Hosting is a service provided by companies who have not one, not a dozen, but typically hundreds of computers in a network that are devoted to keeping websites online. These computers are connected to each other in what is called a data center, which is a room optimized for running the many computers (called servers) at maximum efficiency. Data centers are often temperature and humidity controlled, as well as being constantly monitored for security. These data centers are connected to the internet and most allow the information stored on them to be accessed on the internet by clients via websites. The web host is responsible for keeping the servers (and the websites stored on them) active and online. There are a few types of hosting services.
Shared Hosting is a when your website is hosted on a server that hosts many other websites. Shared hosting services include GoDaddy, HostMonster, Bluehost, and many more. The space available on the drives provided by a shared hosting service are divided among the clients being hosted. Shared hosting is relatively inexpensive but have many limitations such as how much data can be transferred (bandwidth), how much space you have, and the amount of resources (CPU, memory, etc.) that your website may utilize.
Dedicated hosting is where there is a server dedicated to your website(s). You can access these servers remotely from your computer which means you can install and update it with any software you want. This hosting is more flexible and good for when you have large sites that need to handle a lot of traffic. However all this extra power and convenience usually comes at a cost. Another version of dedicated hosting would be collocated hosting, which is when you own the dedicated server. This means you can purchase upgrades to the hardware as well as the software instead of relying on the web hosting provider to upgrade their hardware. Collocated hosting providers keep your owned hardware in optimal environments while maintaining good connections to the internet. With all these options to consider, it is best to (like in Thursday’s post) look at what type of project you are trying to complete, and weigh the benefits of all the options to find the best fit for you and your website.
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