Saturday, August 4, 2007

Different Types of Web Hosting

by Roger Theron

The key responsibilities of a web hosting company are to provide server space, web services and maintenance of servers which host websites owned or controlled by individuals and companies. Most web hosting companies offer shared hosting and dedicated hosting, which are explained in detail below.

Shared Hosting

Another name for shared hosting is virtual hosting or mass hosting. It works as follows: your content and applications are placed on a server which is shared with other customers who also use that web host. The equipment and server are owned and managed by the web host provider, with technicians on hand to monitor and manage the servers. Companies opt to go the shared hosting route because it is much cheaper and it works well. In other words it's affordable and efficient. It may be worth your while to ask about shared hosting management tools which will allow you to use shared hosting, but still get the benefits of a dedicated server (described below), It is important to review the control panel which the hosting company provides you.

Although popular, shared hosting has its restrictions. It limits you from using some scripting languages and applications, although you are often allowed to customise and add features such as a shopping cart or an online catalogue.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is a much more sophisticated type of web hosting. This type of hosting allows you to rent an entire server yourself and have access to all its resources to host one or more websites. With dedicated hosting there is no transfer of assets or personnel to the web host. Either you or your web host owns the equipment. This is decided on a number of factors, differing from company to company. The web host typically does not take responsibility for anything other than the hosting operations. Business processes, strategic direction and debugging applications, for example, have to be managed by the customer.

Dedicated hosting is specialised and the customer gets dedicated hosting benefits such as secure, high quality physical infrastructure and high speed internet connectivity. Hosting packages are often customised to fit the needs of the customer with regards to bandwidth, memory and storage space needed. Because you "own" an entire server and are not sharing with another company, it allows for CPU-intensive applications to operate smoothly and prevents your website performance from being disrupted by others.

This makes a dedicated hosting plan the ideal package for companies with larger, high-traffic websites and gives them total control over the hosting environment.

Root Server Hosting

Another name for Root Server hosting is Semi-managed hosting. This is a form of dedicated hosting which allows you control over your server by access to the root, while providing various benefits, such as reliable infrastructure, security and maintenance of hardware. Root Server hosting gives redundant (uninterrupted) internet connectivity and flexibility for you to choose operations systems and hardware specifications most suitable for your needs.

Since a Root Server is a semi managed server, the hosting provider will manage the installation and hardware, but you, the client, manage all other aspects of it, including backups and software upgrades. As the client you will also have root access or administrator access, enabling you to do virtually anything on that server.

A Root Server is a very versatile server, where you can do whatever you wish, including hosting your own web server or mail server. Root Server hosting is intended for people who need more flexibility and customisation than a managed Dedicated server.

Reseller Hosting

This type of hosting is ideal for entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to host on behalf of their own customers. Reselling web hosting services means that you can take out a contract with a web hosting provider and then sell their services on under your own brand. Web hosting companies do this because they are able to sell more of their dedicated hosting space this way. The customer pays a set fee for the use of services from the web host, which they can then resell under their own brand. Different hosting companies offer different contracts and agreements.

About the Author

Hetzner is a South African web hosting company that takes pride in exceptional customer service. Consistently delivering the best service and web hosting packages, Hetzner has grown to become the largest specialised web hosting company in South Africa.