Kerala Plus Two Computer Science Notes Chapter 7 Web Hosting
Web pages are to be stored in the web servers connected to the Internet, to be made available to others.
Web hosting is the service of providing storage space in a web server to serve files for a website to be made available on the Internet. The companies that provide web hosting services are called web hosts. Web hosts own and manage web servers. These web servers offer uninterrupted Internet connectivity, software packages for offering additional services such as databases and support for programming languages such as PHP, Java, ASP.NET, etc.
Types of Web Hosting
The type of web hosting has to be decided based on requirements like the amount of space needed for hosting, the number of visitors expected to visit the website, the use of resources like databases, programming support, etc. Web hosts provide different types of hosting packages.
1. Shard web hosting: It is the most com 1 mon type of web hosting. It is referred to as shared because many different websites are stored on one single web server and they share resources like RAM and CPU. The features available on shared web servers are generally basic and are not flexible to suit a website that requires specific features.
Shared hosting is most suitable for small websites that have less traffic. Shared servers are cheaper and easy to use, since l they are configured with the most popular options. A drawback is that since the bandwidth is shared by several websites if any I of these has a larger volume of traffic, it will slow down all other websites hosted in the shared server.
2. Dedicated web hosting: It is the hosting where the client leases the entire web server and all its resources. The web server is not shared with any other website. Dedicated servers provide guaranteed performance, but they are very expensive. Since the bandwidth is not shared with other websites, it speeds up the access of the website. If the client is allowed to place their own purchased web server in the service providers facility, then it is called co-location.
3. Virtual Private Server (VPS): It is a physical server that is virtually partitioned into several servers using the virtualization technology. Each VPS works similar to a dedicated server and has its own separate server operating system, web server software and packages. VPS provides a dedicated amount of RAM for each virtual web server. Each of these VPS works as a fully independent web server. VPS are provided with the rights to install and configure any software on their VPS. They are also given the right to restart their VPS without affecting other virtual servers running on the same physical server.
VPS provides almost the same services at a lesser cost than that of dedicated hosting. Some server virtualization software are VMware, Virtualbox, Free VPS, User-mode Linux, Microsoft Hyper-V, etc.
Buying Hosting Space
Once the type of hosting server is decided, hosting space has to be purchased from a web hosting service provider. While purchasing hosting space, several factors have to be taken into consideration. First, we have to decide on the amount of space required. We need to select a hosting space that is sufficient for storing the files of our website. Other features like database support, e-mail facility, etc. can also be considered while choosing the web host.
Domain Name Registration
Domain names are used to identify a website in the Internet. After finalising a suitable domain name for our website, we have to check whether this domain name is available for registration or its is already in use by somebody else. The websites like www.whois.net check the database of ICANN that contain the list of all the registered domain names.
If the domain name entered is available, we can proceed with the registration, The registration requires filling information for WHOIS database of domain names for ICANN. WHOIS information requires the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the registrant. After paying the annual registration fees online, the domain is purchased and is registered in our name. Our domain name has to be [ connected to the IP address if the web server where the web pages are stored. This is done using ‘A record’ (Address record) of the domain. An ‘A record’ is used to store the IP f address of a web server connected to a domain name. The ‘A record’ can be modified by logging into the control panel of the domain.
FTP Client Software
FTP is used to transfer files from one computer to another on the Internet. FTP client software establishes a connection with a remote server and is used to transfer files from our computer to the server computer, To connect to an FTP server, FTP client software requires a username and password and also the domain name. This is to be provided in the Site Manager dialog box. FTP sends username and password to the server < as plain text which is unsecure. Therefore nowadays, SSH FTP (SFTP) protocol ! which encrypts and sends usernames, passwords and data to the web server is used I in the FTP software. SFTP uses Secure Shell (SSH) protocol which provides facilities for secure file transfer. The popular FTP client I software are FileZilla, CuteFTP, SmartFTP, etc.
Some web hosting companies provide their own control panel webpage through which users can upload the files. They do not allow third-party FTP client software to upload files to their web servers.
Free hosting provides web hosting service free of charge. The service provider displays advertisements in the websites to meet the expenses. Some free web hosting sites provide the facility to upload the files of our website in their server, but may place certain restrictions on the files. The size of the files that can be uploaded may be limited. Some other websites only permit us to use the templates. Free web hosting services usually provide either their own subdomain or as a directory service for accessing our websites. Some free web hosting companies provide domain name registration services also.
The availability of cheap web hosting services has reduced the need for free web hosting. Sites.google.com, yola.com etc are free web hosting services.
Content Management System (CMS)
It refers to a web-based software system which is capable of creating, administering and publishing websites. CMS provides an easy way to design and manage websites. Most CMS is available for free download at their websites. CMS provides standard security features in its design that help even people with less technical knowledge to design and develop secure websites.
There are also third-party vendors who customise the CMS for a free. Some CMS software are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.
Responsive Web Design
It is the custom of building a website suitable to work on every device and every screen size, no matter how large or small, mobile phone or desktop or television. It can be implemented using flexible grid layout, flexible images and media queries.
- Flexible grid layouts set the size of the entire web page to fit the display size of the device.
- Flexible images and videos set the image/ video dimensions to the percentage of display size of the device.
- Media queries provide the ability to specify different styles for individual devices.