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What Is Web Hosting?

In order to have your website visible on the internet you will require some kind of Web Hosting service. Hosting companies typically provide space on servers connected to the internet, or indeed the entire server for large websites, allowing individuals and organizations to maintain their online presence. Hosting companies can also take your server and store it in their data centre (known as co-location) whereby you would provide and maintain the server, whilst making use of the data centres super fast fibre connection to the World Wide Web.

Hosting Terms And Features

Hosting services differ greatly in cost, disk space, bandwidth allowance and many include a variety of other features and add ons. Lets spend a minute to go through the different options:

  • Disk space – This is amount of space you are allocated on the web server. If you have a large website you will certainly need more disk space.
  • Bandwidth Allowance – This is the available data transfer allowance for the server. Usually this is billed monthly, and if you go over your limit (for instance if your website has a vast number of visitors) you will find either your website becomes unavailable until the next billing cycle or you incur overage charges. Some hosting companies count data uploaded and downloaded towards the allowance whilst others just count the data downloaded, generally unless you have a website which relies on content from users you will find the data downloaded each month to be far in excess of the data uploaded. For these reasons it is always best to pick a hosting package with headroom in the data transfer allowance to allow for busy periods.
  • Email Accounts – Usually you will be able to set up email addresses relating to your website which can be used in a couple of ways. Firstly they can be accessed by a program like Outlook on your personal computer (POP3: Post Office Protocol 3 / IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol), these emails are downloaded to your computer each time and the data is kept there (not strictly true for IMAP, but close enough for an overview). The alternative is webmail, the server will usually have mailbox software installed allowing you to login online and check your messages, which you can download to your personal computer should you be so inclined although the emails will still be stored on the server until you delete them. This brings up the issue of mailbox size, similar to disk space, this controls how much data (in the form of emails and attachments) you are allowed in your online mailbox at any one time. Other useful email tools include mail forwarding which will bypass the mailbox and forward any mail sent to the server or specific addresses on the server directly to the address of your choice.
  • Subdomains – If you had the domian name example.com a subdomain could be shop.example.com or gallery.example.com. They are useful for organising your webspace effectively although you could use subdirectorys ( example.com/shop or example.com/gallery ) for exactly the same reason.
  • File Manager / FTP – Once you have your hosting space you will need to upload your website files, this can be done via a number of methods the most common being FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FTP access enables you to connect directly to a port on your server and upload the files directly to your webspace however you will need an FTP client to connect this way. Servers also have user interfaces (such as cPanel or VirtualMin) which allow users to manage their websites via the browser window, you cannot choose which interface to use unless you administrate the server.
  • Website Statistics – These allow you to track the visits, page requests and user traffic of your website. As with everything else on the internet there are a number of options for collecting this information including Webalizer, Awstats and Google Analytics.

Newbury New Media Hosting

Newbury New Media Hosting offers users server access via FTP and the cPanel tool.
Email accounts can be setup either as POP3/Imap or SMTP, Webmail.
Diskspace and Bandwidth (monthly data transfer allowance) are defined as per the packages.
Our servers are run on 100% solar and wind power sources, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your website is not a burden on the environment.
For more information please have a look at the Hosting package page or get in touch!

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