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Web hosting - what's that?

by alan01

Web hosting service allows individuals and organizations to provide their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. There are web hosting companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosting is often provided as part of a general Internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services. A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use and also ensure it is a high-quality low-cost web hosting solution. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system.

Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The web hosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multi-media services for streaming media. A customer may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The customer still can choose from PHP, Perl, and Python but may also use ASP .Net or Classic ASP.

Web hosting packages often include a Web Content Management System, so the end-user doesn't have to worry about the more technical aspects. These Web Content Management systems are great for the average user, but for those who want more control over their website design, this feature may not be adequate. Most modern desktop operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X) are also capable of running web server software, and thus can be used to host basic websites.

One may also search the Internet to find active web hosting message boards and forums that may provide feedback on what type of web hosting company may suit his/her needs. However some of these message boards and forums will require not only registration, but a paid subscription to be able to access the sections and sub forums with such information.

The scope of web hosting services varies widely. The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web "as is" or with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or cheap. Business web site hosting often has a higher expense.

Single page hosting is generally sufficient only for personal web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, and ASP.NET). These facilities allow the customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also highly recommended.

The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company. You can know more about web hosting at www.webhost4life.com.

Alan Cain has 12 years experience in the web hosting industry. He has knowledge of how customer needs for web hosting have evolved over the years. He is also abreast with the latest trends in web hosting. His special area of interest is low cost high quality web hosting. You can learn more about his work by visiting www.webhost4life.com.
Sunday, Nov 29th, 2009