When looking at web host sites, you will see words like Perl, Apache, PHP, Python, WordPress and others that might throw you off if you are unfamiliar with what these words mean. These words are the names of the computer programming languages that are used to write applications or processes that render a web host’s services into functional software for you to use from your computer.

Do you need a UNIX or Windows Based Platform?

UNIX and Windows are two main categories of computer platforms that will determine the language group that you can use and that will help you to decide on a web host. A related tip is that your version of Windows should be compatible with the web host as well. Examples of platform language use are that the UNIX platform uses Apache and the Windows platform uses Microsoft SQL Server.

When trying to choose a web host, you will need to find out which of these languages works on your computer before you can begin to compare and choose a web host and that is not all.

Languages and Website Features

A computer language is used to create executable files for functions and tools for use by both the web host client and web host service provider. Different languages are used to create a variety of features for your website although some of the languages from your platform’s language group may not work on your computer. This means you will need to find web host services that both offer the language services that created your desired website features and are compatible with your computer.

UNIX programming languages include CGI, mySQL database, Perl, PHP and SSI. Windows programming languages include Active Server Pages (ASP), Cold Fusion, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL database and Visual Basic Scripts.

MSQL and MSSQL

MSQL is used to create website functions that make your pages interactive for your online visitors. MSSQL is the Windows version of MSQL and can be used with Windows Server accounts. MSSQL shares the same capabilities as MSQL for a client’s web hosting needs.

MSQL allows you to gain user input and store information, which is necessary to the functionality of forms, shopping carts, mailing lists, forums, blogs, and other website functions. You should probably get a MSQL for its database abilities even if you do not need it at first because as time goes on, you may need more than one MSQL for your growing needs for information storage.

PHP is another programming and web-scripting language that is used to provide important website features such as mailing lists, newsletters, shopping carts, search functions and other tools.

Learn from the Experience of Others

Become familiar with your computer, its version and capabilities so that you know where to start when it is time to find the services of a web host. Research online about other people’s experiences in choosing a web host based on language and platform. When you understand which programming language is best for your situation, you can then pick and compare from a few web hosts that match the reputation, services, price and features that you want and have terms that are agreeable to you.

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When you first look into the world of Web Hosting you will probably expect something fairly straight forward, somewhere to park your site, and someone to run the backend for you – if only! As the industry has developed and more people have come on line, from the simplest personal diary blog to the massive corporations, needs have changed, opening up niches markets for specialist companies.

As a consequence there are a number of different types of hosting available, which include :-

Free Web Hosting

A very simple service, with minimal space and bandwidth, which is often supported by displaying advertising on your site(s) on behalf of the host.

Shared Web Hosting Services

For the smaller end of the market, this is probably the most popular type of hosting, offering a bridge between dedicated hosting and free hosting. Due to the way the hosting works, a large number of sites can be serviced from one host at any one time, sharing bandwidth, space and resources (such as add on programs, etc).

Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller hosting has always been a fairly large market and continues to grow in size. This type of service allows a webmaster to basically “hire” resources and server space from a host, in exchange for an agreed monthly fee. The reseller is then able to use the server themselves and / or sell space (at there own price) to other web users. It offers the chance for many internet users to set-up their own business, an opportunity which large numbers have taken up.

Virtual Dedicated Server

The virtual dedicated server again bridges a gap between the shared hosting service and a dedicated server. Virtual dedicated hosting allows a server to be “split” between a variety of users, giving each of them access to a specific area of the server. In effect a number of small “dedicated” servers within one large dedicated server.

Dedicated Hosting Server

Once out of the price range of many, dedicated hosting is now firmly on the radar of many internet users. This service offers a dedicated server looking after the needs of one customer, and access to all root directories, etc. While the customer will have full use of the server, they do not actually own the server.

Managed Hosting Service

This often involves the outright pruchase of a server, or in many cases a leasing agreement, by the customer, While the customer will have full access to the root directories, etc, they will not have total control of the server, which will be controlled by the host provider. This is to ensure that security and services are not compromised by inexperienced customers changing settings, etc.

Colocation Hosting Service

This is perhaps one of the least advertised hosting services available and involves the physical renting of space in a storage facility. The server is owned by the customer, and the customer rents space in say a data center, where services such as power, temeprature control and internet access would be provided. Normally the customer would arrange for their own maintentance / systems experts to visit the server on a regular basis.

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