What is Hosting?
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Hosting is like renting an office. You can do it yourself out of your garage, or you can pay for better facilities with all the essential plumbing and security features. For an office this would mean renting at a business centre. For your website this means paying for space on a highly specialized computer server within a dedicated hosting facility.
Just like an office directory listing, your website has a physical address that maps the exact location of the website within a hosted server. These physical addresses have their own 411 or yellow pages directory which is called Domain Name System (DNS).
The DNS directory is like a GPS (Global Positioning System) for your website, and shows the route between your site's URL (www address) and the hosted servers location shown by their Internet Protocol (IP) address. The IP address is a unique number that identifies the physical location of a computer in a similar way that a postal code tracks a physical office location.
Types of Hosting
The high configuration computers that host your files are called web servers. In hosting facilities, these are connected to high-speed fiber optics with near 100% uptime. From your home or garage you may get a lower quality of connection than that typically available from companies dedicated to hosting.
Shared Hosting (Virtual Hosting):
As high configuration servers are expensive to set up, it is common to share their space across many websites. Each website has their own web address and domain name. This economical solution suits businesses and individuals desiring an online presence with minimal involvement and budget.
There are some providers who offer free web space, typically with basic features for personal web pages and mostly supported by advertisements. There's no such thing as a 'free site'.
Some service providers develop partnerships with professional web companies who become web hosts themselves by reselling the web space and rendering technical support themselves.Learn more about Treefrog's reseller hosting program
This is required for large sites or applications, which run within a dedicated space. Sites that need a higher level of security due to the nature of the information being accessed or supplied can take the extra step of having their site hosted on a Virtual Dedicated or Private Server (VPS) with additional security features.
If you have your own server, ready with the applications, and just require continuous electrical supply and high-speed internet connection, you can locate it with some ISP's or professional web hosting companies which have the facilities.Learn more about Treefrog's Co-location Hosting Services
There are a number of other hosting terms like cloud hosting, clustered hosting and grid hosting, providing web spaces from as small as 1MB to gigabytes. There is a whole industry dedicated to housing websites and web applications, and just as is in construction, getting the right design and connections for your location and needs are the most important components.
Support of Hosting
Along with each of these hosting services, a good provider typically supplies 24-hour support, daily backup of data, options for high web traffic volume, powerful bandwidth, e-mail capabilities, and specific database and applications access.
Treefrog's local Toronto, Ontario hosting providers supply a high quality service that meets your needs. Contact us about hosting packages to suit your requirements.