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Web Hosting


1. Introduction: An Internet hosting service is a service that runs Internet servers, allowing organizations and individuals to serve content to the Internet i.e. it allows individuals and organizations to keep their files in a computer that is connected 24 X 7 X 365 and make it accessible to the whole world via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients and the clients can run anything they want. Hosting services are most often used for hosting Websites but can also be used for hosting files, images, photos, videos and other similar content.

2. Criteria for Choosing a Hosting Account: The following factors can be considered in choosing a hosting account-
a) Reliability and Speed of Access: The web host should be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime at least to 99% though 99.99% is considered as the good one.  A web server should not be slow to respond when someone wants to access the website, or when you are uploading the pages to the server. Again, when lots of visitors together accessing the website it should not be slow to respond.
b) Bandwidth Allotment: The bandwidth or data transfer or traffic is the amount of bytes transferred from your website to visitors when they browse your website. It is difficult to recommend a specific minimum amount of bandwidth, since it depends on how you design your website, your target audience, and the number of visitors you’re able to attract to your website.
c) Amount of Web Space: Your server space needs will vary, depending on how many image, photo, audio, video files your pages might use. So, you have to ask yourself, how much storage space is provided by your web host company? Does it have enough space for your needs?
d) FTP Access: FTP is the most common method used by people to transfer their web pages and other files from their computer to their web host’s computer. FTP access, or at the very least, the ability to upload your pages by Email or browser, is very much needed.
e) File Type and Size Limitations: Check what kinds of files are allowed and what not, what is the maximum file size that can be uploaded to the server and what is the maximum number of files you can upload to the server.
f) Control Panel: Control panel allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. It allows you to add, delete, and manage your files, change passwords for your account and so on. You web hosting should comes with a control panel to empower you to do all necessary jobs.
The other factors that need to be considered is technical support, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) if you are selling any goods or service through the website, backup capabilities and so on.
However, when you choose a hosting service provider, if possible kindly select the same company from which you have purchased your domain. It will make your task a lot easier when you try to link your domain to your hosting account.

3. Types of Hosting Account: Based on the cost factor, the hosting may be of the following types-
a) Free Web Hosting: Free web hosting service comes with limited services when compared to paid hosting and sometimes supported by advertisements. Example includes Blogger (http://www.blogger.com), Google Sites (http://sites.google.com), Jimbo (http://www.jimdo.com), uCoz.com (https://www.ucoz.com), Webnode.com (https://us.webnode.com), Weebly.com (https://www.weebly.com), Yola.com (https://www.yola.com/), Wix (https://www.wix.com), etc. A detailed comparative study of various service providers can be had from the website FreeWebSpace.net (http://www.freewebspace.net), which eases the selection process of free web hosting.
In case of free hosting account, your website address will include the name of your free web hosting service provider. In such cases the address would look like http://badan-barman.blogspot.com where blogspot (Blogger) is the free hosting and subdomain service provider. The address of the website is also known as Uniform Resource Locator (URL).
b) Paid Web Hosting: Paid web hosting is available on payment and is advertisement free (the company will not display the ads, however you can do it in your own) and will provide the facilities to integrate your domain with the hosting (like www.lislinks.com). Example: GoDaddy (http://www.godaddy.com).
Based on the features available in the paid web hosting, the web hosting can be of the following types. However, kindly note that they are named differently by different hosting companies.
i) Individual / Economic / Shared / Mini Hosting: The terminology can be different from company to company but these are the most affordable options for the starter or small websites. Typically, this type of hosting provides hosting support for a single domain only and limits the features, bandwidth and data storage. In this type of hosting, the webmaster share space on hosting servers with other webmasters. The cost can ranges from Rs. 2,000 to Rs.6,000 in an annum.
ii) Reseller Web Hosting: Reseller web hosting allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider’s shared hosting plan and provide the technical support themselves. The cost ranges from Rs.5,000 to Rs.30,000 per annum.
iii) Virtual Private Hosting: Virtual server is a notion, which stands somewhere between shared and dedicated hosting. Here, one physical server is divided into several independent virtual servers. A VPS runs its own copy of an Operating System (OS), and customers have super user-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS.  The cost ranges from Rs.20,000 to Rs.1,00,000 per annum.
iv) Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting means an entire server is leased and reserved for a single Website. This plan will cost more, usually ranges from Rs. 70,000 to Rs.3,00,000 per annum.

4. Hosting Service Provider: One needs to get four important pieces of information from the web hosting Service Company. They are –
i) Account name sometimes also called as username or user id;
ii) Password;
iii) FTP address of the website, kindly note that the FTP address may or may not be the same with the URL of the website and
iv) The directory folder where the pages need to be uploaded.
The following are some of the popular paid web hosting service providers.
a) GoDaddy: GoDaddy Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com) is a publicly traded Internet domain registrar and web hosting company founded in 1997 by Baltimore, Maryland entrepreneur Bob Parsons. GoDaddy Provide Starter Linux Plan (for singe website with 30 GB Disk Space) for Rs.2,400 per annum, Economy Linux Plan (for singe website with 100 GB Disk Space) for Rs. 6,000 per annum, Deluxe Linux Plan (for unlimited website with unlimited Disk Space) for Rs.7,200 per annum and Ultimate Linux Plan (for unlimited website with unlimited Disk Space) for Rs. 12,000 per annum.
b) Ionos: Ionos (https://www.ionos.com) is a web hosting company owned by United Internet, a German Internet company and was founded in 1988. Its Unlimited hosting plan (for unlimited websites with unlimited Disk Space) is available at Rs. 7,000/- per annum.
c) Hostgator.com: Hostgator.com (https://www.hostgator.com) is a Houston-based provider of shared, reseller, virtual private server, and dedicated web hosting with an additional presence in Austin, Texas. Its unlimited hosting plan for unlimited websites comes at Rs. 6000 per annum.
d) Bluehost.com: Bluehost (https://www.bluehost.in) is a web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group and was founded in 2003. Its Pro hosting plan (for unlimited websites with unlimited Disk Space) is available at Rs.6,000/- per annum.

5. Conclusion: It is generally better to go for designing a websites only after determining a hosting service, as there are certain tools, which can also be had from the hosting service providers if one is not acquainted with regular HTML. Actually hosting and DNS move side by side so buying the Domain and Hosting from same company is best solution for a number of problems. So, when you choose a hosting service provider, if possible kindly select the same company from which you have purchased your domain. It will make your task a lot easier when you try to link your domain to your hosting account. Again, domain registrars often provide a discount to users who used to purchase the hosting account from it.



How to Cite this Article?
APA Citation, 7th Ed.:  Barman, B. (2020). A comprehensive book on Library and Information Science. New Publications.
Chicago 16th Ed.:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. Guwahati: New Publications, 2020.
MLA Citation 8th Ed:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. New Publications, 2020.

Badan BarmanBadan Barman at present working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University, Guwahati-781014, Assam, India. He is the creator of the LIS Links (http://www.lislinks.com) - India’s most popular social networking website for Library and Information Science professionals. He also created the UGC NET Guide (http://www.netugc.com) and LIS Study (http://www.lisstudy.com) website.

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