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Web Hosting Basics - What is Involved?

Web hosting is a term that gets thrown around rather loosely these days. Web hosting is not really a term that should be used generally as there are many different levels of web hosting that can range from fairly simple, to extremely complex.

In the most general terms, web hosting refers to the housing of a website. Web hosting basics, or web hosting 101 if you will, requires four basic components. These basic components are as follows:

1.Administrator: The administrator is the individual who is responsible for a number of duties in the web hosting process. The administrator will monitor variables such as the server, security, and site responsiveness and will also run traffic reports and make sure that the website is properly backed up.

2.Software: In web hosting there are several types of software that could be required. Of course you will have to have an Operating System or OS like Windows and a web server, but you may also need software that tracks web traffic, accepts credit cards, or even software that has digital encryption.

3.Hardware: Like with software, there is some hardware that is required for web hosting and some that is optional. Required hardware is servers and networking devices such as switches and routers that allow the connectivity to take place. Optional hardware can range from firewalls to uninterrupted power supplies, and even load balancing, all of which are nice to have but not mandatory.

4.Connectivity: Put simply, connectivity is the manner in which your Internet Service Provider or ISP provides access to your website. Typically, the faster the connectivity the better.
Now that you have a grasp on what web hosting basics entail, you need only choose which level of service is going to be right for your website. Web hosting services are broken down into four categories as follows:





Each category will have different levels of administration, software, hardware, and connectivity and as a general rule of thumb, the high up the list you go, the more you can expect to pay. That being said, the most basic for web hosting is shared.

Shared web hosting is common for personal websites that are not very complex. With this basic web hosting it is your ISP that manages the software, hardware, and the Internet connection to your website. This is a good solution for many sites that do not require a lot of bandwidth but generally runs into problems with bigger websites mainly for security reasons. For example, if a company accepts credit cards and then stores those credit card numbers the integrity of those numbers can be compromised as the machine that house those numbers is used by a group of websites. Still for the more basic and personal websites, shared web hosting often does the trick.

Whether you are first starting out in the world of web hosting or you are a seasoned pro, it pays to know what web hosting basics are. If you just looking to establish a personal and rather simple website, then shared web hosting is probably a good route to take, but if your website is going to get more complex, then it is in your best interest to look into one of the other three types of web hosting and deciding which one is right for your website and your wallet.


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