Web Host: Who They Are and What They Do?
A web host is an internet hosting service provider. It lets individuals, businesses, and organizations of all kinds. By availing services of a web host it is possible to make a web site available and accessible on the World Wide Web. A web host or hosting company is responsible for providing network or internet connectivity to hosting servers, internet bandwidth, storage space on a server, and other infrastructure and support needed to get going with a website. Web hosting companies generally setup large data centers with racks of network equipments and server farms to provide hosting services to their clients.
A web host offers a variety of hosting plans that allow its clients to own or lease the server space or the entire server to host their web sites and web based hosted applications. A lot of best web hosting reviews also offer which is known as collocation. Collocation essentially involves leasing data center space along with entire hosting infrastructure such as network cabling and internet connectivity, cooling, secured access, and infrastructure support.
A web host may offer variety of hosting services and each provider’s hosting services may vary significantly. However, there are some common types of hosting services offered by almost every web host. The most basic of such hosting service is a single page hosting, suitable primarily for individual hosting need of an individual alone. Similarly, small scale hosting solutoins are suitable only for very small business. Whatever be the hosting plan type, most hosting companies and plans offers support for FTP (File Transfer Protocol) through a FTP client or through a web interface. Several hosting plans deliver the uploaded content to the user’s browser as uploaded and with minimum processing on the server.
Apart from dedicated hosting companies, many a time hosting services are offered by ISP or Internet Service Providers as part of internet connectivity. These are generally a free single page hosting. Most often, personal single page website is free or least expensive. However, such free or least expensive hosting is supported by the provider through sponsored advertisments that must mandatorily be displayed on the web site. Web hosting that is free of sponsored advertisements are generally expensive and require web site owner to shell out a fixed fee every month.
A comprehensive and a complex hosting features are generally required by a more complex web site or portal sites. It may also demand support for complex databases or RDBMS technology in addition to support for web application development platforms of a variety of types including but not limited to PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java, ASP, ASP.NET, or ColdFusion. A more complex web infrastructure is essential to support and let customers write their own scripts or install complex commercial scripts. This is essential if client is likely to host ecommerce portals and applications such as forums, user groups, and content management system. For online financial transactions on an e-commerce web site additional support for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is also a must have.
Web hosts also need to maintain server, network, and other hosting infrastructure up and running at all times as most of the hosting plas are backed by a signed Service Level Agreement. A lot of hosting companies also offer a up to 60 or 90 days no questions asked money back guarantee to assure potential customers about the quality of their services. However, as a general rule all hosting companies exclude planned downtime as violation of SLA.