Web hosting is the space where web pages or files are kept to make them accessible on the world wide web. After designing a website, the files of the site should be kept in a PC which is connected to the internet. This is called web hosting & the PC having this space is called the server PC.
Types of Web Hosting: Web hosting is mainly categorized based on the operating system of the server PC & performance.
Based on the OS of the server PC there are mainly two types of hosting -
1. Windows Hosting: The hosting where the server PC is run on windows. Windows hosting is a perfect choice if you want to use dotNET, ASP, access database & other Microsoft products. The main limitation of it is that it gives limited access to Telnet, SSH, CGI, Perl etc.
2. Linux Hosting: The hosting with linux run server is called linux hosting. It is more popular than windows hosting for it’s security, access to telnet, SSH, CGI, Perl etc, But if you want to work with ASP, or access database, linux hosting is not for you.
Based on performance, resource (disk space, RAM, CPU) usage & user’s access to the server, there are mainly three types of hosting -
1. Shared Hosting: This is the hosting where some accounts are hosted on the same pc. In this hosting, all accounts share the system resources like RAM, CPU, Disk Space etc together. Here you may have a specific amount of disc space & bandwidth, but there is no guaranty of systems resources. Sometimes you may get 60% of the system resources or sometimes below 30%, which actually depends, on the resource usages of other accounts on the same server at that time. In this hosting, users get the least control over the server. They can only read/write files on the server and can’t change any server settings.
2. VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting: VPS hosting is the hosting where several accounts are hosted on the same PC but work as independent PC. In a VPS, accounts have their own RAM, disk space, CPU etc so that the performance of one account is not affected by others. Even if the resources of an account are unused then it won’t be shared with others.
VPS gives users complete control over the server. In a VPS, users get full control so that they can change any settings on the server or can install any required software. Even they can reboot or shut down their server whenever they want.
3. Dedicated Server Hosting: In respect to the functionality, dedicated hosting is same as VPS hosting but in dedicated hosting only one account is hosted in one pc. So when someone buys a dedicated hosting, he actually rents a whole pc instead of part of it.
Dedicated hosting is the best choice for high traffic sites & sites with complex functionality like ecommerce sites or database driven big sites.
For hosting a website, it is possible to set up a server on your own pc & host sites there, but it’s a complex process & requires high performance PC with high speed & reliable internet connection. It also requires running that PC 24 hours a day to avoid downtime. This is why it’s recommended to buy hosting services from professional hosting providers.