It’s actually not unusual for website owners to not know what “web hosting” even is, seeming to be just one more vaguely worded bullet point in the typical lists of services that web developers bombard potential clients with. First of all, any website is just a collection of files–written code in various forms, the written content that appears on the various pages of the site, pictures, video files, and so on.
A web host is simply the computer – the server – upon which all of these files are stored. When someone visits your site, they are directed to the files stored on the computer server, which your web browser accesses and – following the instructions written in the code files – arranges all those different sorts of media into an easy-to-use form: webpages.
It’s ideal to have full control over the contents of your site, so that if you’re not happy with the company who’s hosting your site – maybe they don’t do a good job of keeping their computer servers running well, and the site tends to go down a lot or runs slowly – you can take the collection of files that comprise your site and have another web hosting company store them on their servers. It’s a simple service, but an incredibly important one.
What are the different options for hosting a site?
Different web hosting services typically offer one or more hosting options, with a lot of added bells and whistles that can be confusing. But generally speaking, there are three types of web hosting: shared, VPS (virtual private server), and dedicated.
Shared hosting: A single computer server stores and runs multiple websites. The advantages of shared hosting is that it’s usually the cheapest by far. The problem is, all of the sites are competing for computer resources – memory, processing speed, etc. If one site is extremely busy, the speed and stability of the other sites on the server may suffer – sort of like how when you’re running a really big program on your computer, all the other programs will slow down or even crash. If a site has a serious error that causes the server to stop working, all of the websites on the server won’t work. When you see a 404 error message on your browser, it’s usually because something like this has happened.
VPS (virtual private server) hosting: A virtual private server is very similar to a shared server. Multiple websites are housed on a single server. The key difference is that the server resources are split up evenly between all the sites – essentially divided into blocks. If one site is incredibly busy, it will only max out its own block of processing power and memory, while the others are unaffected. If a site needs more resources to run well, the owner can buy additional blocks of server space.
Dedicated hosting: This is pretty simple – a dedicated server is one that is only running a single site. The entire physical server holds nothing but the information for that one site. This is costly, but necessary for extremely large or busy websites.
What is Cloud Hosting
Simply put, a cloud-based server is a form of VPS that doesn’t have a home in just one location. It’s a packaged set of programs that can run on any machine regardless of location. This set of programs includes the ones that run the operating system, and the ones that actually deliver your website (which is just a collection of files, programs and databases) to the internet. We prefer this method because if at any time, the actual hardware that your site is on malfunctions, your site can be moved in an instant without any kind of noticeable interruption.
I am a freelance web developer available in Riyadh, and I want a long-term relationship with you, not just a quick payday, and I am dedicated to do whatever it takes to accomplish all of your business goals. Contact me right now for information on web design pricing or any other questions you might have, and I’ll get back to you ASAP.