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April 12, 2017updated 13 Oct 2022 5:02pm

What is web hosting?

Make sure you use a good service.

By James Nunns

Web hosting is a type of service supplied by companies to provide storage space and access for websites.

What this means is that individuals and organisations can make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.

Companies that provide the service and these provide space on a server that is owned or leased for clients.

GoDaddy web hosting
GoDaddy web hosting (image:Shutterstock)

What are the major web hosting companies?

It’s is a fairly wide market but there are several companies that take the lion’s share of business.

GoDaddy is the largest and perhaps best-known name in the space with 15.6% of websites under its banner. Amazon Web Services follows with 11.1% of websites, but AWS also stretches into cloud computing, AI and IoT.

Likewise, Google is a major player in the market with its Cloud Platform, which hosts 7.9% of websites.

Other providers include 1&1 IONOS, HostGator, BlueHost and Hetzner Online, each of which host between 3 and 7% of websites each.

How can you choose a web hosting company?

The most basic hosting is that of a web page and small-scale file hosting. This is where files can be uploaded and they are usually delivered to the Web “as is” or with minimal processing. This service is often offered for free by ISPs to subscribers.

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Larger hosting companies that are not also ISPs need to be permanently connected to the web in order to send email, files, and so on to other sites.

Uptime and reliability are essential factors to consider when choosing a service. Most will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime, this would allow for 43 minutes of downtime per month, or 8 hours 45 minutes of downtime per year.

Read more: Former AWS engineer who hacked Capital One will face no further jail time

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