On this page, we will show you the best web hosting methods and different web hosting services available. However, most people hardly ask themselves what exactly is a website and where is it located, so we would like to start with that.
We can divide websites into three groups – collection of documents and pages (regular sites), web apps (Google, Facebook, email, games), CMS (a mixture between the first two). Of course, there are more complications, but we won’t go into detail about the right now.
When you visit a website, the browser of your computer sends a request (usually being the URL address you enter on top of the page) to the server which hosts the website. Then, the server receives and responds to the request. Finally, you see the web page in your browser.
Why do you Need to run a Website?
Acquiring the best web hosting available on the internet starts with a server. First of all, you would need a computer which has an internet connection and can receive requests, do what is necessary to be done, and respond. That is what people mean when they mention the word “servers.”
You could even use your own computer to run a website, but there are many reasons why we wouldn’t recommend that. Firstly, you need to have the knowledge to set it up so that it can run a website. Secondly, the computer needs always to be turned on and constantly connected to the internet. In a scenario where you manage to do those things, the computer still wouldn’t be able to handle more than one visitor at a time, so if many people want to visit your website, it will simply crash.
The better choice here would be to buy a server, which essentially is a faster and stronger computer. Still, to be able to run a website from this server, you would need to be able to afford it (these computers are not cheap), set it up correctly (a difficult task), and have a decent internet connection which has a lot of bandwidth (also not cheap and not always possible).
As you can see, this situation also isn’t ideal, because of the substantial costs and the sheer complexity of the process.
Best Web Hosting Companies
Thankfully, the web hosting companies have taken care of all your needs. They have many powerful computers at their disposal, have configured them to run a website, and have acquired a fast internet connection.
If you decide to pay for a web hosting plan, you are essentially loaning a part of their computers or even a single one. That way you can place the files needed for your website in an easily accessible place so that anyone can see them. The web hosting companies will also give you tools which will help you build and run the website.
That way your website is actually stored in computer files located on a real computer. The computer itself and its location depend on the company you decide to pick. You probably will never see that computer, but don’t worry, it exists.
The Essence of Web Hosting
If you don’t understand what the best web hosting is about, just think of it as a warehouse where computer files like documents, pictures, videos, and HTML are stored.
Most of the time, “web hosting” is used when referring to the company which is letting you store your website on their servers, and allowing others to access these files.
Many people underestimate web hosting because they can’t physically see it, so they think that there are no differences between packages and that you shouldn’t pay too much for them. That’s why some companies try to convince you that the best plans are the cheapest ones, and those who are more expensive are not worth it.
Differences between web hosting and data center
We already established that by “web hosting” we usually mean the server which hosts your site, and a data center is a facility which is housing the servers. It can be a room, house, or even a building which has power supplies, ways to control the environment (fire suppression systems, air conditions, etc.), and security measures.
Web hosting types
Overall, you will find four different web hosting types – shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting. Even though you can use all of them as storage centers, but the differences between them include a level of reliability, the speed of the server, control, storage space, and requirement of technical knowledge. Let’s see the biggest differences between the best web hosting types.
Shared hosting means that many websites are placed on one server, and the amount can vary from hundreds to thousands. The domains will probably share resources such as RAM and CPU. Many websites which have a medium amount of traffic decide to go for this option due to it being very cheap. You also don’t need to have a lot of technical knowledge to use shared hosting.
- You don’t have access to rooting
- The site can’t handle high traffic
- Other websites on the server may influence the performance
Virtual Private Server hosting
This option for best web hosting separates a server into multiple ones, and each website is hosted on their own server, but in reality, the site is still sharing a server with other users who have root access and improved security when using virtual private server hosting.
- The site can’t handle high traffic
- Other websites on the server may slightly influence the performance
Dedicated server hosting
This is the most compelling option because you essentially get your website gets its own server.
Cons – Very expensive, so use them if the other options are not powerfull enough for your project
With cloud hosting, there are no limits to how much traffic the server can handle because it’s a combination of many servers (called a cloud) that host numerous websites together. That way there are no problems with high traffic spikes.
- Most cloud hosting services don’t support root access
- It’s expensive
The Name of Your Domain
This is the name of your website, which means you can’t touch or feel it. It’s just a combination of different letters and characters to identify your site (just like a person or business).
Examples of domain names are yahoo.co.uk, google.com, bing.com, and many others. To possess a domain for best web hosting, you need to register it with a domain registrar.
Differences between web hosting and domain name
Many people don’t see the difference between web hosting and domain name, but it’s important that you can distinguish between the two before starting to create your own website.
To make things clearer, think of a domain name as the address you are living on, and the web hosting as the space where your house is located.
Of course, you don’t write the name of your street, but rather a sequence of letters and characters which are going to be the name of your website. Instead of the materials used for building a house, you have computer memory and hard disks so that data files can be stored.
Registration of domain names
Here is a detailed step by step guide on registering domain names:
- Choose your website’s name, but keep in mind that it needs to be unique, so have some variations of it available in case the original one is taken.
- Search the registrars of a website like GoDaddy and choose a domain name which is available
- The registration fees are between 10$ and 35$, so you have to pay them by using a credit card or PayPal.
- The registration is complete.
- Change the DNS record of your domain name so that you can point it to your web host.
Explaining the process of registering the domain name
Registering a domain through the best web hosting services on the web isn’t that hard. You can compare this to owning a small real estate, but on the internet, so you would have to provide a lot of personal information and pay a fee if you want to possess a part of the web.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) sets the guidelines for domain registration. It acts as a global regulator for clients, registrars, and web hosts.
People who want to register a domain name will have to provide contact information for themselves, their business, and sometimes even their employer. If you want to register a domain which is specific for a country, for example, “co.uk”, “.de”, or “.us”, you will have to spend a lot of time proving that you actually live in that country so that you can legally buy the domain name.
Even though there are many domain names available for everyone, for example, “.com” and “.net”, others will have strict requirements which need to be fulfilled. As we mentioned earlier, only Americans can register a “.us” domain, and the “.org” one is reserved for organizations only. If you don’t meet all the necessary requirements during the registration phase, the domain name becomes available once again, so the person must choose another one which they are eligible to purchase, or just cancel the whole order.
When you sign up, you need to have details on the web host which you will then later use when the time comes to fill out DNS and MX record information.
These records play a huge role when it comes to deciding which web hosting server content to show when someone enters the domain and additional options regarding email. If the details you enter are false, the page will fail to load.
Top Level Domains (TLD)
If you look at some of the examples for best web hosting, we mentioned above, like google.com, yahoo.co.uk, or linux.org, they all have different domain extensions – “.com,” “.co.uk”, and “.org.”
These extensions are considered as top level domains or TLD for short. Other examples include .edu, .tv, .co, .ws, .us, and many others.
Even though most of them are available for registration to the public, the regulations on some of the domains are very strict.
If you want to register a TLD domain which contains a country code, for example, .ca in Canada, you need to be a citizen of the country in mention, but there some countries are exceptions to that rule.
Some of the top level domains can help describing what the website is about, for example, .biz is used for businesses, .org for organizations, .edu for educational institutions )like schools, colleges, or universities), and the country codes correspond to the locations.
List of all the different country code domain extensions:
.ac .ad .ae .af .ag .ai .al .am .an .ao .aq .ar .as .at .au .aw .ax .az
.ba .bb .bd .be .bf .bg .bh .bi .bj .bm .bn .bo .br .bs .bt .bw .by .bz
.ca .cc .cd .cf .cg .ch .ci .ck .cl .cm .cn .co .cr .cu .cv .cx .cy .cz .de .dj .dk .dm .do .dz .ec .ee .eg .er .es .et .eu
.fi .fj .fk .fm .fo .fr
.ga .gd .ge .gf .gg .gh .gi .gl .gm .gn .gp .gq .gr .gs .gt .gu .gw .gy
.hk .hm .hn .hr .ht .hu
.id .ie .il .im .in .io .iq .ir .is .it
.je .jm .jo .jp
.ke .kg .kh .ki .km .kn .kp .kr .kw .ky .kz
.la .lb .lc .li .lk .lr .ls .lt .lu .lv .ly
.ma .mc .md .me .mg .mh .mk .ml .mm .mn .mo .mp .mq .mr .ms .mt .mu .mv .mw .mx .my .mz
.na .nc .ne .nf .ng .ni .nl .no .np .nr .nu .nz . om .pa .pe .pf .pg .ph .pk .pl .pn .pr .ps .pt .pw .py
.qa .re .ro .rs .ru .rw .sa .sb .sc .sd .se .sg .sh .si .sk .sl .sm .sn .sr .st .sv .sy .sz
.tc .td .tf .tg .th .tj .tk .tl .tm .tn .to .tr .tt .tv .tw .tz .ua .ug .uk .us .uy .uz
.va .vc .ve .vg .vi .vn .vu .wf .ws .ye .za .zm .zw
Differences between sub domains and domains
Comparing the different site features is important for webhosting. A good example for a domain, which offers the best web hosting, is yahoo.com because it is unique and is registered at a domain agent like GoDaddy. A subdomain can be mail.yahoo.com because it can be added to the main domain.
Some people consider subdomains to be similar to subfolders because you use them to organize different things on your website, for example, languages or categories. Although that seems reasonable, Google’s search engine thinks that a subdomain is distinct from the existing one, and it treats it as such.
Other Relevant Information
Here are some additional details you must look after when building a good site.
Everyone can access each domain name’s record and see information about the owner such as his name, number, email, and the expiration date of the domain. That can be done thanks to the WhoIs record which keeps all that information.
Each domain owner is required by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to provide this information to WhoIs directories so that anyone searching can find them at any time.
If you are curious to know who the owner of a particular site is, just write the domain name in WhoIs and all your questions regarding registration information will be answered.
Thanks to domain privacy for the best web hosting, you can hide your address, phone number, email, and other personal information by using a proxy server to replace the WhoIs data with the data of a forwarding service.
This is a crucial thing to do because the domain record can be used for illegal action because WhoIs records can be seen by anyone, including stalkers, spammers, and hackers. Some companies are going through the expiration dates of domains and send fake renewal notices, hoping that people would transfer the domain to their business, or bills that act as a solicitation for questionable services. WhoIs databases are the primary weapons of email spammers because they use the contact information that is there.
Bandwidth is the largest amount of data which is transferred from your web host for a specific amount of time which is measured in seconds most of the time.
However, many people make the mistake of confusing bandwidth with data transfer, which is two completely separate things. The latter can be described as the consumption of bandwidth, or simply the amount of data transferred, while the former is the rate of data transfer.
The most important part of choosing the best web hosting services was the bandwidth limit and data transfer, but that’s not the case anymore. Data transfer becomes cheaper and cheaper, so hosting companies started to raise the limit of data transfer more and more. If you don’t have a big movie download website, we recommend not going too far with bandwidth and data transfer rates.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) transfers files from one computer to another with the help of the Internet. The most popular FTP clients for downloading files are FTP Pro, FileZilla, Smart FTP, and Cute FTP.
They act as a connection between you and your server so that you can transfer files on the Internet without any problems.
Choosing the Right Host
Selecting the best web hosting service can be an overwhelming and a crucial process. Not only do you have to see what options are available, but also research the different packages and read reviews by other customers. This is why we have decided to create our website.
There are numerous questions that you can ask a web host, but we have tried to pick the 30 most important ones you undoubtedly need to know the answer to before making your choice. The main point is to figure out the short and long term benefits, how the web host treats their customers, and whether or not you can trust the company.
1. What’s the guaranteed uptime? (You shouldn’t settle for less than 99.9 %.)
2. What’s the average uptime for a month?
3. In case you are looking for a data center, where is the location of their servers and can you choose one yourself?
4. Can you contact the customer support via phone, email, and live chat?
5. Is the customer support available for you 24/7?
6. Is there any set-up help that doesn’t cost money?
7. What are the e-Commerce features in your best web hosting plan?
8. What payment plans do they offer? Can you pay in installments or does it have to be upfront?
9. Are there any renewal fees? Remember that if you sign up for the first time with them, it’ll probably be at a lower price than when you decide to renew your contract.
10. How easy is it to scale different plans? For example, if you choose to go with shared hosting, can you receive more space later or make a switch to a more expensive plan?
11. If you decide to go for an unlimited hosting plan, you should know that all plans have limits, so you need to find out what exactly does that mean in your case.
12. Does the website provide hosting themselves or do they just resell?
13. What kind of security measures do they have?
14. Who is managing the servers in case you decide to go for dedicated hosting? Does the hosting provider administer the server or do you just rent it?
15. Has the company been around for a long time and were there any ownership changes in the recent past?
16. Can they update their servers without downtime and during which time of the day do they make updates?
17. What are the requirements regarding the cancellation of your contract and how long is the notice period?
18. Does the best web hosting include a free trial? This is important because almost every provider has a one month trial, so it’s always better to test first before committing.
19. It’s important to know if they offer refunds during the trial period. The trials usually aren’t free, because you still pay for using the services of the hosting company, but if you are not satisfied, you get your money back.
20. Are there any consequences for those who take up a lot of bandwidth and storage when using shared hosting?
21. What does the installation consist of? How much will you have to do yourself and will they assist you with something?
22. What’s the location of the support center?
23. What other options are available if you want to change to a more expensive plan, for example, from shared to dedicated hosting?
24. What type of software can you install?
25. If the servers get hacked, what are the chances that your data will be restored? What security measures do they have to prevent this from happening?
26. Do you have to pay set up fees even if you are subscribing to them for the first time?
27. Do the best web hosting services pay attention to spam complaints?
28. If you are using shared hosting, how many clients can be hosted on a single server and what is the maximum? That will help you find out if space and bandwidth issues are likely to happen.
30. What are the specifications of the plan you are looking for? Do you understand what each feature means?
- IBM and EDS Lead Web Hosting Market (Enterprise Applications Case Study)