What exactly is Web Hosting? What Should I Choose? - The Best Web Hosting Guide for Beginners! When you create a website you must host it on a server so that the website can be available on the internet. This is where web hosting comes in. Web hosting is a service that provides individuals or organizations with online systems for storing images, videos, information or any other content accessible on the internet. There are plenty of web hosting companies that provide Web hosting and they range from free web hosting to Dedicated Hosting. Here we are going to discuss some different types of hosting that are provided by web hosting companies. Free Hosting If you want to host a personal web site you can choose to host it for free. Free hosts will usually give you space in a directory under their domain, for example: freewebs.com/yoursite. I don't recommend free hosting though especially if you are looking forward to make money from your site. Web hosting companies that provide free hosting won't provide your hosting totally for free. They will put banners on your site to advertise their companies. By having banners on your site that are not related to your content, you will lose a lot of visitors. Shared Hosting Shared web hosting allows you to host your website using a domain name that you own, for example: yoursite.com. You will be given a certain amount of bandwidth and disk-space on the server, however there are some few companies that allow you to have unlimited bandwidth and disk-space. This will give you a professional look to your website, which is much better than free web hosting. Dedicated Server Hosting Dedicated server is the one where you rent the use of a whole machine. This can be used to host one or more of your websites. Since you are renting the use of a machine, you have total control over the software that will be installed on the machine. A major benefit of this kind of hosting is that it allows increased traffic to your sites, without slowing down your server since it will have larger disk-space and bandwidth. Reseller Web Hosting A reseller is a company or individual that purchases goods from another company and sells them at a higher price to another company or to other customers. Reseller web hosting plans allow you to be the web hosting company of yourself. Most web hosting companies themselves have a web hosting company who hosts their server. Some web hosting companies provide a service where small companies can resell web space on their servers for a small fee. Web Hosting Platforms Windows Microsoft's solution to Web Hosting, Windows, is becoming popular with Web developers with its powerful ASP and ASP.NET programming options. It also integrates well with .NET server technologies such as Commerce Server 2002, SQL Server 2000 and others. Recent advances in Windows Server technology and the release of the Windows 2003 Server provides what is now arguably the highest performance server environment. It provides exceptional support for the developer community and has a single vendor commitment to its ongoing development. Unix Unix is the traditionally the operating system of choice. It has been around a long time and some say it is the most reliable. Unix systems are less user-friendly than Windows systems. If you are developing a simple Web site, this should not be a problem, since your only access to the Unix server will be via FTP to upload your site. However, if you are developing an advanced site you will need to become more familiar with Unix commands.