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Beginner Guide to Web Hosting

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Beginner Guide to Web Hosting Powered By Docstoc
					by: Andrew Loh

What is web hosting? Whenever you visit a website, what you see on your web browser is
essentially just a web page that is downloaded from the web server onto your web browser. In
general, a web site is made up of many web pages. And a web page is basically composed of
texts and graphic images. All these web pages need to be stored on the web servers so that online
users can visit your website.

Therefore, if you plan to own a new website, you will need to host your website on a web server.
When your website goes live on the web server, online users can then browse your website on
the Internet. Company that provides the web servers to host your website is called web hosting
providers.

A well-established web hosting provider sometimes hosts up to thousands of websites. For
example, the Best Web Host of the Year 2003 award winner, iPowerWeb, is a web hosting
company that hosts more than 200,000 websites. For that reason, a web hosting company need
many web servers (essentially, these are computers) to store the website. And all these web
servers are connected to the Internet through high speed Internet connection and housed in a
physical building called data center. In order to guarantee all the web servers are safe, secure and
fully operational all time, a data center is a physically secure 24/7 environment with fire
protection, virus detections, computer data backup, redundant power backup and complete
disaster recovery capabilities.

What are the different types of web hosting?

There are different kinds of web hosting companies out there with different characteristics. The
main types of web hosts can be organized into the following categories:

a. Shared Hosting

In shared hosting (or virtual hosting), many websites are sharing the space on the same physical
web servers. Depending on the web host, a physical web server can hosts a few hundred to even
thousand of different websites at one time. Since a physical web server is shared (diskspace,
computer processing power, bandwidth, memory) by many websites, the web hosting provider
can therefore afford to offer a lower hosting price. For the same reason, websites on the shared
hosting would have to accept slower server response time. Typically, shared hosting plans start at
$5 - $20 per month.

b. Dedicated Hosting

-In contrast to shared hosting, dedicated hosting assigned a specific web server to be used only
by one customer. Since a dedicated web server is allocated to only a single customer, the
customer has the option to host single/multiple web sites, modify the software configuration,
handle greater site traffic and scale the bandwidth as necessary. Therefore, dedicated hosting
commands a higher premium and typically starts at $50 per month and can range up to $200 -
$500 per month. As a result, dedicated hosting is regularly used by high traffic and important
website.

c. Co-location hosting

In dedicated hosting, the web server belongs to the web hosting providers and customers only
rent the web server during the hosting period. While in co-location hosting, the customer owns
the web server hardware and only housed their web server within the web hosting providers
secure data center. In this way, the customer has full control over their web server and
simultaneously benefit from the 24/7 server monitoring and maintenance provided by the secure
data center. Depending on the monthly bandwidth and rack space required, typically co-location
hosting range from $500 - $1000 per month.

d. Reseller hosting

In reseller hosting, a web hosting provider offers web server storage to third-party (i.e. reseller)
at a discount price, who then resell the web server storage to their customers. Typically, resellers
are web consultants including web designers, web developers, or system integration company
who resell the web hosting as a add-on service to complement their other range of services.

Commonly, resellers can receive up to 50 percent discount on the price of a hosting account from
the web hosting provider. And resellers are allowed to decide its own pricing structure and even
establish its own branding (in other words, reseller setup its web hosting company on the Internet
and start selling web hosting plans under its brand).

To the resellers customers, the reseller is the web host provider. In cases when technical
problems such as server down and access problem arise, the resellers will have to correspond
directly with the actual web host provider. Due to the communication process taken place
between customer to reseller and from reseller to actual web host provider and back and forth,
undoubtedly problems will take longer time to resolve. Unless you are running your own
personal website or non-profit website and willing to take the risks of poor support from the
reseller, reseller hosting is generally not a good option.

However, the web hosting market today is filled with resellers that sell lowest price web hosting
plans. So, how do you tell between a genuine web hosting provider from a reseller? You dont
judge by the availability of toll-free number alone because some web hosting providers even
offer their resellers with their own toll-free number for co-branded technical support. When the
resellers customer calls the number for technical support, the web host uses the resellers name so
the customer thinks that the support is coming from the reseller directly. Likewise, dont be
fooled by the professional designed website alone because it is extremely easy to create a
professional looked business website nowadays.

In general, resellers can be distinguished from their hosting price and company information. In
most cases, a genuine web hosting provider has solid company information such as
iPowerWeb.com where they publish its financial background, offices and data centers. In
contrast, resellers usually do not have solid company background such as TinyHost.com.
Moreover, the hosting price by resellers is generally below $5 per month. So, why settle for
resellers when you can find genuine web hosting providers offering superb quality web hosting
at the hosting price ranging between $7 - $10.

Therefore, you should not strive to find the lowest price web hosting companies without first
considering the quality of the service and support provided. Dont expect to find any top-level
support if you choose to pay only $2 or $3 per months for your web hosting plan. On the other
hand, by paying just slightly more for your hosting plan, you can now discover a list of low cost
yet high quality web hosting plans to host your important website. You can look at our high
quality and lowest price web hosting review and recommendation at http://www.lowest-price-
web-hosting.com

This article was posted on June 11, 2004

				
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