Reseller web hosting

>> Friday, February 8, 2008

Reseller hosting is a form of web hosting wherein the account owner has the ability to use his/her allotted hard drive space and bandwidth to host websites on behalf of third parties. The reseller purchases the host's services wholesale and then sells them to his customers for a profit. The certain portion of hard drive and bandwidth is allocated to reseller account. In order to achieve this the reseller may rent a dedicated server from a hosting company or resell shared hosting services. If the latter is the case the reseller is simply given the permission to sell a certain amount of disk space and bandwidth to his own customers without renting a server from a web hosting company he signed for a reseller account with.
The typical web hosting reseller might be a web design firm, web developer or systems integrator who offers web hosting as an add-on service. Reseller hosting is also an inexpensive way for web hosting entrepreneurs to start a company. Most reseller hosting plans allow resellers to create their own service plans and choose their own pricing structure. In many cases, resellers are able to establish their own branding via customized control panels and name servers.
Reseller hosting does not require extensive knowledge of the technical aspects of web hosting. Usually, the data center operator is responsible for maintaining network infrastructure and hardware, and the dedicated server owner configures/secures/updates the server. A reseller is responsible for interfacing with his/her own customer base, but any hardware, software and connectivity problems are typically forwarded to the server provider from whom the reseller plan was purchased.
Through point and click "Control Panels" (as listed below), resellers can set up and manage customer accounts via a web interface. In addition, the ModernBill software is popular among resellers, as it automates account creation and billing. Most of the reseller hosting companies offers different reseller hosting plans as cpwebhosting proposes five of the its reseller hosting plans: 1. Starter Reseller Hosting 2. Beginner Reseller Hosting 3. Professional Reseller Hosting 4. Prime Reseller Hosting 5. Professional Reseller Hosting 6. Unlimited Reseller Hosting
At Unlimited you became unlimited webspace and Traffic with all Features and scripts and special software for own private label reselling.
Well-known Control Panels List:
WHM/cPanel (Unix)(Windows version coming soon)
Plesk (Windows/Unix)
DirectAdmin (Unix)
Webmin (Unix)


Clustered hosting

Clustered hosting technology is designed to eliminate the problems inherent with typical shared hosting infrastructures. This technology provides customers with a “clustered” handling of security, load balancing, and necessary website resources.
A clustered hosting platform is data-driven, which means that no human interaction is needed to provision a new account to the platform.
Clustered hosting "virtualizes" the resources beyond the limits of one physical server, and as a result, a website is not limited to one server. They share the processing power of many servers and their applications are distributed in real-time. This means that they can purchase as much computing power as they want from a virtually inexhaustible source, since even the largest customer never consumes more than a fraction of a percent of the total server pool. Customer account changes (to add new resources or change settings) are propagated immediately to every server in the cluster. This is different from typical shared hosting architectures that usually require changes to a configuration file that becomes live after the server is rebooted during off hours, or are pushed on a cyclic basis every few hours.
Multiple tiers of security are integrated into the clustered hosting platform. In a typical hosting environment, the security layer is usually not integrated in the platform. The stock solutions used for shared hosting do not solve core issues around integrating security between the application and the operating system. At best, most typical hosts will implement a firewall solution, and weaknesses inherent with the operating system will remain exploitable to those that penetrate the firewall.
Clustered hosting network layer protections employ intelligent routing, redundant switching fabric and built in firewall and proxy technology. Clustered hosting provides considerable advantages over traditional hosting architectures in mitigating denial-of-service attacks and other network attacks because such attacks can be dispersed over a large pool of servers, and if individual hardware components are impacted by such attacks, they automatically fall out of traffic handling during the attack


Free web hosting service

Features and limitations
A few free web hosts offer basic package for free and enhanced packages (with more features) for a cost. This allows users to try the service for an initial trial (see how it performs compared to other hosts), and then upgrade when (and if) needed.
Free hosting may have the following limitations:
Limitation on the size of each hosted file
Very small bandwidth per month compared to paid hosting
Disabling on hotlinking of files
File type restrictions (for example MP3, MPEG, ZIP etc.)
Compulsory placement of the Webhosts' Banner or Popup ads into all web pages
No provided uptime guarantee
No allowance of custom URLS such as it has to be
Some free host may provide these extra features:
A web based control panel
Free email accounts for the domain or subdomain hosted (e.g. Netfirms)
File transfer via FTP
Scripting languages: PHP, ASP, Perl etc.
Relational databases such as MySQL
Scheduled processes, known as cronjobs
Other features such as guestbooks (e.g. Bravenet)
Forums and community resources not typical of paid hosts
Reward systems which provide extra free products and services
Monetizing free webhosting
The majority of the the hosting companies use free hosting to introduce their services, and as an entry point to their more expensive offerings. Generally they recoup their costs in one of two ways:
Advertising - Selling online advertising on the customer sites is generally considered a fair trade - the reasoning is that high traffic sites are more expensive to host, but the additional traffic allows for additional ad impressions therefore covering the cost. For the web master, it can be a good trade if the advertising is of good quality and non-competitive. This is one of the main reasons that businesses do not use free hosting for their website. The majority of free hosting companies use this method.
Referrals - Using a simple form of viral marketing, these providers rely on the users to spread the offer. The ratio of free to paid accounts is known, and by having each free user refer a number of friends, the hosting provider is able to get enough paid accounts to cover the cost.
Resell Hosting - This is where someone starts up a hosting company, attracts lots of visitors, then sells the hosting company to someone else once it can no longer support itself. Once sold, this individual uses the money to start up multiple hosting ventures and sells each in turn.
Some hosting companies are using hybrid approaches that mix both tactics.
Methods of giving out web hosting
A few methods of giving out Free Webhosting to people by Webhosts
Instant activation
Hosts with instant activation usually give very little storage space and bandwidth allowance, and have lots of limitations. The webhosts usually either require the users' web pages to display their banner ads, textlink ads, or popups; or else the users' files to be uploaded through a web-based file manager that display ads to the user uploading files.
Hosts with instant activation are often abused by spammers, which upload pages to these hosts to use for link spamming
Approved activation
Hosts with approved activation offer good space and Bandwidth but low on features. Approved applications are processed by administrators hired by the free hosting company who validate the applications depending on the details provided by the users. The main objective behind manual approval is to prevent spam and phishing websites.
Activation time can be as low as few minutes or as long as a week. Different hosts have different policies for Approval and Activation.
Post for hosting
Some free hosts require posting in a forum. Forum-based free hosting requires users to either reach a certain amount of posts before getting a free hosting account, or be an active contributor in the forum. Forum-based free hosting often work on a system of points where posts give points to a user and can be used as credits toward getting a hosting account or more resources. Typically, the forum where users have to post contain advertising as the hosts way of making a profit.
A typical example of this system would be to post to gain "credits" (points). Perhaps every credit is equivalent to 24 hours or a day. So, if you make a post and get 7 credits, Your hosting account would be active for 7 days. While some hosts allow these credits to be distributed, others do not. However, when they are allowed to be distributed, they might be used as a currency in exchange for services.
Forum applications
This method is popular, as the hosts can decide which applications to deny and allow. This is common when a popular forum has free hosting as an add-on service, rather than the other way around.
File hosting on Webhosts
Most free web hosts discourage using their services for file or image hosting only, with no web page, since advertising is displayed on the web page. Because of this, hotlinking is usually disallowed on free hosts. Some free webhosts will also disallow files over a certain size (for example, 5 MB). However, there are free file hosting services which allow large files as well as hotlinking.
Co-branding and resellers
Some services offer co-branding services. These let you brand fixed plans with your own company. Other services, offer WHM or panel reselling. This allows the client to develop his or her own web hosting plans and business.



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Look up Overselling inWiktionary, the free dictionary.
Overselling is a term used in the web hosting industry to describe a situation in which a company provides hosting plans that are unsustainable if every one of its customers uses the full extent of services advertised. The term is usually referred to the web space and bandwidth transfer allowance.
This practice usually incurs little ill-effect since most customers do not use any significant portion of their allocated share. If a customer has a small, low-traffic site serving static HTML pages, few resources will be used. If a customer wishes to run a high-traffic, professional, or business website an oversold hosting account can be detrimental. In these cases, a virtual private server or dedicated server is a preferred option.
Web hosting
Web hosting companies may provide more disk space and bandwidth than they expect customers to use.
Gmail initially provided 1GB of storage space for all users. This was a lot higher than other webmail services at the time. Since then, TechCrunch reported that Yahoo Mail had announced unlimited storage, which would be unsustainable if every user pushed the limits.


Dedicated hosting service

Operating system support
Availability, price and employee familiarity often determines which operating systems are offered on dedicated servers. Variations of Linux (open-source operating systems), are often included at no charge to the customer. However, Microsoft requires additional license fees on all their products, thus increasing the monthly cost of a dedicated server running a Windows operating system. Commercial operating systems include Microsoft Windows Server, provided through a special program called Microsoft SPLA. Red Hat Enterprise is a commercial version of Linux offered to hosting providers on a monthly fee basis. The monthly fee provides OS updates through the Red Hat Network using an application called up2date. Other operating systems are available from the open source community at no charge. These include CentOS, Fedora Core, Debian, and many other Linux distributions or BSD systems FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD.
Support for any of the operating systems above typically depends on the level of management offered with a particular dedicated server plan. Operating system support may include updates to the core system in order to acquire the latest security fixes, patches, and system-wide vulnerability resolutions. Updates to core operating systems include kernel upgrades, service packs, application updates, and security patches that keep server secure and safe. Operating system updates and support relieves the burden of server management from the dedicated server owner.
Bandwidth & Connectivity
Bandwidth refers to the data transfer rate or the amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second) and is often represented in bits (of data) per second (bps). For example, visitors to your server, web site, or applications utilize bandwidth as the traffic moves from your server to the Internet and vice versa. Connectivity refers to the “access providers” that supply bandwidth, or data transfer rate, through various connection points across a network or footprint to one or multiple data centers where dedicated servers are housed.
Bandwidth measurements are defined (per telecom standards) as the following:
First – 95th (measured using average bits and speed of transfer)
Second – Unmetered (measured in speed or bits)
Third – Total Transfer (measured in bytes transferred)
95th Method: Line Speed, billed on the 95th percentile, average or peak usage, refers to the speed in which data flows from the server or device. The measurement can be compared to mph (Miles Per Hour), or how fast something travels. Line Speed is measured using bits per second, kilobits per second, megabits per second, and gigabits per second.
Unmetered Method: The second bandwidth measurement is Unmetered service where providers cap or control the “top line” speed for a server. Top line speed in Unmetered bandwidth is the total Mbit/s allocated to the server and configured on the switch level. For example, if you purchase 10 Mbit/s Unmetered bandwidth, the top line speed would be 10 Mbit/s. 10 Mbit/s would result in the provider controlling the speed transfers take place while providing the ability for the dedicated server owner to not be charged with bandwidth overages. Unmetered bandwidth services usually incur an additional charge.
Total Transfer Method: Some providers will calculate the Total Transfer, the measurement of actual data leaving and coming from the server, measured in bytes. Measurement between providers varies and includes one of the following equations:
One of the reasons people choose to outsource dedicated servers is the availability of high powered networks from multiple providers. As dedicated server providers utilize massive amounts of bandwidth, they are able to secure lower volume based pricing to include a multi-provider blend of bandwidth. To achieve the same type of network without a multi-provider blend of bandwidth, a large investment in core routers, long term contracts, and expensive monthly bills would need to be in place. The expenses needed to develop a network without a multi-provider blend of bandwidth does not make sense economically for hosting providers.
Many dedicated server providers include a SLA (Service Level Agreement) based on network uptime. Some dedicated server hosting providers offer a 100% uptime guarantee on their network. By securing multiple vendors for connectivity and using redundant hardware, providers are able to guarantee higher uptimes; usually between 99-100% uptime if they are a higher quality provider. One aspect of higher quality providers is they are mostly likely multi-homed across multiple quality uplink providers, which in turn, provides significant redundancy in the event one goes down in addition to potentially improved routes to destinations.
Bandwidth consumption over the last several years has shifted from a per megabit usage model to a per gigabyte usage model. Bandwidth was traditionally measured in line speed access that included the ability to purchase needed megabits at a given monthly cost. As the shared hosting model developed, the trend towards gigabyte or total bytes transferred, replaced the megabit line speed model so dedicated server providers started offering per gigabyte.
Prominent players in the dedicated server market offer large amounts of bandwidth ranging from 500 gigabytes to 3000 gigabytes using the “overselling” model. It is not uncommon for major players to provide dedicated servers with 1Terabyte (TB) of bandwidth or higher. Usage models based on the byte level measurement usually include a given amount of bandwidth with each server and a price per gigabyte after a certain threshold has been reached. Expect to pay additional fees for bandwidth overage usage. For example, if a dedicated server has been given 3000 gigabytes of bandwidth per month and the customer uses 5000 gigabytes of bandwidth within the billing period, the additional 2000 gigabytes of bandwidth will be invoiced as bandwidth overage. Each provider has a different model for billing. As of yet, no industry standards have been set.
To date, no industry standards have been set to clearly define the management role of dedicated server providers. What this means is that each provider will use industry standard terms, but each provider will define them differently. For some dedicated server providers, fully managed is defined as having a web based control panel while other providers define it as having dedicated system engineers readily available to handle all server and network related functions of the dedicated server provider.
Server management can include some or all of the following:
Operating System Updates
Application Updates
Server Monitoring
SNMP Hardware Monitoring
Application Monitoring
Technical Support
Firewall Services
Anti-Virus Updates
Security Audits
Backups and Restoration
Disaster Recovery
DNS Hosting
Load Balancing
Database Administration
Performance Tuning
DDOS Protection and Mitigation
Software Installation, Configuration
Intrusion Detection
User Management
Programming Consultation
Dedicated hosting server providers define their level of management based on the services they provide. In comparison, fully managed could equal self managed from provider to provider.
Administrative maintenance of the operating system, often including upgrades, security patches, and sometimes even daemon updates are included. Differing levels of management may include adding users, domains, daemon configuration, or even custom programming.
Dedicated server hosting providers may provide the following types of server managed support:
Fully Managed - Includes monitoring, software updates, reboots, security patches and operating system upgrades. Customers are completely hands-off.
Managed - Includes medium level of management, monitoring, updates, and a limited amount of support. Customers may perform specific tasks.
Self Managed - Includes regular monitoring and some maintenance. Customers provide most operations and tasks on dedicated server.
Unmanaged - Little to no involvement from service provider. Customers provide all maintenance, upgrades, patches, and security.
Note: The provider will continue to maintain security on the network regardless of support level.
Dedicated hosting server providers utilize extreme security measures to ensure the safety of data stored on their network of servers. Providers will often deploy various software programs for scanning systems and networks for obtrusive invaders, spammers, hackers, and other harmful problems such as Trojans, worms, and eggdrops (see "Limitations" below). Linux and Windows use different software for security protection.
Providers often bill for dedicated servers on a fixed monthly price to include specific software packages. Over the years, software vendors realized the significant market opportunity to bundle their software with dedicated servers. They have since started introducing pricing models that allow dedicated hosting providers the ability to purchase and resell software based on reduced monthly fees.
Microsoft offers software licenses through a program called the Service Provider License Agreement. The SPLA model provides use of Microsoft products through a monthly user or processor based fee. SPLA software includes the Windows Operating System, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint and shoutcast hosting, and many other server based products.
Dedicated Server Providers usually offer the ability to select the software you want installed on a dedicated server. Depending on the overall usage of the server, this will include your choice of operating system, database, and specific applications. Servers can be customized and tailored specific to the customer’s needs and requirements.
Other software applications available are specialized web hosting specific programs called control panels. Control panel software is an all inclusive set of software applications, server applications, and automation tools that can be installed on a dedicated server. Control panels include integration into web servers, database applications, programming languages, application deployment, server administration tasks, and include the ability to automate tasks via a web based front end.
Most dedicated servers are packaged with a control panel. Control panels are often confused with management tools, but these control panels are actually web based automation tools created to help automate the process of web site creation and server management. Control panels should not be confused with a full server management solution by a dedicated hosting provider.
Many providers do not allow IRC (eggdrops, clients or daemons). This is due to rogue IRC users triggering DDoS attacks against the provider, which may overwhelm their networks, lowering service quality for all customers.
Adult content is disallowed by many providers as it may either be of questionable legality or consume large amounts of bandwidth.
Spam is usually prohibited by the provider's Acceptable Use Policy.
Extra features
Useful features for dedicated servers may be included, or cost additional monthly fees:
Serial Console or KVM/IP - this is used to gain access to a server if for some reason the user is unable to get in via normal means (e.g. ssh), and permits a server to be recovered from boot-time configuration faults, such as filesystem recovery.
Automated restore of OS - an automated system can be used to restore the server to its original configuration.
Remote Backup Space - ssh/FTP space to backup data stored on the server.
ColdFusion (MX) - ColdFusion is the rapid server scripting environment for creating Rich Internet Applications.
SQL Server - Server dedicated to hosting Microsoft SQL databases and typically incur additional hosting fees.
Oracle - Server dedicated to hosting Oracle databases and typically incur additional hosting fees


Shared web hosting service

The hosting service must include system administration since it is shared by many users; this is a benefit for users who do not want to deal with it, but a hindrance to power users who want more control. In general shared hosting will be inappropriate for users who require extensive software development outside what the hosting provider supports. But on the other hand, shared hosting is cheaper than other types of hosting such as dedicated server hosting.
Shared hosting typically uses a web-based control panel system, such as cPanel, DirectAdmin, Plesk, InterWorx, Helm, H-sphere, Ensim, Sphera or one of many other control panel products. Most of the large hosting companies use their own custom developed control panel. Control panels and web interfaces have been causing some controversy lately as claims that it holds patent rights to the hosting technology with its 19 patents. Hostopia, a large wholesale host, recently purchased a license to use that technology from for 10% of retail revenues. recently sued as well for similar patent infringement.
In shared hosting, the provider is generally responsible for management of servers, installation of server software, security updates, Technical support and other aspects of the service. The majority of servers are based on the Linux operating system - LAMP (software bundle), which is driven by the low cost of open source software. But some providers do offer Microsoft Windows-based or FreeBSD-based solutions. For example, the Plesk and Ensim control panels are both available for two operating systems, Linux and Windows. Versions for either OS have very similar interfaces and functionality, with the exception of OS-specific differences (for example, ASP.NET or Microsoft SQL Server support under Windows, and typically greater security and stability under Linux).
There are thousands of shared hosting providers in the United States alone. They range from mom-and-pop shops and small design firms to multi-million-dollar providers with hundreds of thousands of customers. A large portion of the shared web hosting market is driven through Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) or Affiliate programs.
Shared web hosting can also be done privately by sharing the cost of running a server in a colocation centre; this is called cooperative hosting.
Shared web hosting can be accomplished in two ways: name-based and IP-based, although some control panels allow a mix of name-based and IP-based on the one server.
In name-based virtual hosting, also called shared IP hosting, the virtual hosts serve multiple hostnames on a single machine with a single IP address.
When a web browser requests a resource from a web server using HTTP/1.1 it includes the requested hostname as part of the request. The server uses this information to determine which web site to show the user.
In IP-based virtual hosting, also called dedicated IP hosting, each virtual host has a different IP address. The web server is configured with multiple physical network interfaces, or virtual network interfaces on the same physical interface. The web server software uses the IP address the client connects to in order to determine which web site to show the user. The primary reason for a site to use a dedicated IP is to be able to use its own SSL certificate rather than a shared certificate.
Name-based virtual hosts have some disadvantages:
They will not work with browsers that do not send the hostname as part of requests. This is true for older HTTP/1.0 browsers that have not retrofitted the host field feature from the HTTP/1.1 protocol. (The "Host" header that distinguishes between various DNS names sharing a single IP address was optional in HTTP/1.0; it is mandatory in HTTP/1.1, issued in 1999 as RFC 2616.)
They do not properly support secure websites (HTTPS). All name-based virtual hosts using the same IP address must share the same digital certificate. This is because the SSL/TLS handshake takes place before the hostname is sent to the server. Thus the server doesn't know which encryption key to use when the connection is made. An extension to the TLS protocol, part of RFC 3546 - Transport Layer Security (TLS) Extensions, specifies a way for the client to provide the requested host name as part of the handshake, but it is not yet widely implemented. Some of the shared hosting providers require their customers to get Unique IP in order to properly set up HTTPS.
If the Domain Name System is malfunctioning, it is harder to use a name-based virtually-hosted website. Ordinarily, in this case, the user could fall back to using the IP address to contact the system, as in (invalid IP for example only). However, the web browser doesn't know what hostname to send to the server, but a name-based virtual host requires it. In this case, the default web host is sent back to the browser for that IP address


Obtaining hosting

Web hosting is often provided as part of a general Internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services.
A customer needs to evaluate the requirements of the application to choose what kind of hosting to use. Such considerations include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. The webhosting client may want to have other services, such as email for their business domain, databases or multi-media services for streaming media. A customer may also choose Windows for its hosting platform. The customer still can choose from PHP, Perl, and Python but may also use ASP .Net or Classic ASP.
Web hosting packages often include a Web Content Management System, so the end-user doesn't have to worry about the more technical aspects.
One may also search the Internet to find active webhosting message boards that may provide feedback on what type of webhosting company may suit his/her needs.


Types of hosting

Internet hosting services can run Web servers; see Internet hosting services.
Hosting services limited to the Web:
Free web hosting service: is free, (sometimes) advertisement-supported web hosting, and is often limited when compared to paid hosting.
Shared web hosting service: one's Web site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller.
Reseller web hosting: allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a provider. Resellers' accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a colocated server.
Virtual Dedicated Server: dividing a server into virtual servers, where each user feels like they're on their own dedicated server, but they're actually sharing a server with many other users. The users may have root access to their own virtual space. This is also known as a virtual private server or VPS.
Dedicated hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server and gains full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, the user typically does not own the server. Another type of Dedicated hosting is Self-Managed or Unmanaged. This is usually the least expensive for Dedicated plans. The user has full administrative access to the box, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of his own dedicated box.
Managed hosting service: the user gets his or her own Web server but is not allowed full control over it (root access for Linux/administrator access for Windows); however, they are allowed to manage their data via FTP or other remote management tools. The user is disallowed full control so that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user to modify the server or potentially create configuration problems. The user typically does not own the server. The server is leased to the client.
Colocation web hosting service: similar to the dedicated web hosting service, but the user owns the colo server; the hosting company provides physical space that the server takes up and takes care of the server. This is the most powerful and expensive type of the web hosting service. In most cases, the colocation provider may provide little to no support directly for their client's machine, providing only the electrical, Internet access, and storage facilities for the server. In most cases for colo, the client would have his own administrator visit the data center on site to do any hardware upgrades or changes.
Clustered hosting: having multiple servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization.
Grid hosting : this form of distributed hosting is when a server cluster acts like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes.
Home server: usually a single machine placed in a private residence can be used to host one or more websites from a usually consumer-grade broadband connection. These can be purpose-built machines or more commonly old PC's.
Some ISP's actively attempt to block these servers by disallowing incoming requests to TCP port 80 of the user's connection and by refusing to provide static IP addresses.
Some specific types of hosting provided by web host service providers:
File hosting service: hosts not web pages but files
Image hosting service
Video hosting service
Blog hosting service
One-click hosting
Shopping cart software


Hosting reliability and uptime

Hosting uptime refers to the percentage of time the host is accessible via the internet. Many providers state that they aim for a 99.9% uptime, but there may be server restarts and planned (or unplanned) maintenance in any hosting environment.
A common claim from the popular hosting providers is '99% or 99.9% server uptime' but this often refers only to a server being powered on and doesn't account for network downtime. Real downtime can potentially be larger than the percentage guaranteed by the provider. Many providers tie uptime, and accessibility, into their own Service Level Agreement, or SLA. SLAs may or may not include refunds, or reduced costs if performance goals are not met


Service scope

The scopes of hosting services vary widely. The most basic is webpage and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web "as is" or with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service for free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or cheap. Business web site hosting often has a higher expense.
Single page hosting is generally sufficient only for personal web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, and ASP.NET). These facilities allow the customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also required.
The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company. To find a web hosting company, there are searchable directories that can be used. One must be extremely careful when searching for a new company because many of the people promoting service providers are actually affiliates and the reviews are biased.


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