Web Hosting – Meaning And Features
What Is Web Hosting?
A web hosting service provides storage space for an application or a website on a server and makes a website available on the Internet, so it can be accessed by other computers. Websites on the Internet are hosted on a web server. A web server is either a software or hardware that helps to deliver the data that is assessed on the Web.
Web servers space can either be owned (web hosting companies) or leased for use by clients (website that is hosted). There are a lot of web hosting packages offered by a lot of web hosts – choosing the right service provider can be a tough decision
How Does Web Hosting Work?
Web hosting providers are businesses that rent out the technology and services that domains need to host a website on the internet. When your website is hosted on a web host’s servers, users can access it by typing a web address in the browser. When this is done, your computer connects to the web server, your website is hosted on – in turn, the server sends your website files that it stores, to the browser of your web visitor.
Web Hosting Features
This is a very important feature and is one that separates the bad hosts from the good. When a web host offers guaranteed uptime, it means that your website will be available to its visitors 99% of the time. This guarantee covers Web server uptime, network uptime and server uptime.
One of the major responsibilities of a website admin is the creation and management of a website and its contents. The control panel a web host provides, enables a web admin to manage domains, subdomains, webpages add-on domains, FTP account, create parked domains, redirects website visitors to a different location and protect directories, track website statistics, install privacy and security tools as well as set up virus protection.
Data Transfer And Bandwidth
This is another important feature of a web hosting service. Although data transfer and bandwidth are similar, they are actually different parts of the same process that work together.
Data transfer – is the volume of data transferred monthly. If data transfer resources are limited, a website may not be available once it goes over its allocated limit. In addition, it could cause the temporary downtime or shutdown of the websites and might result in an extra charge. To avoid this, we recommend that you choose a web hosting plan that offers more data transfer.
Bandwidth is how much data can be transferred at a particular time. The amount of bandwidth allocated to a website, determines how the website loads, regardless of Internet connection speed.
Disk Space And Storage
A web hosting account comes with an allotted storage space on the server. This storage space is where all website content such as multimedia files, webpages, graphics, emails and stored and made available for website visitors to access.
A basic shared hosting plan will come basic storage to host simple sites. For content heavy websites like game websites, may require the purchase of additional disk space so that more content such as videos, downloadable files, music, pictures and content can be hosted. How databases are calculated and the amount of disk space allocated with the different hosting plans is determined by the web host’s policy.
Reliable All-Time Support
This is a feature of a great web hosting provider. A reliable web hosting provider would offer 24 / 7 technical support. You should be able to get a quick reply to support tickets if challenges arise or get instant support by telephone or chat service.
Website Building Tools
Website building tools are often a free service that comes with most web hosting packages. They make it easy for websites to be built by individuals who have very little or no experience building websites. The more advanced website building tools have tutorials that show how to create galleries, forums, auto installer software for blogs, banner rotator, visitor tracker, FAQ model, helpful album, blogs, guestbook, newsletters, ads and much more.
Security And Privacy
Security and privacy is a major concern for website owners. This is why web host offer security tools such as SSL certificate and SSL secure servers, antivirus protection, and firewalls that are used to secure information passed on website hosted on their servers such as passwords, emails or credit card details.
A lot of web hosts offer email hosting with their web hosting packages. This feature often comes with email features such as protection from spam and viruses, customised email addresses, auto
responders, imports/exports address book, mail forwarding, unlimited storage, calendar alerts, webmail accessible from mobile phones and so on.
Domain Name And Web Hosting
A domain name is the unique name of a website on the Internet. Before a website can be hosted on a web server, it needs to have a domain name -this is purchased by a domain registrar.
After domain name registration is completed, the domain name is available for use by the buyer for a specific time frame typically a year – with the option of extension available. Domain name owners are required to renew their domain names before their expiration dates in order to retain it. If this is not done, the domain becomes public again.
Shared Versus Dedicated IP Addresses
An IP(internet protocol) address is the string of number that is associated with a website- it is used by computers to find the website’s server host and domain on the web. There are two types of IP addresses available on the web :shared and dedicated IP.
A shared IP address – is a single IP address that is shared by hundreds of websites on a single server. Shared IP addresses make it easier for hosting companies to maintain and manage their servers and this is why this feature is offered at a lower cost.
The major disadvantages of shared IP addresses is – it can be blacklisted or banned as a result of scamming or spamming activities of other websites that share the same address. If this happens, your website could be affected -emails blocked by Internet service providers and disappear from search engines search results.
The major advantage of shared IP addresses is that SSL certificate is also shared, which essentially means that websites hosted on this have to pay less for SSL certification.
A dedicated IP address – is an IP address that is linked to a single website. The major advantage of having a dedicated IP address for your website is that it is easier to find and more visible – which makes for a better as you all ranking. In addition dedicated IP addresses offer better privacy and security option.
It features private SSL certificate that is created to legitimise the identity of the website or server and ensure secure transaction between web servers and browsers. For the protection of client information, a private SSL certificate is mandatory for e-commerce websites that handle all online credit card payments.
On A Final Note
The price of a web hosting package would vary based on the features offered for example, guaranteed uptime, disk space, bandwidth allocation, technical support, data transfer, website design and marketing tools, number of domain emails that can be hosted, security and privacy
quality. In order to make a great choice and to find the one that best suits your website building needs, all these features need to be considered.