In internet language, hosting specifically refers to web hosting, which is defined as the housing, serving, maintaining files, and overall internet connectivity for one or more web sites. These websites can be owned by individuals or companies.
Web hosting service providers are able to give clients these services at a relatively affordable price because of co-location. Co-location means that the web hosting service provider maintains one or several data centers for all of its clients, which is equivalent to mass production if you look at it in a manufacturer’s eyes.
When choosing a web host, some of the important factors that should be considered include:
Reliability – This can be measured by looking at the “uptime” or the percentage of time that the host can be accessed via the internet. Ideally the uptime should be 100%, but due to planned and unplanned updates and general problems, there is no hosting service that can provide such figures. Be wary of unrealistic promises.
Security – Check the security of the hosting service. Are sites using the services hacked regularly? Are the URLs they sell not associated with spam sites? How about the facility (data center) itself? Is it in a secure location and are security systems in place?
Bandwidth – How much bandwidth do they provide? Will you be sharing that bandwidth with another site or will they be providing you dedicated bandwidth?