What is web hosting and how to make use of it?
Web hosting is a generic term which we will explain in the context of the web services you receive. Such services include:
- Registering a domain name, such as example.org.
- Using this domain name for serving a website such as http://example.org.
- Having a website building tool or a blog or CMS application.
- Using email by your domain name firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Others - backing up your important data online, supporting chat / voice services and so on.
Free web hosting?
It is important to know that web hosting is not necessarily purchased. You can have your own web hosting for free - almost every computer with internet access can offer web hosting with a little technical knowledge on your end. On the other hand, reliable web hosting for busy / feature-rich web sites is expensive and would require complex setup. In other words, it all depends on your needs and abilities.
Fortunately most people have common needs, which include a relatively simple website (blog, CMS, forum or other mainstream software) and an email solution for their domain name.
Shared or Dedicated hosting?
Most people's needs fit in the popular shared hosting solution. It is quite affordable, fast and stable. However, resources are shared among users and this has drawbacks in terms of performance and configuration flexibility. For example, if your application has a specific server requirement you should not expect the shared server to be re-configured to meet your needs.
That's where the expensive dedicated solutions come - usually high end servers with dedicated resources which allow much faster performance and global server re-configurations.
Prices vary between $5 and $10 per month for a shared hosting to more than $100 for a dedicated solution. If you are not a very experienced user and your website needs a dedicated machine, it would be best to purchase managed dedicated hosting solution, where the hosting company would make all server settings and security protection for you. The managed dedicated solutions prices start from $200/month.