The trend these days is to set up a presence in the World Wide Web through a website. This may be for personal or business reasons. Individuals support websites to express and share their sentiments on certain issues. At the same time, companies find this approach to be quite effective in marketing their products and services in a much lesser cost.
However, having a website is not enough. It will have to be accessible to others via the World Wide Web, and this necessitates tapping an appropriate web hosting provider. Although home website hosting is technically possible, this is only advised for hobbyists and large institutions that have their own data center and IT support.
What Does a Web Hosting Service Provide?
A web hosting service provides server space and internet connectivity that will allow websites to be accessed via the World Wide Web. High speed internet connection and reliability are the most common features. High bandwidth and large disk space are oftentimes offered as well, albeit at a cost.
Note that there are free web hosting services available. However, these come with fewer features and flexibility, which may be adequate for personal websites but are insufficient for business or commercial ones. At the same time, paid web hosting services are usually more reliable and better customer support is provided.
Types of Web Hosting Services
There are several types of website hosting services being offered and these cater to the different requirements of heterogeneous clients. Among these are:
1. Shared hosting, which is the most common. This setup provides for a single server hosting several clients. Since resources are shared, there are likely to be limitations. However, usually, especially for simple websites and low traffic situations, this arrangement is enough. Needless to say, the service comes at a low price.
2. Virtual Private Server (VPS). The server is still shared, but the resources are committed to a particular client. Upgrades can be arranged should this be necessary. This service is definitely more expensive than simple shared hosting.
3. Dedicated hosting. This arrangement provides for a dedicated server for a single client. This affords total control by the client since he (or she) may choose the hardware and software configuration that best suits ones needs. More often than not, the security features are top-notch. Dedicated web hosting services range from fully managed to unmanaged. The provider assumes full control and responsibility of server management in the former, and none at all in the latter. There are also combination setups wherein both parties share in system administration.
Recent developments have resulted in other website hosting arrangements like cloud hosting, reseller hosting, e-commerce hosting, and the like. All these have the main goal of providing server space and internet connectivity to their clients.
Choosing a Suitable Web Hosting Package and Provider
Your choice of website hosting package will depend on your requirements. For instance, there is no point in opting for unlimited disk space if you need only 10 MB to 20 MB. Even if you factor in your future short to medium term requirements, unlimited disk space could still be overkill. You can contend that it is a freebie, but it may be possible to negotiate for a more useful one.
It is best to list down the features that are essential and come up with a separate list of those that are preferred. But of course, your budget is also important. Since you are unlikely to come across a package that will contain all the features in your list given your budget, compromises are inevitable.
Choosing a provider will cause considering the reliability of the service and the quality of customer support they offer. And given the number of web hosting providers, you will surely not run out of options. It is best to check out reviews and feedbacks before finalizing your choice.