Earlier web hosting was meant to hire computer memory for one’s website. However, with technological advances and a decrease in hardware prices, hosts have provided increasingly ready-made features to attract potential clients. Microsoft Windows is one of the operating systems commonly used on servers by web hosts. It supports advanced technologies like Cold Fusion that are required to create and maintain dynamic websites. Managed host servers may also provide services like ASP, ASP.net Access, and MS SQL support to maintain websites.
Linux and UNIX servers are meant for clients who require websites based on open-source technology, such as PHP and MySQL. It ensures better data security compared to other technologies. The easy availability and open knowledge about the codes help in upgradation and customization. Unlike Windows, it does not require renewal of license frequently.
A list of tools has become an accepted standard for web hosts. These include CGI, Ruby (RoR), Perl, PHP, MYSQL, etc. These enable the webmaster to maintain and upgrade their websites without worrying about unsupportive platforms. Often, hosts provide easy-to-set-up functions that are common to all websites. These include incorporating PayPal services, mail servers, virus prevention, etc.
The advent of virtualization has rapidly expanded the number of options before the client. These include a combination of features put together to form a package. Each package varies in cost, speed, disk space, data transfer speed and other additional features. Although finding the ideal one may not be easy for many web admins, some simple points may help identify the best. The webmaster has to determine the possible amount of traffic that is likely to be attracted. The amount of information likely to be stored and the frequency and nature of up-gradation must be decided beforehand. A website with a few exciting pages requires less disk space, a high bandwidth, and faster data transfer capacity. Sites that require user registration usually cater to a specific and targeted audience. These require a secure transfer of information at a consistent speed. Such sites may have a fixed number of email accounts and data content at any given time. They work well with more disk space and comparatively average data transfer speeds.
The web admin must decide the extent of content that will appear on the site and the expected interactivity. The packages on offer are designed to suit a majority of websites. These include areas with vast pages and complexity catering to a fixed number of clients. These can take up packages providing ample disk space, limited email accounts, and limited data transfer rates. Sites that are used as online stores may witness massive traffic. These are better served with relatively small disk space, fast data transfer, unlimited email accounts, etc. While virtualization has improved customer service, risks such as data theft and security breaches in private and personal information databases must be monitored.
The success of web sites depends on how easily and quickly users reach them in their quest for information. Many web hosts also offer services that improve the image of websites in the evaluation criteria of search engines. Spreading marketing strategies across numerous domain names on many IPs and class Cs increases online exposure. These hosts provide multiple Class C IP addresses with each web account, thus increasing the chances of better rankings for the website. These hosts are accommodating for those webmasters who do not have the resources to work towards SEO optimization after the initial design.