As a would-be website owner, your friend or colleague probably told you to think about getting a web host as well. But, what exactly is a web host and what is web hosting, in general?
Well, a web host is basically a company that owns plenty of webservers. These are powerful computers that operate full-time so that websites that are placed inside their databases would be accessible online.
But, there is more to ‘web hosting’ than you might think and in this article, I will run you through the basics so that you will be aware. After reading this, you will know exactly what to look for in a top hosting company.
Types of Hosting
Now that you know what web hosting actually is, I will now talk about the different types. You might have seen the terms such as shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting, right? You might be wondering what they actually mean and I will discuss it further in this section.
Basically, they are different hosting plans that you can sign up for. Shared hosting is the most common one because it is the most inexpensive and does pretty well for most web users. The reason why it is called ‘shared’ hosting because you will essentially be sharing a server with other websites as well.
The ‘VPS’ in VPS Hosting just stands for Virtual Private Servers. As the name suggests, the web hosting company makes use of a virtualization software to create virtual servers inside a physical server. What this means is that you get to have your own resources yet you are still lumped inside the same server as others.
Dedicated hosting is similar to VPS hosting, but the major difference is that instead of using a program to create a server, you are actually given your own server. Because of this, this is the most expensive hosting plan and only large corporations have the means to get them as they are really, really expensive for the layman.
Other terms you might have heard of are reseller hosting, colocation hosting, and clustered hosting.
Reseller web hosting is a provider that sells hosting plans from an already established web hosting company. This isn’t particularly limited to a class of its own but it is basically all of the aforementioned hosting plans being offered by a third-party company (in this case, a reseller) that is originally provided by a parent company.
Colocation hosting is similar to dedicated hosting with the major difference that you are going to be the one to supply the actual server computer and they will just be the ones that will provide the bandwidth, storage, and power requirements.
Clustered hosting is the least known of all of the hosting types out there, but it does exist. This is basically where server computers will handle a particular load to ensure that everything is balanced. For instance, there might be one server that handles all HTTP requests while another server will handle the SQL or database of the company, and so on.