The subject of web hosting is a large one and can’t reasonably be contained all in a single article, so I present it over several individual pages each covering one or other aspect of the topic. This section of the website therefore contains all the individual articles I have written on the subject of web hosting and related topics.
As an overview of the topic, I can start by giving you some idea of just why we even need web hosting.
Why Web Hosting is Needed
The Internet is a massive web of information pages all spread out across the globe and written in just about every different language you can think of. Of course, the vast majority of that content is written in English, since this tends to be the global language thanks in no small part to the widespread reach of Hollywood!
All of those pages need to be stored in a place that makes them accessible to everyone else via their Internet connection to their computing device, whether that is a home computer, laptop, netbook, tablet or smart phone. You can’t just have pages stored on just any old computer and expect thousands or even millions of other computers to find it.
What is a Web Host?
So we have central repositories of web pages called servers set up on host computers linked together by communications lines. These host computers are generally just very large versions of most home computers with the main difference being that they run operating systems that enable them to partition their storage drives into many separate sectors, each allocated to a customer.
hosting triangelThe size and capabilities of each of these hosting accounts as they are commonly known, varies depending upon the needs of the customer. They start at the small end and grow larger in a sort of a triangular layout (see image to the right).
So you have at the base of the triangle the small, cheap shared accounts where there may be hundreds or even thousands of separate customers sharing a single computer’s resources
Next you have the multi-site shared accounts that allow customers to host many sites as “add-on domains”
Further up the triangle are the larger “reseller” accounts that have greater capabilities such as subdividing the account into lots of smaller “shared accounts” under the control of the customer who can literally re-sell server space to their own customers
Higher still are the VPS accounts that share a machine but act like they operate in their own virtual computer
At the top are dedicated accounts which occupy an entire computer all to themselves and are naturally the most expensive option