A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to provide their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, called colocation.
Web hosting is often provided as part of a general Internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services. A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The webhosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multi-media services for streaming media. A customer may also choose Windows as the hosting platform. The customer still can choose from PHP, Perl, and Python but may also use ASP .Net or Classic ASP.
Web hosting packages often include a Web Content Management System, so the end-user doesn’t have to worry about the more technical aspects. These Web Content Management systems are great for the average user, but for those who want more control over their website design, this feature may not be adequate. Most modern desktop operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OSX) are also capable of running web server software, and thus can be used to host basic websites.
One may also search the Internet to find active webhosting message boards and forums that may provide feedback on what type of webhosting company may suit his/her needs. However some of these message boards and forums will require not only registration, but a paid subscription to be able to access the sections and sub forums with such information.
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