What is Web Hosting and How to Get Free and from Where
Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page on to the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.
A web hosting service (often shortened to web host) is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation, also known as housing in Latin America or France.
Until 1991, the Internet was restricted to use only “… for research and education in the sciences and engineering …” and was used for email, telnet, FTP and USENET traffic—but only a tiny number of web pages. The World Wide Web protocols had only just been written and not until the end of 1993 would there be a graphical web browser for Mac or Windows computers. Even after there was some opening up of internet access, the situation was confused until 1995.
To host a website on the internet, an individual or company would need their own computer or server. As not all companies had the budget or expertise to do this, web hosting services began to offer to host users’ websites on their own servers, without the client needing to own the necessary infrastructure required to operate the website. The owners of the websites, also called webmasters, would be able to create a website that would be hosted on the web hosting service’s server and published to the web by the web hosting service.
As the number of users on the World Wide Web grew, the pressure for companies, both large and small, to have an online presence grew. By 1995, companies such as GeoCities, Angelfire and Tripod were offering free hosting.
Smaller hosting services
The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web “as is” or with minimal processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to subscribers. Individuals and organizations may also obtain Web page hosting from alternative service providers.
Free web hosting service is offered by different companies with limited services, sometimes supported by advertisements, and often limited when compared to paid hosting.
Single page hosting is generally sufficient for personal web pages. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting often has a higher expense depending upon the size and type of the site.
Larger hosting services
Many large companies that are not Internet service providers need to be permanently connected to the web to send email, files, etc. to other sites. The company may use the computer as a website host to provide details of their goods and services and facilities for online orders.
A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. ASP.NET, ColdFusion, Java EE, Perl/Plack, PHP or Ruby on Rails). These facilities allow customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. Also, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is typically used for websites that wish to keep the data transmitted more secure.
How To Get Free Webhosting
A lot of times, free web hosting and paid hosting offers the same security, network bandwidth and port speed. The only difference is the hosting features included. These features include additional disk storage, data transfer, more scripting support, more email accounts, etc.
For a business opening a new website, or for any regular website, the disk storage and data transfer offered by a free web hosting service would be sufficient. It takes time to grow a website and accumulate enough visitors to max out the storage and/or data transfer limits of a free web hosting package. You can always upgrade your service from the free web hosting to paid hosting when the time comes.
Most small businesses do not need more than 5 email accounts. The more accounts you have just means the more time you have to spend managing them. Many free web hosting providers offer email aliases (or email forwarders) that allows you to create the illusion of having many different email addresses but in fact all emails to these aliases are redirected and managed by one account.
Unless you are planning on using applications that require advanced scripting support- (ie. a content management system, an e-commerce shopping cart, etc.), your web files will simply be of HTML and image files. HTML and image files do not require advanced scripting support – any free web hosting services will do.
In conclusion, unless your website require the specific features offered by the paid hosting plans, free web hosting services might be all you need and especially if you are aiming to save on money without compromising on the performance.
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