Web hosting is nothing but a service that allows its customers to have a space on the World Wide Web to showcase their websites on its computer servers which are connected to the internet all the time. Servers are actually very powerful computers with extremely large hard drives. The space in these servers is rented out to websites on the internet.
On the internet every server has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. It is numerical. If a server is thought to be as a building where apartments are being rented out, it will be easier to understand how it works. Each unit which is rented out to individual websites is the same as each rented out apartment in the building. Each unit that is rented out also has a unique address. Thus, when a person wants to start a website, he needs to buy a unique address (the web address) from a server.
There are different kinds of website hosting services available. Most of the packages offered by web hosting companies give the buyer certain capacities as a user. For instance, some website hosting companies offer scripts that allow forms, guest books, interactive functions, bulletin boards, etc. for web site owners with professional purposes. Commercial packages include bundle business tools such as credit card processing and point of sales packages. The scope of activities web hosting companies do also differ according to the package a user chooses. Small – scale file hosting and web page is the most basic. In it, a user can upload files via FTP or File Transfer Protocol. Some internet service providers are known to this service without any charge. Web site hosting for personal use is usually free, inexpensive and advertisement – sponsored while those for business purpose usually have a high expense involved.
Free website hosting is no doubt convenient but it comes with drawbacks. Usually the server will be running banner advertisements and pop up’s on the website. If the website owner wants them to be removed, an alternative pay plan has to be chosen. Another consideration that website owners opting for free service from web hosting companies have to put up with is that the website address that they have been allocated with will be an extension of the server’s address for e.g. subfolder name after the domain name of free web hosting service provider. In view of the various constraints hosting companies put on website owners who opt for free space, it is better to pay a sum of money for buying a domain name.