An internet website hosting service enables a website / blog to be put online with the hosting provider taking care of the hardware and communications.
The hosting provider will have a data center (or share someone else's) where the servers are located in a secure and controlled environment (air conditioning etc) with contingencies in place to cover possible failures. Users can access these servers over the internet using FTP to load and maintain their sites. This frees users from any concerns about the hardware or internet connectivity.
It is possible for an individual user to host a website on a PC at home and serve it over a broadband connection. However this would not be cheaper, would take up a lot of time, would provide a poorer service and may breach the ISP broadband contract.
Major companies may be able to host their own website, and if they have the infrastructure in place for other reasons, it may make sense for them to do so. For everyone else an internet website hosting service is the best option. As user requirements vary there are a variety of hosting options:
Basic Service (shared): Here many users are hosted on a single server on a shared basis. This is the most common form of hosting is fine for the majority of users. The potential negative is that some hosting providers may be tempted to put too many users on one server thereby degrating performance. It is therefore advisable to look for user feedback before choosing a provider.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting: This is where servers are divided (by software) into "mini servers" which behaves like a physical server with the user having guaranteed resources.
Dedicated Server Hosting: Here users really do get their own server for their private use. A user can often choose whether to be responsible for managing the server or not.
Cloud Hosting: This service, which is fairly new, is based on clustered load-balanced servers. It has the advantages of avoiding a single point of failure and allowing users to specify their resource requirements.
eCommerce Web Hosting: This allows integration of shopping cart and payment processing functions into a site. Sometimes it is an option within the standard hosting plans.
There is often a choice between Linux and Windows hosting services (not connected with your PC operating system) although some services are Linux only. Without there is a specific reason to go for Windows (eg site developers specify this) it is best to go for Linux.
It is easy for someone to become a hosting "reseller". This is where the services of a large hosting provider are resold under a third party brand with that third party being responsible for ongoing support. Support is very important so, prior to joining a reseller, look for independent feedback on their services.
Source by Andy Nataghi