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What Is Web Hosting

HostDime Web Hosting starting at $8.25/month, Free Setup

When you visit a website, what you are looking at on your web browser is simply a web page that has been downloaded from a web server onto your web browser.  A website is typically made up of numerous web pages.  These web pages are made up of text and graphic images.  All of these web pages must be stored on the web server so that users who are online can visit your website.

If you are planning to crete a website, you will need to host it on a web server.  Once your website gets placed on the web server, online users can browse your website on the Internet.  Companies that provide the web servers that will host your website are called web hosts or hosting providers.

A well-established  web host provider can easily host up to thousands of websites.  A web hosting company, therfore, needs many web servers or computers to store the websites.  All of these web servers are linked to the Internet through high speed Internet connection and housed in a data center.  There must be a guarantee that all of the web servers are safe, secure and are fully operational at all times.  A data center is a physically secure 24/7 environment with fire protection, redundant power backup, computer data backup, virus detections, and complete disaster recovery capabilities.

There are four main kinds of virtual web hosting companies available each having different characteristics.  They can be organized into the following categories:

Shared hosting

In this type of hosting, many websites are sharing space on the same web servers. Depending on what kind of virtual web host it is, a physical web server can host up to a thousand different websites at one time. Since the physical web server is shared by many websites, the web hosting provider can afford to offer low hosing prices.

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated web hosting assigns a certain web server to be used by a single customer. Since a dedicated virtual web server is allocated to only one customer, he/she has the option to host either single or multiple websites, handle greater site traffic, modify the software configuration, and scale the bandwidth if necessary. Dedicated hosting is quite a bit more expensive and starts at $50 a month and can easily range from $100 - $500 a month. This is often used by high traffic and very important websites.

Co-location hosting

With dedicated hosting, the web server belongs to the providers and customers only rent the web server. In co-location hosting, the client owns the web server hardware. The customer has full control, therefore, over their web server and benefits from the 24/7 server monitoring and maintenance that is provided by the secure data center. Co-location hosting can range from $500 - $1000 a month depending on the rack space that is required and the monthly bandwidth.

Reseller hosting

In reseller hosting, a web hosting provider will offer web server storage to a third party at a discount price. The third party then resells the web server storage to their clients. Resellers are usually web consultants who include web developers, web designers, or a system integration company who resells the web hosting as an add-on service to augment their other range of services.

What Makes A Good Webhost?

There are more then 40 Million web hosting providers to choose from and all of them are anxious to add your business to their portfolio.  Finding them is easy.... The question is... how do you identify and distinguish the best from the worse web hosting providers.  Below I have highlighted some key point to Consider When Choosing a Web Hosting Provider.


The security of your website is the most important thing to consider once your site goes live, you should be 100% confident that the technology that brings your web project to life is of the highest caliber and extremely secure.  If you set your website to process customer details and collect payments via the internet then you should consider a hosting provider who can provide you with a server which has encryption capabilities and the ability to set up a dedicated secure server if and when requested by you.

Server Space

Before you commit your self to a hosting provider, first consider the amount of disk space you will need to host your website.  A reasonable amount is around 500 MB, to 1 GB disk space.  This should be sufficient for a small business that is beginning to build a web presence. As you grow, though, you will definitely need more space.  Software repositories, image galleries, and records storage can require quite a lot of space.  Be sure to select a hosting package that provides room for growth.


The reliability of the hosting provider is crucial. The length of time they have been in business, their percent of uptime, reasonable uptime you should expect is at least 99.5% and their backup and data retrieval practices and policies.  Some hosting providers have multiple data centers, and some might even give you a choice of where your server will be located. S


Technical support is something that should definitely be a part of a web hosting plan. Most web hosting providers offer customers a support ticket system, this support system track all queries made by you and will automatically notify you via e-mail or SMS when your query get updated.  The support system also give you access to review the status of any tickets you have raised, set priorities and check response times.  The better webhosts offer 24/7/365 phone support.  There are times when nothing else will suffice.  Be sure to select a host that provides this level of support.


No matter what type of site you are planning on running, chances are you will eventually need to install some type of CGI script. Whether it be a mailing list management script, contact form processor, or maybe even a fancy credit card processing script, your hosting account will need to allow you to install and run them. This requires access to a special folder on your server called "CGI-Bin". Some hosting accounts will only allow you to use "pre-installed" scripts as a security measure. These are scripts that the owners of the company have installed and configured so that they know that they will work properly and not adversely affect their server's performance. That may be all you need, but if you have the knowledge, it's always nice to have the ability to install your own scripts and configure them to suit your individual needs. You should also be sure that the account you choose supports the language in which your scripts are written, such as PHP, Perl, etc.


cPanel is a unix based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a web site. cPanel provides functionality end-user website owners to control the various aspects of website and server administration through a standard web browser.  Most webhosts bundle cPanel with Fantastico.  Fantastico is a commercial script library that automates the installation of web applications to a website. Fantastico scripts are executed from the administration area of a website control panel such as cPanel. Fantastico's web site claims that they are installed on ten thousand servers, with a million users worldwide.

Our Recommendation

We have been hosting our websites with HostDime for years.  They provide all of the features described above at very reasonable costs.  Their reliability has been exceptional and they aggressively stay on top of security issues.  In the end, however, it comes down to support.   HostDime has always provided us with exceptional support.  They are very responsive to their support ticket system and their their phone support has never let us down.  They even have a very involved and supportive user base who support one another in their community forums. 

Do yourself a favor and review their various offerrings.  You'll likely see something that is exactly what you need.  If you have problems or can't decide... give us a shout.  We'll be happy to help!