machines": one server to run an e-commerce site, another to host a newsletter, and a third for a blog site.
- Business web hosting
Business hosting provides features such as VPN for secure network access, e-mail account and dedicated IP addresses, which might be required for accessing certain applications and services remotely, and the ability to provide reliable and efficient security for applications and content. There are also dedicated monitors to track your website's traffic and usage statistics.
- WordPress hosting
WordPress is a powerful content management system that builds upon a simple yet powerful installation and setup process. The WordPress Content Management System is compatible with many different web hosting providers to be installed on a web server on its own or as part of a more complex website hosting solution. If your business requires a website with blog functionality, WordPress is an excellent option.
- Email hosting
Email hosting provides the email services required by many businesses to provide reliable and efficient communication with existing and potential customers. In addition, email hosting allows businesses to make the most of existing hardware, software, and personnel. It also eliminates the need to invest in specialized equipment or training.
How to choose web hosting?
Many factors can affect your decision about choosing a web host. Although some of them may appear to be subjective, you should keep in mind that all of these aspects have combined to affect our purchasing decisions, so it will help you choose the web host that will meet your needs. Here is a list of the most critical factors.
- Dedicated server or shared server?
Shared hosting is often less expensive than dedicated hosting. However, server resources are shared among several customers, and this results in slower internet connection speeds. Shared hosting is recommended when you're just starting out and intend to build your website slowly or if your website does not require big amounts of traffic.
- Network interface speed?
The faster your server's network card (also known as NIC), the faster the internet connection will be and the more reliable it will be. For example, a network interface with a gigabit (1000 Mbps) supports transferring data at a rate of one gigabyte every second. This is the kind of network connection that will ensure that your website visitors and staff members can surf and work with information super-fast. Therefore, the faster the network connection speed, the better.
- Server performance indicators?
You should take a close look at server performance indicators such as CPU (central processing unit), memory (RAM), and hard disk (storage). RAM (random access memory) is essential for rapid internet connections so it is highly recommended for web hosting services to have enough RAM installed on their servers.
Where to order web hosting cheaper?
If you are looking for website hosting cheaper than others, you should use secure transactions. Here at Namecheap, we offer the cheapest web hosting on the internet. We're proud to be one of the top web hosts on the web and definitely want to help you find cheap website hosting on black Friday sale.