Just what is "web hosting"?

Find out exactly what web hosting is and what type of hosting you need for your business.
Latest posts by Verio, StartupNation's Web hosting service (see all)

 You know what a Web site is, but what is a “Web Host?” We tapped Verio, the company that hosts StartupNation.com,  to give us the lowdown.

What is a Web Host?

To have a Web site on the Internet you first need to have a Web server. Unfortunately, owning a Web server can be very costly and requires technical expertise that most businesses don’t have. This is where Web Hosts come in. Web hosting companies provide the equipment and other technical resources that you need without the headaches that come when you have to do it yourself.

Think of a Web Host as the landlord of a building. A landlord rents out storefronts to various businesses. Each business decorates and runs their store differently, and doesn’t worry about the maintenance of the building. In a similar way a Web Host rents out space on a Web server, (or entire Web servers), to various businesses. Each business builds their own Web site and never has to worry about the maintenance of their Web server.

In other words, the Web Host provides the place on the Internet where your Web site lives. It’s a lot cheaper than buying you own server, and you don’t have to hire the technical staff to take care of it.

What kind of server should I choose?

Shared Server

Shared servers offer clients the ability to host their Web site on a powerful, professionally managed server, at a low monthly cost. Shared servers provide individual Web sites with redundant connectivity, 99 percent uptime and 24/7 monitoring for a fraction of the cost of a dedicated server.

  • Intended Clients and Uses

    Shared servers are an excellent solution for entry-level hosting needs. Designed to host small scale e-commerce sites and static Web pages, shared servers offer first-time Webmasters a reliable Web presence without advanced technical skills.
  • Server Response Time

    The activity of other sites and the number of other sites on the server can affect shared server performance.
  • Flexibility and Scalability

    As you are restricted to the server box space, upgrade capacity is primarily focused on disk size and throughput.
  • Software

    Shared Servers are limited to the software that is installed by hosting provider.
  • No Technical Skills Required

    Shared server hosting provides a cost-effective way for entry-level Webmasters to maintain a reliable Web presence without extensive technical resources.

Virtual Private (VPS) Server

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) combine the flexibility of a dedicated server with the economical prices of shared server hosting. VPS is a hosting environment that gives you your own Unix virtual machine. Each VPS is a private and protected area that operates as an independent server, maintaining an independent set of applications, allowing the client to share the expenses of hardware and network connections while maintaining a secure allocation of RAM and CPU.

  • Intended Clients and Uses

    Virtual Private Servers are intended to meet entry- to mid-level hosting needs. The potential functions of a VPS are wide and varied. It can be used as a simple server or as an advanced, database-driven commerce server.
  • Server Response Time

    Virtual environments are not affected by the activity of other sites on the server, but their allocated resources limit site performance.
  • Flexibility and Scalability

    Upgrade capacity is primarily focused on disk size, number of processors and throughput.
  • Software

    As you maintain your private section of the server, you are able to incorporate many software options. Moderate technical skill level is required. UNIX administration, basic programming, and database capabilities are needed to operate a VPS.

Virtual Private Servers provide customers with an independent set of Web applications to handle more advanced Web-based applications, without the costs associated with a dedicated server.

Managed Private (MPS) Server

Managed Private Servers may be the perfect solution for companies with high-traffic, resource-intensive Internet sites. The MPS provided by Verio, for example, is a dedicated hosting solution comprised of hardware, software, and managed services. By outsourcing your hosting requirements to us, you eliminate costly expenditures for administration teams, security, hardware equipment, bandwidth, data backups, and connectivity. Most important, you’ll have the freedom to concentrate on the success of your business rather than worry about disk drives, routers, and switches.

  • Intended Clients and Uses

    Managed Private Servers are designed for mid to advanced-level hosting needs such as "mission critical" and high-traffic sites. The servers can handle heavy data-driven sites, advanced e-commerce programs, video streaming, and multimedia programs. They also allow for all the benefits of the Verio VPS (same software environment, services and support), but the whole machine is dedicated to one customer.
  • Server Response Time

    MPS response time depends solely on the volume of activity on the customer’s Web site.
  • Flexibility and Scalability

    All aspects of the platform (disk space, memory, etc.) are upgradeable since MPS’s are single client machines.
  • Software

    Unlimited ability to download software programs to your server.
    As you maintain your private section of the server, you are able to incorporate many software options. Moderate technical skill level is required. UNIX administration, basic programming, and database capabilities are needed to operate a VPS.

Managed Private Servers are a step up in resources over our VPS. You enjoy the benefits of the VPS combined with the advantages of owning all the resources. As you outgrow a Virtual Private Server, you will find the Managed Private Server is the perfect fit for your expanding needs.

Dedicated Server

Dedicated servers are a single computer fully devoted to the needs of one customer. They allow for faster access to information and provide the customer with greater flexibility to add advanced database and e-commerce applications. As the customer does not share RAM, disk space or a connection to the router, dedicated servers provide customers with the most advanced Web hosting solutions.

  • Intended Clients and Uses

    Dedicated servers are designed for mid to advanced-level hosting needs such as "mission critical" and high-traffic sites. The servers can handle heavy data-driven sites, advanced e-commerce programs, video streaming, and multimedia programs.
  • Server Response Time

    Dedicated server response time depends solely on the volume of activity on the customer’s Web site.
  • Flexibility and Scalability

    All aspects of the platform (disk space, memory, etc.) are upgradeable since dedicated servers are single client machines.
  • Software

    Unlimited ability to download software programs to your server.
  • Advanced technical knowledge is recommended-experienced programming and database capabilities.

Dedicated servers provide high levels of security, connectivity and scalability, to support high volume and mission critical Web-based applications.

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