What is Web Hosting
In order to publish a website online, you need a Web host. The Web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. The domain name, such as "sony.com," is actually linked to an IP address that points to a specific computer. When somebody enters your domain name into their browser's address field, the IP address is located and Web site is loaded from your Web host.
A Web host can have anywhere from one to several thousand computers that run Web hosting software, such as Apache, OS X Server, or Windows Server. Most websites you see on the Web are accessed from a "shared host," which is a single computer that can host several hundred Web sites. Larger websites often use a "dedicated host," which is a single machine that hosts only one website. Sites with extremely high amounts of traffic, such as apple.com or microsoft.com, use several computers to host one site.
If you want to publish your own website, you'll need to sign up for a "Web hosting service." Finding a good Web host shouldn't be too hard, since their are thousands available. Just make sure the Web host you choose offers good technical support and ensures little or no downtime. You'll usually have to pay a monthly fee that varies depending on how much disk space and bandwidth your site will use. So it's a good idea to estimate how big your site will be and how much traffic you expect before signing up for a Web hosting service.
Hosting (also known as Web site hosting, Web hosting, andWebhosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more Web sites. More important than the computer space that is provided for Web site files is the fast connection to the Internet. Most hosting services offer connections on T-carrier system lines. Typically, an individual business hosting its own site would require a similar connection and it would be expensive. Using a hosting service lets many companies share the cost of a fast Internet connection for serving files.
A number of Internet access providers, such as America Online, offer subscribers free space for a small Web site that is hosted by one of their computers. Geocities is a Web site that offers registered visitors similar free space for a Web site. While these services are free, they are also very basic.
A number of hosting companies describe their services as virtual hosting. Virtual hosting usually implies that their services will be transparent and that each Web site will have its own domain name and set of e-mail addresses. In most usages, hosting and virtual hosting are synonyms. Some hosting companies let you have your own virtual server, the appearance that you are controlling a server that is dedicated entirely to your site.
Dedicated hosting is the provision of a dedicated server machine that is dedicated to the traffic to your Web site. Only very busy sites require dedicated hosting. Many companies purchase their own servers and place them on a site that provides fast access to the Internet. This practice is called colocation.