What is Web Hosting
Web Hosting is an essential part of the whole Internet World Wide Web Eco System. It is a type of service that is provided by companies known as Web Host (Web Hosting Companies); they provide you with physical machines known as web servers that are connected 24 * 7 to the World Wide Web.
Think of it like a property or piece of land. Just like Land Lord, who provide you land to construct your house or building and maintains all services related to your land like providing water supply, electricity supply, drainage system, etc.; Web Hosting Companies provide you web servers (land) to build your own blog or website (build your building or apartments) and maintain all services related to your web servers like 24 * 7 Internet Connectivity, Electricity Connectivity, etc.
They buy machines; which are just like our home computers; but with lot of high-profile configuration, processing power, RAM, Hard Disk, etc. and setup all the software stuff. They also provide high speed internet connectivity to these machines so that they are online 24 Hours * 365 Days. They also use Electricity Generators as backup, if electricity fails.
A Web Hosting Company can have lot of such type of machines or web servers placed in one location for proper maintenance. The centralized location of these web servers is known as data center.
Take a view of Google Data Centers: Source
People often ask me difference between Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. I’ve tried to answer them today in easy to understand language, with image examples wherever possible;
What is Shared Hosting:
- Shared Hosting means that a single web server and all its resources are shared by many users. In shared web hosting, the performance resources of the web server like RAM, Hard Disk, CPU, Apache Server, MySql Server and Email Server are shared by the whole pool of users. All the web hosting accounts or websites residing on the web server are allocated these resources through the web hosting server administration software.
- Think of shared hosting like an apartment or a building. In a physical building, all the owners share the parking space, main entry gate, water tanks, elevators, etc.
- Shared Hosting is the most economical way to get started online as the cost of managing a web server is divided in big pool of members. Most of the experts recommend Shared hosting if you are just starting out with your website. Once you start receiving traffic, you can recalculate your resources and if necessary upgrade to the next level of web hosting.
What is VPS Hosting:
- VPS stands for Virtual Private Servers. This type of web hosting service provides you with an independent environment just like dedicated hosting but an economical cost. It still resides on one physical machine, and you share the web server with others but the resources allotted to you are fixed.
- So, if a web server had 10 GB of RAM, and you are allotted 1 GB as per your VPS Plan, you are actually allotted the 1 GB Ram Memory of the web server through virtualization of the web server machine.
- Think of VPS hosting just like an apartment. You have your own main entry gate, parking space; you can install elevators and water tanks. You are free to do anything on your plot of land. However, it still resides on the same Block.
- VPS Hosting is usually required by websites or blog that have outgrown the resources offered by Shared Web Hosting. Experts recommend opting for VPS Hosting if you are looking for more control of your web server in economical budget. With VPS Hosting, you can install your own Operating System, tweak the Operating System settings for better performance, and install firewall software for better security of your website.
What is Dedicated Hosting:
- Dedicated hosting is a type of web hosting service in which you are allotted the full web server; you do not share the resources with anyone. The technical stuff like RAM, Hard Disk, CPU and the software stuff like Operating System is solely allotted (dedicated) to you.
- Think of Dedicated hosting just like having your own house. You do not share anything with others. You have full control of your property.
- Dedicated Hosting is the best type of web hosting service as you do not share the server hardware or server software with anyone. You are not required to share anything. Although, this type of web hosting is costly but it gives you more control and power in terms of hosting.
- Dedicated hosting is only necessary if your website or blog receives huge amount of traffic.
If you are just starting out a website or a blog, I recommend you to stick with Shared Hosting; the benefits are;
- Shared Hosting is offered with a back end control panel dashboard which makes it easy to build websites, install applications like WordPress, manage account configuration, and access comprehensive tools and resources.
- Shared Hosting is economical for starters. If you were just starting with your website or a blog, most of the Shared Hosting plans just cost less than $5 a month.
All the security and firewall for the web server is managed by the web hosting company.
- You can get started with a Shared Hosting Service in less than 20 minutes.