Hosting is a service to provide resources for placing information on a server that is constantly located on the Internet.
Usually hosting is included in the package for site maintenance and implies at least the service of placing the site files on the server on which the software is running, which is necessary for processing requests to these files (web server). As a rule, the service already includes provision of a place for mail correspondence, databases, DNS, file storage on a dedicated file server, etc., as well as support for the operation of corresponding services.
Database hosting, file hosting, e-mail hosting, DNS services can be provided separately as standalone services or enter into a complex service.
One of the criteria for choosing a hosting is the operating system used, because it depends on the software that will support the functionality of these or other services. An important aspect of the description of hosting is the availability of certain services and features:
CGI support: Perl, PHP, Python, ASP, Ruby, JSP, Java
support for .htaccess / .htpasswd (for Apache)
And also installed modules and frameworks for each of the features.
Hosting as a service is compared, described and evaluated by quantitative restrictions:
disk space for user files
The amount of monthly traffic
the number of sites that can be placed within the same account
Number of FTP users
the number of e-mail boxes and the amount of disk space intended for mail
number of databases and size of disk space for databases
number of simultaneous processes per user
the amount of RAM, and the maximum execution time allocated to each user process
free CPU resources, RAM, which affect server performance
the bandwidth of the channels, which affects the loading of information.
remoteness of hoster equipment from the target audience of the site, which affects the loading of information.
Some paid hosting companies provide a free test for a certain period, after which the user must decide whether the chosen hosting company is suitable for him and whether it makes sense to pay for long periods. As a rule, such tests are provided only to the owners of second-level domains in order to avoid speculation with test accounts.
In addition to paid hosters, there are also free hosting companies that support most of the described web technologies. However, in Russia they are not common, therefore people use mostly paid hosting services.
Hosting can be paid and free.