A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to provide their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, called colocation.
Hosting services limited to the Web:
Free web hosting service: Free web hosting is offered by different companies with limited services, sometimes advertisement-supported web hosting, and is often limited when compared to paid hosting.
Shared web hosting service: one's Web site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this type of service can be quite extensive. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller.
Reseller web hosting: allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a provider. Resellers' accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a collocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan and provide the technical support themselves.
Virtual Dedicated Server: also known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS for short) divides server resources into virtual servers, where resources can be allocated in a way that does not directly reflect the underlying hardware. VPS will often be allocated resources based on a one server to many VPSs relationship, however virtualisation may be done for a number of reasons, including the ability to move a VPS container between servers. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. This is also known as a virtual private server or VPS. Customers are sometimes responsible for patching and maintaining the server.
Dedicated hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. Another type of Dedicated hosting is Self-Managed or Unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive for Dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the box, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated box.
Managed hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server but is not allowed full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The user is disallowed full control so that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user to modify the server or potentially create configuration problems. The user typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the client.
Colocation web hosting service: similar to the dedicated web hosting service, but the user owns the colo server; the hosting company provides physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most powerful and expensive type of the web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may provide little to no support directly for their client's machine, providing only the electrical, Internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for colo, the client would have his own administrator visit the data center on site to do any hardware upgrades or changes.
Cloud hosting: is a new type of hosting platform that allows customers powerful, scalable and reliable hosting based on clustered load-balanced servers and utility billing. Removing single-point of failures and allowing customers to pay for only what they use versus what they could use.
Clustered hosting: having multiple servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization. Clustered Servers are a perfect solution for high-availability dedicated hosting, or creating a scalable web hosting solution. A cluster may separate web serving from database hosting capability.
Grid hosting: this form of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.
Home server: usually a single machine placed in a private residence can be used to host one or more web sites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PCs. Some ISPs actively attempt to block home servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses. A common way to attain a reliable DNS hostname is by creating an account with a dynamic DNS service. A dynamic DNS service will automatically change the IP address that a URL points to when the IP address changes.
Web hosting is often provided as part of a general Internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services.
A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The webhosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multi-media services for streaming media. A customer may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The customer still can choose from PHP, Perl, and Python but may also use ASP .Net or Classic ASP.
Web hosting packages often include a Web Content Management System, so the end-user doesn't have to worry about the more technical aspects. These Web Content Management systems are great for the average user, but for those who want more control over their website design, this feature may not be adequate.
Most modern desktop operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X) are also capable of running web server software, and thus can be used to host basic websites.
One may also search the Internet to find active webhosting message boards and forums that may provide feedback on what type of webhosting company may suit his/her needs. However some of these message boards and forums will require not only registration, but a paid subscription to be able to access the sections and sub forums with such information.
Domain name registry
A domain name registry, also called a Network Information Center (NIC), is part of the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet which converts domain names to IP addresses. It is an organisation that manages the registration of Domain names within the top-level domains for which it is responsible, controls the policies of domain name allocation, and technically operates its top-level domain. It is potentially distinct from a domain name registrar.
Domain names are managed under a hierarchy headed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the top of the DNS tree by administrating the data in the root nameservers.
Angelfire is an Internet venture offering free space for web sites. Angelfire also offered an online email service but this ceased operation in January 2002. In the past, it was long known for providing advertising-free hosting. (It also offered medical transcription services). The site was bought by Mountain View, California-based WhoWhere, which was itself subsequently purchased by the search engine company Lycos. As Lycos already offered web page hosting with advertising through its acquisition of Tripod.com, Angelfire's offering was modified to also have parity with Tripod, including the addition of an increasing amount of ads but also by offering more disk space.
As of 2008, Angelfire continues to operate separately from Tripod and now includes features such as blog building and a photo gallery builder. It also supports, for paid members only, CGI scripts written in Perl. Until May 2004, Angelfire offered free email (as a cobrand of Mailcity) at the @angelfire.com domain, but this feature has been replaced by webmail for premium users only (through Lycos Domains).
Although the Angelfire and Tripod are very much separate sites, they do share much of the same underlying software, such as the blog application.
Yahoo! GeoCities is a web hosting service founded by David Bohnett and John Rezner in late 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet (BHI).
In its original form, site users selected a "city" in which to place their web pages. The "cities" were named after real cities or regions according to their content—for example, computer-related sites were placed in "SiliconValley" and those dealing with entertainment were assigned to "Hollywood"—hence the name of the site. This feature has since been abandoned; however, a number of older sites using the original "city" system still exist.
Google Sites is a structured wiki offered by Google as part of Google Apps. It was launched on February 28, 2008 and is currently in beta stage. It replaces Google Page Creator, Google's previous webpage creation service. All Google editorial content is licensed under Creative Commons or an Apache license
Tripod.com is a web hosting service now owned by Lycos. Originally a company aimed at offering services to college students and young adults, it was one of several sites trying to build online communities during the dot-com bubble. As such, Tripod formed part of the first wave of user-generated content.
Tripod offers a variety of free and paid web hosting services including 20 megabytes of webspace and the ability to run Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts in Perl. In addition to basic hosting, Tripod also offers a blogging tool, a photo album manager, and the Trellix site builder for WYSIWYG page editing. In addition to its free service, Tripod also offers a variety of for-pay services including additional disk space, a shopping cart, domain names, web and POP/IMAP email.
Webs (formerly Freewebs) is a free web hosting company founded in 2001. The company hosts more than 20 million personal and business websites over a variety of topics. The chief executive officer is Haroon Mokhtarzada
Wix.com is a free Flash web design creation site funded by Bessemer and Mangrove Venture Capital. It enables users to create any kind of web content (Flash websites, MySpace layouts, widgets, presentations, page flip books, banners) with a simple drag and drop interface and publish that content anywhere they want
Weebly is a free webpage creation site, funded by micro-seed fund Y Combinator. It uses a widget style format, allowing users to create pages with only a few clicks. The user drags and drops different page elements (such as images, text, and Google Maps) onto a page and fills in the content. It competes with Webs.com, Wix.com, Webnode, Doodlekit and other web hosting and creation sites.