The Fundamentals of Web Hosting

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October 29, 2012

Web or internet browsing has become an essential part of our everyday lives. Most of you spend time browsing the internet for information, mails and messages from friends and relatives. Internet is the fastest medium to connect with business, friends, find health advice, plane tickets, reservations, downloading songs, movies and a host of many other things. It is easy, fast moving and versatile communication medium that does not cost much. You actually have the choice to open unlimited possibilities just with a click of a mouse!  Have you ever wondered how it works? Not many know the mechanics.

How does it work?

Web hosting is an important component of the internet responsible for the visibility of organizations and individuals on the web. What is their role?

  • Web hosting services provide server space and internet connectivity to their clients
  • Clients use these to advertise their products, services etc.
  • The services are mostly located in a data center
  • Web hosting agencies can provide data center space and internet to other servers located at the same place. These are called colocation.

You can use a variety of web hosting services:

  • Web page and file hosting in small scale are the most basic and you can upload the files via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or with a Web Interface. This kind of hosting delivers the content as it is and with minimum fuss. You can get this service free of charge from your ISP any day.
  • Personal website hosting is relatively cheaper, mostly free and sponsored
  • Business website hosting is expensive

Personal website hosting doesn’t need more than a single page and is sufficient for the purpose.

Complex Sites require complete hosting package that offers database support and development platforms for applications like Java, PHP, ColdFusion, Ruby on Rails or ASP.NET. Customers can install or write content for applications like content management and forums.

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is applied usually to e-commerce. Some web hosting services additionally provide control panel or interface to the client to manage the Web Server and put new contents and other application modules like e-mails. Web Hosting services, which are specialized in commercial application such as e-commerce provide these services to big establishments, which are into outsourcing.

Web hosting services often provide ‘hosting’ as an addition to general internet plan. This kind of hosting is provided as paid service or free. Customers have to assess the prerequisites of the application and then decide on the type of hosting services they will need.

Prerequisites are:

  • Operating system
  • Database Server Software
  • Scripting Software

Most hosting services favor Linux based web hosting because of its versatility. These servers provide vast range of software. A Linux-server configuration includes platform LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP). The client may also demand other services like databases, email services for their business, streaming media or multimedia services. Windows is another platform that a client can opt for.

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  • Amazon AWS cloud hosting is a good alternative its cost effective and its micro tier is one year free