The scopes of hosting services vary widely. The
most basic is webpage 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 little processing. Many
Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service for
free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web
page hosting from other, alternative service providers.
Web page hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored,
Web page hosting is generally sufficient only for personal
web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive
package that provides database support and application
development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, and ASP.NET). These
facilities allow the customers to write or install scripts
for applications like forums and content management. For
e-commerce, SSL is also required.
The host may also provide a Web interface control panel
(e.g. cPanel, Hosting Controller, Plesk) for managing
the Web server and installing scripts as well as other
services like e-mail. Control panels and web interfaces
have been causing some controversy lately as Web.com claims
that it holds patent rights to the hosting technology
with its 19 patents. Hostopia, a large wholesale host,
recently purchased a license to use that technology from
web.com for 10% of retail revenues. Web.com recently
sued Godaddy as well for similar patent infringement .
Some hosts specialize in certain software or services
(e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies
to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company.
To find a web hosting company, there are searchable directories
that can be used.
Hosting Reliability and Uptime
Hosting uptime refers to the percentage of time the host
is accessible via the internet. Many hosting providers
state that they aim for a 99.9% uptime, but there may
be server restarts and planned (or unplanned) maintenance
in any web hosting environment.
A popular claim from the popular hosting providers is
'99% or 99.9% server uptime' but this often refers only
to a server being powered on and doesn't account for network
downtime. Real downtime can potentially be larger than
the percentage guaranteed by the hosting provider. Many
providers tie uptime, and accessibility, into their own
Service Level Agreement, or SLA. SLAs may or may not include
refunds, or reduced costs if performance goals are not
If you were to think of the uptime percentages offered
by providers, over a given year you would have the following
100% - 0 hours
99.9% - 8 hours
99.5% - 43
hours 50 minutes
99.0% - 87
hours 39 minutes
98.0% - 175
hours 19 minutes
Types of hosting
Internet hosting services can run Web servers;
see Internet hosting services.
Hosting services limited to the Web:
web hosting service: is free, (sometimes) advertisement-supported
web hosting, and is extremely limited when compared
to paid hosting.
web hosting service: one's Web site is placed
on the same server as many other sites, ranging from
afew to hundreds or thousands.
Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server
resources, such as RAM and the CPU.
web hosting: allows clients to become web hosts
themselves. Resellers could function, for individual
domains, under any combination of these listed types
of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with
as a provider.
Dedicated Server: slicing up a server into virtual
servers. each user feels like they're on their own dedicated
server, but they're actually sharing a server with many
hosting service: the user gets his or her own
Web server and gains full control over it (root access
for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however,
the user typically does not own the server.
web hosting service: similar to the dedicated
web hosting service, but the user owns the server; the
hosting company provides physical space that the server
takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most
powerful and expensive type of the web hosting service.
In most cases, the colocation provider may provide little
to no support directly for their client's machine, providing
only the electrical, Internet access, and storage facilities
for the server.
hosting: having multiple servers hosting the
same content for better resource utilization. Wikipedia's
own servers are a good example of this.
Some specific Web services:
Web hosting is often provided as part of a general
Internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers
offering these services.
A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application
to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations
include database server software, scripting software, and
operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based
web hosting which offers a wide range of different software.
A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform:
Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python.
Web hosting packages often include a Web Content Management
System, so the end-user doesn't have to worry about the
more technical aspects.