A web host is like the middle man between a website owner and web surfers — they take the site owner’s website and get it up and running on the Internet so that other people can visit it. To do this, web hosting companies provide customers with space on their web server to store, or host, the customer’s websites. Put simply, in order to get a website online, you have to go through a web host.
There are lots of different kinds of web hosting companies, just like there are lots of different kinds of websites. The kind of website you want to create (like a personal site, an e-commerce site, an interactive forum, etc.) should weigh heavily in your decision of which web hosting provider you choose to host your site. To make things easier for you, let’s run through the most popular web hosting options…
PHP is a server-side scripting language that web developers use to create dynamic websites. In order to be able to incorporate PHP code into your website, you need to choose a web host that supports PHP. Because PHP code is decoded on the web host’s server rather than on a user’s browser, a web host needs to have a PHP processing module on their servers.
Linux is an open source computer operating system that can be used to run various applications on a website, such as PHP, Perl, XML, and MySQL. In order to be able to use these Linux-powered applications on your site, you need to host your site with a web host that support Linux hosting. Linux hosting is popular because of the wide range of applications it supports, allowing users to create everything from a simple HTML site to a complex dynamic site.
Windows hosting refers to hosting that uses the Windows operating system on the server (which has nothing to do with which operating system you use on your own personal computer). This is a popular option among web developers because there are some scripting languages and databases that can only run on Windows, such as ASP, ASP.NET, and MSSQL. Windows hosting can also run other popular scripts, like PHP and MySQL.
E-commerce refers to websites that sell products online. In order to optimize your e-commerce website, it’s a good idea to host it with an e-commerce hosting provider, since they will usually provide all of the tools and services you need to run a successful online business. For example, a good e-commerce hosting provider will offer its customers useful tools like shopping cart programs, enhanced security features, and payment processing software.
A blog is like an online journal that you can update easily with new content on a regular basis. The best way to run a successful blog is to host your blog with a good blog hosting provider. A good blog hosting provider will offer you tools and services to make it quick and easy to get your blog up and running, like 1-click installs of popular blogging software such as WordPress, scripting and database support, and plenty of storage space and bandwidth.
Green hosting is a relative newcomer to the hosting industry, and it refers to web hosting that is environmentally responsible. Data centers, which are where web hosts house their servers and other equipment, consume a lot of energy and produce a lot of pollution, which is why many green web hosts take steps to make their data centers more energy efficient. This not only helps the environment, but it also makes for a better hosting experience, since energy efficient data centers tend to require less cooling and thus help to prevent hot spots which interrupt service.
Unlimited hosting is just what it sounds like – web hosting that includes unlimited services. Some of the things that are typically included in unlimited hosting packages are unlimited bandwidth (data transfer), storage space, email accounts, databases, and add-on domains. Unlimited hosting is great option for website owners who plan to grow their sites, since it offers all the resources one would need to expand.
An Internet forum is like a message board – it’s an online discussion site where people can have conversations with each other by posting messages. If you want to create an effective forum, you need to host your site with a good forum hosting provider. Many forum hosting providers offer 1-click installs of popular forum programs like phpBB3, punBB, and Invision.
Website hosting allows you to create powerful websites that you can share with the world. A good website hosting provider will supply you with everything you need to start a successful website, such as domain name registration, a website control panel, and plenty of storage space and bandwidth. Some website hosting providers even offer clients a website building program that can help them create their website quickly and easily.
Before you choose your web hosting provider, take some time to evaluate your options and pinpoint exactly what kind of hosting would work best for your specific needs. Choosing your web host is an important first step in establishing yourself online, and the right web host can build a solid foundation for success.