What is Web Hosting?

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows you to post your web pages, also known as HTML files, to the Internet. Websites are stored (hosted) on a special computer called a server. This server allows Internet users connected anywhere to reach your site when they put in your domain address (www.yourcompany.co.za).

Choosing the right domain name

Why Do I Need Web Hosting?

Web hosting can be compared to telephone service. If you have a phone, but do not hook up local and long distance phone service through a phone company, the actual phone itself won’t function the way it was intended. Likewise, you may have website files, but until you upload them to a web server, your files will not be viewable via the Internet.

A server dedicated to a website and email with a direct connection to a stable Internet backbone is required to host a website. Web hosting companies exist because these requirements are often out of reach for the average business and general users of the Internet. By investing in equipment and network architecture, a web hosting company specializes in making websites available quickly through the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Unless you have the knowledge and resources it takes to run a web server and mail server in-house, you will probably require the services of a web hosting company.

Buying Web Hosting Service

Buying web hosting service is essentially renting space on a server, which can be like renting an apartment. For a monthly fee, you reside in that apartment, and all maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. As a renter, you have access to certain amenities that would otherwise require special knowledge and be a costly investment. In web hosting, you would buy space on the server for your website files. The files are secure and only you can update, add, and remove files. The amenities are considered the disk space, data transfer, POP3 email accounts, technical support, mailing lists, ecommerce capability, design tools, web-based email, FTP sub-accounts, etc. With the purchase of a web hosting plan, you have purchased the service and expertise of the web hosting company – the technical skills, network and system architecture, web servers, and applications.

Important criteria should be taken into account when you are looking for a hosting provider. Look upon your hosting as an investment rather than a cost, especially if your site is significant to your business or livelihood. A checklist is a good way to sort out the host that will provide the type of hosting you are looking for

Web Hosting vs. Internet Service Providers

A web host is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for websites to be viewed on the Internet. Web hosting providers are often confused with ISPs (Internet Service Providers). An Internet service provider provides Internet access to a user via dial-up, broadband, cable, DSL, or wireless connections. An Internet service provider focuses on the connectivity and accessibility of the Internet; while a web hosting provider focuses more on the computers that house, maintain, and serve up the website through the Internet. An Internet service provider gets you connected to the Internet. A web hosting provider gets your message out over the Internet. While many companies specialize solely in web hosting solutions, some ISPs complement their Internet access service by offering web hosting.

Web Hosting Platforms

Now, that you understand web hosting service, it’s important to understand different types of web hosting platforms. NetFronts offers both Windows and Linux platforms. Many users automatically assume they need a Windows platform since that is the program they run on their PC. Most websites are hosted on a Linux operating system because your web hosting platform is completely unrelated to the Windows program that runs on your own computer.

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