Last week, I met with one of my real estate friend over coffee and he was explaining on why he thinks mobile homes are a great investment. As I was talking to him, I realized there was a common theme between mobile homes and website hosting. You create this beautiful mobile home with excellent interiors based on your choice. At some point, you realize that your job has changed and you are no longer happy driving the extra 20 miles to work. If you had a permanent home, you might have to consider changing homes or your job to overcome the pain of extra driving. With a mobile home, all you need to do is change the mobile park that your home is located in and not worry about your beautiful home or excellent interiors that you put your time, energy and money into. You might paint the exteriors to match the latest color of your choice or year.
Similar to a mobile park is a web hosting provider or website hosting provider.
What is a web hosting provider?
A web hosting provider (also known as a hosting provider or website hosting) is a service provider that allows websites to be accessible through the World Wide Web (www). It is a server that provides housing (space), maintaining, serving files and provide internet connectivity for your website so that users can view the content of your website. It assigns an address (DNS – domain name system) for your files to your domain so that anyone can find your site on the internet by using your domain name.
Different options for web hosting
There are many different options for web hosting. The high level options are
- Self-hosted servers: A machine that is managed by you (or someone you know) to host one or more web sites through an internet connection. This can be hosted at your home server or a cloud server on which you have leased or rented space.
- Free web hosted servers: Offered by different companies with limited services and might be supported by advertisement.
Shared servers: Different websites are placed on the same server ranging from a few to thousands of them. All domains share common server resources like memory and speed.
- Dedicated servers: Virtual Private Servers divide server resources into virtual servers where resources can be allocated in a way that does not reflect the underlying hardware. Customers are responsible for maintaining the servers
Self-hosted servers are usually set by people who are very technical and would like full control over the servers and not have to pay any money for the hosting of servers. They might still be paying money for the cloud server but can always choose to use a home machine.
Free web hosted servers
There are a number of free web hosted servers. Some of the popular ones include WordPress.com, Yola.com, Weebly.com, Wix.com
Many companies offer shared servers services for webhosting. Some of the popular companies include GoDaddy, BlueHost, Winhost, Network Solutions, HostGator. A list of recommended shared servers for businesses with details are listed at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2424725,00.asp
A number of factors go into deciding which hosting provider is a good fit for you including speed, reliability, windows vs linux hosting, spam filters, user forums, help.