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Community Blog What is Web Hosting and How to Choose a Server

What is Web Hosting and How to Choose a Server

This article explains web hosting and how to choose a server based on your business requirements for hosting a web application on Alibaba Cloud.

By Kelvin Galabuzi

What Is Web Hosting?

Web Hosting, also called virtual hosting, is a network service provided by a web hosting service provider (Web Host).

It allows individuals or companies to put their own websites on the Internet for others to read. Web hosting providers provide technologies and services, such as servers, required for browsing websites or web pages on the Internet. It is used to store the text, pictures, videos and other elements of the website. When users want to browse your website, their browser will be connected to the server of the hosting service provider.

There are four different types of web hosting services.

Site hosting firms range in size from those that provide comprehensive web administration and support to those that rent a single private virtual server. The following are some of the hosting services available:

Managed Hosting - Managed hosting is when a service provider owns and operates servers that are leased to a customer. Server management, backup services, software maintenance, security, technical support, and other services are all handled by the provider. A managed hosting provider like Rackspace is an example.

Cloud Hosting - With cloud hosting, the user pays for system time and storage and the service provider provides a private, public, or hybrid cloud. Depending on a customer's compute requirements, cloud capacity can be scaled up or down.

Colocation Facilities - A colocation facility houses a company's servers while also providing Internet access, power, and a climate-controlled environment. A local provider owns and operates the majority of colocation facilities.

Private Virtual Server - A service provider maintains a customer's website on its own private virtual server, thereby isolating it from other customers' websites. Private virtual servers are available from managed hosting providers, cloud hosting providers, and colocation facilities.

Web hosting is a service that stores your web application files for users worldwide using the Internet. Alibaba Cloud is one of the best hosting providers on the Internet and provides multiple cloud server options you can choose from to host your web application.

You need to address some of the critical web application requirements to choose the appropriate cloud server for your web hosting needs:

The web application technology stack
The business and web application requirements, such as high availability, security, and scalability

Choosing Your Web Server

Alibaba Cloud provides various web hosting solutions for different business requirements. In addition, compared to most hosting providers, Alibaba Cloud offers service add-ons, such as enterprise-grade security and web server monitoring.

When choosing a server on Alibaba Cloud for your web hosting needs, you can choose from three Alibaba web hosting product options: Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Simple Application Server, and ECS Bare Metal Instance.

Elastic Compute Service (ECS)

Elastic Compute Service (ECS) is a secure virtual cloud server service you can use to host your web application. You can choose a customized virtual cloud server based on your operating system (Linux or Windows), CPU, memory, and storage requirements to deliver web applications fast and on your terms.

ECS offers different instance types and families to choose from when obtaining a web hosting solution for your web applications.

To create an ECS Server, log in to the Alibaba Cloud console and access the ECS console. Once you click the Create Instance button, you will be redirected to a page where you can choose the size of your ECS instance based on your web application requirements.

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Simple Application Server

Simple Application Server is a compute service that is normally used for stand-alone web applications. It is easy to set up and ensures that all the application dependencies are set up in one go.

The service can be used to build websites quickly using popular website building platforms, such as WordPress, Drupal, Ghost, and Joomla.

To create a Simple Application Server, access the Alibaba Cloud console and select the Simple Application Server product. Choose the image you prefer for your web application, or you can create a custom image.

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Additionally, you can select your instance plan according to the application requirements.

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ECS Bare Metal Instance

ECS Bare Metal Instance provides compute power and the same resources as a physical server in a typical data center. These instances feature high compute power and are suitable for enterprise-grade web applications that demand high resources. For example, one of the common use cases is hosting SAP Applications.

ECS Bare Metal Instances feature nested virtualization, enabling you to set up multiple virtual machines with one server to meet your application and business requirements.

To create an ECS Bare Metal Instance, log in to the Alibaba Cloud and access the ECS console. Once you click the Create Instance button, you will be redirected to a page where you can choose the ECS Bare Metal Instance under the Architecture section.

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