Pros and Cons of Cheap Web Hosting

In today’s world, if you have a business, or sometimes even a career in certain industries, it is imperative to have a presence on the Internet. This great demand by large numbers of people to own a bit of online space, which is accessible 24/7 on the Internet, without the huge costs involved, is what has spawned the advent of web hosting companies.

If you go back to 1991, when the Internet had started becoming user-friendly, with the World Wide Web being established along with web hosting as well as webpages being viewable, it used to be thought that only rich people could afford using these services, since they were mostly used by large business entities and a few people who could afford spending a lot of money for these services.

However, things began changing pretty fast. That is because the Internet, along with the World Wide Web, began evolving and growing at a phenomenal rate. Which, in turn, came about because this was the only means through which people could instantaneously connect to the world. This was what gave the impetus for the hosting of free instant messaging services, email services, as well as websites of companies to be used for business purposes.

With each day, the experts in this field, along with common users, explored its possibilities and went about making things less complex. Hence, right from the management of databases to server space, the World Wide Web has been evolving continuously. With the potential growing each day, more and more companies offering web services began sprouting. This, in turn, gave rise to competition, with each company vying to offer not only the best of services, but also at the cheapest of rates―giving rise to cheap web hosting services. Given below are some of the pros and cons of these services.

Pros

  • These days, you can get web hosting services which cost less than $5 a month. Although you could be limited somewhat in what you will be able to do, and the kind of services you can expect, in general, the services you are provided are good.
  • The amount of disk space these affordable companies provide is in the range of 5-75 GB, which is usually more than enough for most people.
  • Plus, the bandwidth per month provided could be up to 100-600 GB, which is quite good, considering the price.
  • Also, most of these cheap services are usually offered on UNIX or Windows servers, which is quite adequate for most requirements.
  • One of the best advantages of cheap web hosting is that new companies and ordinary people can have a website without having to make a large investment. This is one of the main reasons the Internet has become the means through which people connect to do business and exchange ideas.

Cons

  • However, there are plenty of arguments against cheap web hosting, the foremost being that when a low-cost service provider offers their services at such a cheap rate, they have only two ways by which they can survive in a business that is so competitive: they can either reduce their services or increase their rates later. Hence, before opting for cheap hosting option, one must keep in mind that their main focus is their own survival.
  • The critics are also of the opinion that at crucial moments, such as a breakdown in the server or an attack by a hacker, the service providers are never available. Plus, the hosting plans provided by them are usually ill conceived and badly designed.
  • Another disadvantage is that you will have to share server space with other companies. This could jeopardize your company if these companies use mailing lists to send spam. If that is done, the chances are high of every domain that is hosted by the server being blocked by anti-spam software, resulting in your company becoming a victim too.

Hence, before deciding, it is best to take into consideration the above pros and cons, and base it on your actual requirements, although budget constraints may leave you with limited choices. However, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. An efficient, rugged, quality, and result-oriented service has the potential of making all the difference to your business. Therefore, if you require high uptime as well as a web hosting experience that you can depend upon, then it is best to go in for a service provider that is both efficient as well as economical.

An Overview of Web Hosting Technology

Web hosting is a prime service that users can utilize after obtaining either dial-up or broadband Internet access. It lets users broadcast their own information resources to any Internet user, who is interested in accessing them. It makes use of the server/client model for content distribution. A web host will provide its client with the right to access a web server that will push the client’s content to recipients on request. Recipients use web browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator to request content from the web, over their own Internet connection.

The websites are stored or hosted on a special computer called a server. It permits Internet users who are connected anywhere to reach a particular site, when they put the host’s domain address in the web browser. The host computers are set up so that when someone types a web address in the browser, the address will follow a route from computer to computer until it reaches the host computer and website. After that, the Internet user will be able to browse throughout the website.

Web hosts provide the technical resources and equipment that are required to offer a customized website to a consumer.

Many small businesses take advantage of web hosts in order to free themselves from preoccupying their scarce human and financial resources on hosting issues. Companies and individuals outsource their web presence to achieve the following objectives: improve own company focus, reduce operating costs, gain access to in-depth expertise, free internal resources for core competencies, and obtain access to world-class capabilities to control IT functions which are difficult to handle. In multiple formats, web hosting is offered to the consumer, based upon his/her requirements. These requirements are dependent on the cost and infrastructure provided.

Types of Web Hosting

Web hosting services are present in all sizes and shapes. It is useful to break down all services into several “classes”, in order to understand the most fundamental differences in pricing and functionality. Each “class” speaks about the needs of a particular type of customer.

1) Shared Hosting
This is the most basic and important of all services. The hosting service providers put several websites on a single powerful machine.

2) Virtual Dedicated Hosting
This is a fairly new web hosting service, which seems to be a bridge between “shared” and “dedicated” hosting. Several websites are hosted on a server, but the number of such sites is small and each one is provided with a dedicated “copy” of the operating system, along with a portion of computer resources. Also, a copy of web server software, in addition to direct “root-level” access is provided to the customer.

3) Dedicated Hosting
A dedicated hosting service is a type, in which the client leases an entire server, which is not shared with anyone else. This type of hosting allocates a website to its own server. This is more flexible because it has full control over the back end of the server, including the choice of OS.

4) Colocated Hosting (Colocation)
Colocation provides ultimate degree of flexibility. This type of hosting consists of buying and installing your own server on the provider’s premises.

5) Managed Hosting
It is accompanied by a full suite of technical support, maintenance, and monitoring services. In managed hosting, customers are provided with their own servers, but are still responsible for virtually all administrative and maintenance duties.

Web Hosting Server Technologies

The different hosting technologies are as follows:

1) Windows Hosting
This is hosting of web services that use Windows operating system. User should choose this type of hosting, if he wants to use Active Server Pages as server scripting, or if he wants to use a database like Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server. It is also the best choice if the user wants to develop a website using Microsoft Front Page.

2) Unix Hosting
This is hosting of web services that use UNIX operating system. It was the first reliable and stable web server operating system.

3) Linux Hosting
This means hosting of web services that uses Linux operating system.

4) ASP – Active Server Pages
Microsoft developed Active Server Pages as a server-side scripting technology. With ASP, dynamic web pages can be created by embedding scripting code inside HTML pages. The code is run by the web server, before the page is returned to the browser. Both Visual Basic and JavaScript can be used for ASP code.

5) JSP
This is a server-side technology developed by Sun. With JSP, dynamic web pages can be created by embedding Java code inside HTML pages. The code is run by the web server, before the page is returned to the browser. Since JSP uses Java, the technology is not limited to any server-specific platform.

6) FrontPage
Microsoft developed this software as a website design tool. FrontPage provides users with an easy way to develop a website, without any deep knowledge of web development. Most Windows hosting solutions maintain FrontPage servers for users that use FrontPage to develop their website.

7) PHP
This is a server-side scripting language which allows creating dynamic web pages by embedding script code inside HTML pages. The code is run by the web server before the page is returned to the browser.

8) Cold Fusion
Macromedia developed this software, which is another server-side scripting language used to develop dynamic web pages.