A web hosting service allows individuals, businesses and organisations to make their website accessible over the Internet. Web hosts provide space on a server, one that they might own or one that they rent out to clients, and can also provide Internet connectivity. The most basic form of web hosting involves a simple web page and small-scale file hosting, with files uploaded through File Transfer Protocol, often shortened to the acronym FTP. While personal web pages generally use single page hosting, anything more complex than that requires professional services, with application development platforms such as Java and database support thrown into the mix. It is important to note that personal web pages are different from social networking sites, which use their own servers to process the demands of the user.
A server, on the other hand, is a machine or computer programme that interacts with a client – another piece of software – by waiting for client requests and then responding to them. It works a bit like a waiter or waitress in a restaurant in that it takes orders from clients and its job is to respond to said order. Server machines can be actual physical machines, or virtual machines, and generally the hardware used for servers is of a higher, more powerful class than that reserved for PCs. The relationship between the client and server is known in the IT industry as the client-server model, and is present in nearly every daily computer interaction.
A dedicated server, as the name implies, is a computer within a network reserved for the sole task of serving the needs of the network. As this qualification implies, not all servers are dedicated, and it’s not unheard of for the server within a network to fulfil other functions as well. As a general rule in the world of web hosting, the dedicated server is a service rented from the web host along with the internet connection and the software involved.
The client-server model forms virtually the entire infrastructure of the Internet, with millions of servers connected to the Internet running throughout the world at any given time. More or less every action performed by an Internet user involves a server of some kind, but not all of these are dedicated servers. Peer-to-peer file sharing, for example, does not use a dedicated server.
How Web Hosting Can Help You
If you are looking to set up a web page for your business or any other enterprise that requires more server power than the average personal web page, you might want to consider going through a professional web hosting service. The best of these offer a variety of web hosting options, including cloud hosting, dedicated servers and collocation hosting, with options as to whether you use shared web hosting or manage the web hosting yourself.
Managed web hosting is an arrangement where the user rents the web server without full control over it. What this means is that you would have a web server dedicated to your business, but you wouldn’t have administrator access if you use Windows, nor root access if you’re using Linux. In this situation, you would still be able to manage your data through remote management tools like FTP. The reason the user is denied full control over the server is so the hosting company can guarantee a high quality of service, preventing users from inadvertently affecting the configuration of the server or compromising its security.
Colocation web hosting, on the other hand, is one where the user owns the web server and the web hosting service takes responsibility for its maintenance and provides physical space for the machine. Although this is often the most expensive web hosting service, it provides the client with the most supreme dedicated servers, the most powerful available.
At the Forefront of Technology
Web hosting services at the cutting edge of the industry will offer cloud hosting, a new type of hosting platform based on clustered load-balanced servers. Cloud hosting is ideal if you’re expecting a heavy influx of traffic, as a cloud hosted website is far more reliable than web pages hosted on a single server. The reason for this is that, should one machine in the server go down, the other machines in the cloud can compensate for its absence.
High-Quality Hosting Services
The best hosting services are those that are able to cater to a wide variety of clients and tend to the ever-changing needs of the online market. Trans-Atlantic presence – that is, a presence in the UK as well as the United States – is a reliable signal of a flexible company capable of tailoring their services. You want tech support available at all hours, so that in the event of a server or hosting issue, you can see it amended as quickly as possible to ensure that your customers aren’t missing out on valuable web time, and that your web presence remains reliable and assertive.
The best web hosting services will have been accredited and awarded in recognition of their excellence. The websites of these services will be easily navigable and should have any accolades acknowledged on the “about us” section of their page. If you have security or privacy concerns, make sure the web hosting service you choose to use is ISO 27001 certified. The ISO 27001 certification is a guarantee that all aspects of the business, from the servers to the employees attending them, are secure.
Make sure the web hosting service you choose to use is partnered with recognisable or reputable software companies. A comprehensive list of their partners should be clearly displayed on the service’s website, so keep an eye out for the logos of software companies you use or whom you know to be providers of great service. If a software giant is willing to display their logo on the website of a web hosting service, then this indicates their willingness to risk the reputation of their brand through association with the service, virtually guaranteeing the authenticity of the web hosting company in question.