What is Web Hosting?

A Guide To Virtual Web Hosting

What is virtual web hosting? When you visit a website, what you are looking at on your web browser is simply a web page that has been downloaded from the virtual web server onto your web browser. A website is usually made up of many web pages. These web pages are made up of texts and graphic images. All of these web pages must be stored on the virtual web servers so that users who are online can visit your website.

If you are planning to own a new website, you will need to host it on a virtual web server. When your website gets placed on the virtual web server, then online users can browse your website on the Internet. Companies that provide the web servers that will host your website are called virtual web hosting providers.

A well-established virtual web hosting provider can easily host up to thousands of websites. Therefore, a virtual web hosting company needs many web servers or computers to store the websites. All of these web servers are linked to the Internet through high speed Internet connection and housed in a data center. There must be a guarantee that all of the web servers are safe, secure and are fully operational at all times.

Therefore, a data center is a physically secure 24/7 environment with fire protection, redundant power backup, computer data backup, virus detections, and complete disaster recovery capabilities.

There are four main kinds of virtual web hosting companies available each having different characteristics. They can be organized into the following categories:

1. Shared hosting

In this type of virtual hosting, many websites are sharing space on the same web servers. Depending on what kind of virtual web host it is, a physical web server can host up to a thousand different websites at one time. Since the physical web server is shared by many websites, the virtual web hosting provider can afford to offer low hosing prices. Websites on this shared virtual hosting plan would have to be satisfied to accept slower server response time. These plans normally start at $5 – $20 a month.

2. Dedicated hosting

Dedicated virtual web hosting assigns a certain web server to be used by a single customer. Since a dedicated virtual web server is allocated to only one customer, he/she has the option to host either single or multiple websites, handle greater site traffic, modify the software configuration, and scale the bandwidth if necessary. Dedicated virtual hosting is quite a bit more expensive and starts at $50 a month and can easily range from $200 – $500 a month. This is often used by high traffic and very important websites.

3. Co-location hosting

With virtual dedicated hosting, the web server belongs to the providers and customers only rent the web server. However, in co-location hosting, the client owns the web server hardware. The customer has full control, therefore, over their web server and benefits from the 24/7 server monitoring and maintenance that is provided by the secure data center. Co-location virtual hosting can range from $500 – $1000 a month depending on the rack space that is required and the monthly bandwidth.

4. Reseller hosting

In virtual reseller hosting, a web hosting provider will offer web server storage to a third party at a discount price. The third party then resells the web server storage to their clients. Resellers are usually web consultants who include web developers, web designers, or a system integration company who resells the web hosting as an add-on service to augment their other range of services.

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