What is web hosting?
A web hosting service is a type of internet hosting service that allows you to create your own website and launch it to the web. To do this, web host companies provide space on a server that you either buy or rent from the company. This also includes connecting the server to the internet, usually in a data center.
Are there different kinds of hosting?
The different types of services that a web hosting company can offer varies a lot, but the most common is a basic web page and small-scale hosting of files that you upload to the web through FPT or a web interface.
Most host companies also provides an interface where you easily can control your space via a control panel. Here you can install scripts and e-mail services as well as other modules. Some host specialize in specific softwares or services such as e-commerce and blogs.
What should I think about when choosing a service?
When you choose your hosting company you should take in consideration what kind of server that you will be needing. There are different kinds of servers and hosting. Shared hosting is usually the cheaper option, because servers are shared between more than one company or client. Your website will be hosted on the same server as a website that belongs to someone else. This has several disadvantages including the fact that the setup is inflexible and cannot cope with a large amount of traffic. Dedicated hosting is a much more advanced form of hosting, where you buy a physical server. This means that the entire server is dedicated to you with no one else sharing it, and you have full control of the server, including choosing operating system, hardware, etc. Sometimes you can utilize multiple servers which are all dedicated to your own use. Dedicated servers allow full control over your hosting.
Managed hosting can have different meaning depending on the provider. Usually its an extension of dedicated hosting, but the difference is that the management and maintenance on the servers is handled by the hosting provider, and not by the client. You get the same functionality of dedicated hosting but help with the day-to-day management of the servers. The level of management is usually what differs the different kinds of managed hosting services. It usually includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Server monitoring: The process of scanning the servers in search of irregularities and potential failures. If this is not scanned regularly minor errors can evolve into major issues or service disruption.
Security: This is virus scanning, spam filtering, firewall configuration and operation system updates in addition to standard physical data center security measures.
Full back-up and storage: If your company looses data it can become very costly in money, time and consumer trust. With a back-up both vital and all critical or personal information is backed up and stored securely.
Server configuration and maintenance: Managed hosting providers usually offers staff that is specialists, with expertise that ensures you that the servers always run smoothly.
Support: Some of the managed hosting providers offer a bigger range of support where you often can reach the company easily through an 24/7 telephone support.
There are some additional benefits to managed hosting that can include flexibility to adapt the service to be whatever you company needs, reduced cost of operation and more effective use of resources.
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