What is Web Hosting?
If you have a company and want web presence than you need a website. With the website any one from the world must be able to view your pages, images etc.
Website is actually a collection of computer files including the images, sound files, flash files. These files need to be store in a computer with high speed internet connection and these computers are called the servers. These servers and placed in a good place where there is no dust and temperature are maintained. These places are called datacenter. Many companies host their web servers in datacenter for providing the server space to the people for hosting the web site. These companies are called web hosts or web hosting services providers. They charge monthly or annual or both the fees for providing the space for your site.
Different Level of Web Hosting
There are three level of hosting
- Shared Hosting (Virtual Hosting)
Servers are expensive so hosting service provider shares the sever space to host many sites on the same machine. So the one server servers many web sites. Usually on one server 1,000 web sites can be hosted. This makes web hosting affordable because you pay a portion of the server fee instead of the entire server. Over 95% of websites of the internet are hosted on shared hosting environment.
Shared hosting is an economical, flexible Web solution for both individuals and small- to medium-sized businesses looking to establish an online presence through static, personal and "test" Web sites.
- Dedicated Server
If you planning to host big application on the internet in that case you need a full server for running the application. In this case you are using the Dedicated Sever (server dedicated to your web site only).
- Server Co-Location
In some cases you can buy your own sever and setup the applications according to your requirement and place the your server on some ISP with high speed internet connection. This is called Co-Location hosting.
Linux vs. Windows Hosting?
Which is better?
The general consensus is that Linux is more reliable and our experience also shows this. We have had servers up for over one year without any downtime. Microsoft's Windows 2000 is much more stable and reliable than previous versions, but there are still cases where a server will require a reboot to resolve an issue.
This is where these two platforms differ the most. There isn't much that can be achieved using one platform that can't be done on the other one. The main difference are the underlying technologies. For example, if you need a database driven web site, you can choose either PHP/MySQL combination under Linux or ASP/MS SQL combination under Windows®2000.
Out of the box, neither Linux or Windows is very secure for Internet use. So some modification is required to make it secure.
Linux holds an edge due to the fact that the most of the software we use is open source (free) and that it's easier to maintain Linux servers than Windows servers for the same level of reliability and performance. On Linux apache web server is nearly bullet proof and it is very stable and gives high performance.
When it comes to Web hosting, Linux has, for some time, been widely considered the best OS for Web servers. It's typically found to be the most reliable, stable and efficient system and, as such, it's commonly used for the demanding environment of Web and mail servers. If you use PHP, Perl or MySQL, Linux is the way forward. If apps are Microsoft-specific, then Windows is what you need. But the fact that over 75 per cent of all sites are hosted on a Unix platform tells you something.
There is no difference in terms of speed between the two platforms.
Almost all the file types are supported on Linux web server. Commonly, the following extensions are supported:
.cgi, .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .asp (requires additional plug-in), .xml, and others. Basically it means that you can host web sites that use different types of server side scripts including .cgi, .pl, .php, and .asp (with plug-in).
Easy to move to other Hosts
A web site designed to be hosted on a Linux based web server can be hosted on a Windows web server easily, where as the reverse is not always true. This provides flexibility in changing hosts as required.
Usually, a web site starts with a few pages of html and grows over a period of time to suit the customers requirements. It is preferable to design a web site keeping this requirements in mind. A web site designed for compatibility with a Linux/Unix based web server meets the scalability requirement easily without making any site wide design changes .