Web Hosting Review 2011
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Visit iPage >
Strengths: Ideal for small business owners. Free Online Store and Site Builder. Over $450 in marketing credits and tools to help you build your web site.
Extras: North American Phone Support with calls answered in under 2 minutes, Free Domain for life, 100% Wind Energy, Security Suite.
User Reviews: 144
Average User Rating: 5.0
Visit myhosting >
Strengths: Feature rich hosting options with Managed Web Apps for business or personal use.
Extras: Free Outlook Email, Online Marketing & Design, Hosted Exchange options with shared calendar and contacts.
User Reviews: 2
Average User Rating: 4.0
Visit FatCow >
Strengths: Great for personal and blog web sites. Point & click site builder and Application Installation Wizards for photo galleries, blogs and more!
Extras: 100% Wind Energy, Free Domain, Free Site Builder,Security Suite, $125 Marketing Credits
User Reviews: 215
Average User Rating: 4.5
Web Hosting Guide
What is web hosting?
When you are viewing a website in your browser, those files that make up the website content came from another source somewhere on the Internet. They were "served" to you by computers called web servers. The process of serving up web pages to browsers is called "web hosting". Web hosting providers store your web site files on their computers and then host them to browsers when visitors come to your site.
The computers that host your website files are very powerful and fast specialized PC's called web servers. They have a large amount of disk space and this space is rented. You can lease part of this disk space for your own website for a monthly fee. These fast and powerful servers are always on and can handle lots of simultaneous visitors to your website.
Why use a web hosting company?
In most cases, you can't set up a website on your computer at home. Even if you could, you would need to have your computer on all of the time, it would need to be connected to the Internet 24/7, you would need to back up your site constantly just in case you lost files, and you would probably need more than one computer because what happens if your computer broke? Your site would be down until you got it fixed. You'd probably also need to upgrade your computer because it couldn't handle too many visitors to your site at once before it would be unusable.
Web hosting solves all of these issues and more by allowing you to put your website up on a powerful computer online. This server is always on and ready for visitors. It can handle lots of web traffic at once. Your hosting company is monitoring your server to make sure it is always up and running correctly and even if there is a power outage or computer hardware failure, your hosting company will have redundant computers available so your site stays up and running.
Options for web hosting
Web hosting providers have many options to choose from and in many cases, you can design your own customized hosting plan with the features you need. In addition to things like bandwidth, disk space, backup, and email hosting, you can also choose what type of web server you will host your site on. You could host on a Linux or Unix server or a Windows server for instance.
In addition, depending on your requirements you may need to have a web server all to yourself which is called a dedicated server. If you have a lot of web traffic, you may need a dedicated server in order to handle the amount of simultaneous visitors your site is getting. In most cases, your site will placed on a web server in a secure space with other sites also on that server. These types of setups are called Shared hosting because several websites share the same web server.
Web hosting is critical to the success of your website. You can't just host your site on your own home computer and it would be unwise if you did. Web hosting provides your site with a way to be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so your visitors can always find you.