Host your site at home or in another place
You could host your web site on your own computer at your house or at your workplace, on a PC which belongs to a pal of yours, and so on. If it is a site for experimenting purposes, there would be no real need for you to find a more dependable web hosting solution than that. If you wish to establish an actual web site, though, which will be visible to a lot of viewers and you desire to make it reliable, you will also need a reliable web server where you will host it.
Why do you need a web hosting server for your website?
When you have a website, it is hosted on a physical server. That physical machine has its own physical address known also as IP address. Writing the IP address of the physical server in your browser, however, is not the best and simplest means to pay a visit to a website. That is how and why domain names came into being and why you need one for your site. So, to set up your web site, you need your own domain and a web server to host your website on.
Hosting your website on your own
If you are an IT expert and know how to administer a hosting server, you can have a web server of your own and host your website on it. This will permit you to exert complete authority over the hosting server, to make server configuration changes and to apply software updates yourself instead of relying on the datacenter staff. The disadvantage, however, is that you will have to ensure the accessibility of you website and to take care of all server maintenance tasks yourself. If you are utilizing a licensed OS, you will also have to pay for the license, which is usually more high-priced if bought for an entire physical server.
Using a web hosting services provider
If you don't want to cope with server maintenance tasks, the best step to take is to register an account with a website hosting supplier. These are companies that offer clients powerful hosting servers with various hardware configurations in exchange for a certain tax. The servers are physically located in data center facilities with special cooling and UPS systems to ensure continuous Internet access.
Varieties of hosting services
The web is a deep sea and there are many hosting suppliers providing various hosting services to the multitude of web site owners out there. The web hosting services vary from free-of-cost hosting services, where you can host plain, HTML-based websites, to expensive dedicated server hosting services that can drain your resources. So, what web hosting type satisfies your needs?
If you own a small or average-size web site that has a few hundred guests tops, you could safely avail of a shared web hosting solution. Shared hosting signifies that multiple shared web hosting users and web sites are accommodated on the same web server, thus lowering the price of the service. Shared accounts normally involve CPU, memory, traffic and hosting server disk storage space usage quotas to ensure that the web sites hosted on the server do not interfere with each other and do not utilize more system resources than they are assigned.
In case your website is more resource-swallowing, you should choose a private virtual server hosting solution, which is the middle ground between the shared hosting solution and the dedicated server hosting solution. VPS is an acronym for Virtual Private Server. It gives you root privileges, which allows you to make server configuration modifications - something that would be inconceivable on a shared hosting web server. The virtual hosting servers also offer burstable RAM options. Separate RAM and CPU shares are assigned to each single virtual server, without anyone else using them. Typically there are other VPS servers apart from your own that avail of the system resources of the physical server, which could sometimes influence the overall performance, but in the majority of cases it is not a problem. Should the resources of the virtual private web server, though, be inadequate for your needs, it is plainly time to consider a dedicated server.
The dedicated web server is a physical machine that you hire, which is used solely by you for your very own web site needs. No one else uses its system resources and you acquire complete server root access, can choose a hardware architecture in advance, add updates later on and install RAM or hard disk drives. Unlike with the virtual servers where virtualization is mostly at the OS level and all virtual containers share a single kernel, with a dedicated web server you can revise the kernel of the Operating System (usually Linux-based) too.
Select your web hosting packages provider
If you have a vision of what your website is going to include, or if you have only a loose plan that has not fully matured yet, your initial step towards the creation of your web site should be to find a hosting solutions provider. The best step to take is to discover a hosting firm that provides an extensive selection of hosting services so that you do not need to swap service providers in case you first make use of a shared web hosting solution and then outgrow the shared web hosting resources and have to switch to a virtual web server hosting solution or a dedicated hosting web server. My own favorite is NTCHosting, which supplies modestly priced shared hosting packages, low-priced OpenVZ and Virtuozzo-based virtual server hosting plans, semi-dedicated hosting packages with their own web hosting Control Panel and even dedicated web hosting packages. I am extremely satisfied with all their offerings, since they all come with free gifts - the shared website hosting plans offer a free-of-charge domain name if they are paid for on an annual basis, the more advanced virtual servers and dedicated server web hosting plans come with a charge-free domain reseller account and invoicing software in case you wish to use them for reselling purposes. Throw in the exceptional 24/7 client support service and you have all you would typically need. You could, by all means, find other web hosting providers depending on what precisely you are looking for, by carrying out an online search or by reading additional online hosting reviews. The most intelligent choice, though, is a hosting vendor that is also a domain name registrar and has hosting servers in more than one country - both requirements met by NTCHosting, which has servers in the US, in the United Kingdom, in Sweden and in Australia, and offers lots of domain extensions for registration.