Web hosting is necessary if you want to have a website live 24 hours a day. It is then permanently connected to the internet via a server. In theory, you can host a site yourself or opt for free hosting, but paid web hosting is preferable. What types of hosting are there and which one should you choose?
What is a web hosting provider?
A web hosting provider is a company that hosts your web pages on a special server in order to permanently connect them to the internet via broadband. Technically it is possible to host your website yourself, provided you can offer a sufficiently high transfer speed in the ascending direction.
In fact, visitors to a website make downloads, and fetch web pages in a downward direction (download). This means that the server mainly sends (uploads) web pages. In practice, it has advantages to outsource the hosting to a professional hosting provider.
To guarantee sufficient quality and service for your visitors, you must personally convince yourself of the performance of your futureweb hosting provider . At the end of this explanation you will find a handy checklist for choosing the right web host .
What forms of web hosting are there?
Although free hosting also exists, professional web hosting is only offered for a fee. With professional hosting, one roughly distinguishes the following variants:
- Shared hosting: this is a hosting service where several websites are hosted on one server. The customer rents, as it were, part of the hard disk on a web server.
- Dedicated hosting: the entire web server is made available to only one individual customer.
- Colocated hosting: means that the customer places his own web server in the data center of the hosting provider and uses his internet connection and other services such as backup facilities, etc.
There are plenty of sites that offer free hosting, but it is wise to carefully examine the terms of such a service. Often the offer of those providers includes the hosting of a website with limited disk space.
Often this form of hosting also involves displaying advertisements on your website, either in a corner or as a pop-up. Also, the speed and availability of these services are often not optimal or no domain name is assigned and people have to make do with a redirect from the domain name URL of the free provider. where ISP stands for Internet Service Provider.
Shared hosting consists of hosting multiple websites on one server. It is an economical solution that makes it possible to get a good quality service at a reasonable price.
The offer consists of a configured server, software (server, database, e-mail addresses, etc.), and agreed disk space. Customers have no administrative facilities on the server. The configuration is done via the web interface. It is therefore important to be able to indicate the parameters of the configuration as accurately as possible.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting means that a customer has a complete server at his disposal.
Colocated web hosting
Customers who want to host several large websites or a business-critical application can also opt for housing their own server with some providers. Such providers then offer the customer a network connection with a full, half, or quarter port. They also take care of the placement of the client-server. One then speaks of colocation (English for housing).
With this offer, the customer can install and edit a server of his choice. The provider also offers excellent infrastructure, broadband transmission, a number of additional services, and adequate security.
Choosing the best web hosting
To determine the best hosting for your situation, you must first determine your needs. Below you will find a (non-exhaustive) list of elements that are usually offered by providers.
- Available disk space
- Allowed bandwidth: what will be charged extra if you exceed the allowed bandwidth?
- Server type: Configure access (ht access)
- Server language
- Domain names: configuration of virtual domains, number of domain names, number of subdomains
- Access via SSH (encrypted login)
- Content updateable via FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
- Message server: webmail available, number of available e-mail addresses, number of allowed mail aliases
- Forwarding options (forwarding to an external email address)
- Antivirus and antispam
- Auto-response function
- Database server: type, the maximum number of databases, database management accessible via a web interface
- Additional web services such as an E-mail contact form and personalized account