To run a website smoothly, you require a web hosting service provider. In general, websites are more like a piece of real estate, though virtual. To set up your own website, you require a place on the web, a designated web address and your platform to build the website. Web hosts or service providers are akin to real estate agencies that we normally see in an online environment. They give us the space, position and address of our web presence.
Classically, web space has to be rented. You can either rent your space annually, monthly or even quarterly, as you wish. The server that will be used to cater to your requirements will use a powerful and efficient computer running on specialized and high-speed connectivity. They will also have higher degree of protection, particularly firewall, in place, to make sure there are no hiccups.
There are some subscriber packages for every user to consider for the purpose of website storage on a host server. There are services including email, domain registration, auto-responders and more. There are also packages offering an additional shopping cart, in the form of a software, and quick access to other software applications to be run on the website.
Features of Web Hosting Services
While choosing a host, it is very important to consider several options in terms of the operating platform available and the scripting language to be used. There are 2 versions of operating platforms available today:
The Windows operating platform caters to Windows PCs and machines, while Linux is specially designed for all kinds of web server applications.
Scripting languages are either hypertext preprocessor (PHP), active server page (ASP) or Perl. The choice of your scripting language will depend on the type of platform you have chosen. Whereas the Windows platform will use ASP, Linux platform will use PHP and Perl scripting languages. There are several hosting companies that provide both Linux as well as Windows platform to subscribers.
Free Web Hosting
There is another option called free web hosting. This is ideal for personal usage but not at all advisable if you are planning to set up your business. There are several limitations of free hosting services, such as limited bandwidth allotment, limited access to sites, generic domain names and others. These limitations often make it tough while you are trying to customize the presence and visibility of your business online.
Web Hosting Types
Since you will find a lot of websites online, there are different packages and types of hosting services to be considered. Web hosting services have been divided into several broad categories – shared hosting, dedicated hosting, virtual hosting and more. This is the point where the directory of host server will be shared between several subscribers. Dedicated hosting is also an option in which a subscriber will pay for the use of a respective web server.
Generally, large businesses run their own software applications and database and they have their dedicated server for operations. Virtual servers are useful for the ones that run a small business or set up sites for their personal usage.
The choice of hosting packages and subscriptions should be done only after studying the business process thoroughly. The decision often depends on the business and its needs.