In order for your website to be accessible by your visitors on the Internet, you need to host it with a web host, i-e a company that has web servers connected to the internet 24×7. Web hosting companies have thousands of such servers in data centers.
Those servers can be dedicated to a specific site; these are called dedicated servers or shared between several clients and websites. This is called “shared web hosting“.
A dedicated hosting service, dedicated server, or managed hosting service is a type of Internet hosting in which the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone. This is more flexible than shared hosting, as organizations have full control over the server(s), including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. Server administration can usually be provided by the hosting company as an add-on service. In some cases, a dedicated server can offer less overhead and a larger return on investment. Dedicated servers are most often housed in data centers, similar to colocation facilities, providing redundant power sources and HVAC systems. In contrast to colocation, the server hardware is owned by the provider and in some cases, they will provide support for your operating system or applications.
Shared web hosting service: one's website is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. A hosting account located on a server with (often many) other hosting accounts and their resulting websites. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this type of service can be quite extensive. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller.
Process for selecting, evaluating and ranking web hosts and their offers includes:
- Reputation. In this, we see the uptime of the web hosting company.
- Popularity. This mostly depends on the number of people who are using a particular web hosting company to host their website successfully and happily and how many new customers buy any of the services offered by them.
- Speed. We can set up private test sites in order to verify the specs beyond the ads. In many instances, we also have public hosting test sites, where we can check for ourselves how responsive the host is while browsing through a typical modern blog/CMS site.
- Reliability & uptime. No host is really 99.99% perfect here. However, all hosts rated 4 stars or more are in the top performers regarding uptime.
- Features. Many hosts are loaded with features you don't need. In other cases, you may need something very specific or advanced that only a few hosts will offer. All hosts have the standard features you expect from a modern web hosting company: PHP, Perl, MySQL, control panel and email, all that on your own domain.
- Support. This is tricky to evaluate because the quality of support sometimes varies from one support representative to the next.
These web hosts can provide various other types of services like cloud hosting, green hosting, shared web hosting, reseller web hosting, virtual dedicated server, managed to host service, collocation web hosting service etc.