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Classifications Of Hosting Accounts

As you look for a hosting account, you'll see many providers referring to their services with certain terms like "Unix" web hosting or "PHP" web hosting. Many people new to hosting are unsure of the differences between such classifications, or exactly how "Colocation" hosting is different from using a dedicated server or shared web hosting. This short guide is intended to help you understand these differences.

Basically, hosting services can be classified in three main areas:

  • the operating platform that is used to run the server
  • the actual type of server your hosting account will be on
  • some scripting technology that the account utilizes

Usually, a hosting account can be classified by many different terms, and the ones that are waved around the most are the ones that hosting providers are using to best sell their accounts.

Hosting By Operating Platform:

The operating platform is the set of software used to keep the web server functioning in the same basic way that your Windows XP or Mac Jaguar operating system keeps your home computer functioning. The most commonly used web hosting operating platforms in use are Unix, Linux and Windows.

Hosting By Web Server Type:

Web hosting providers also refer to their accounts by how the physical web server is setup. Servers that host several customer accounts will mostly be Shared (also known as Virtual), but there is a newer, more secure version of the shared web hosting account referred to as a Virtual Private Server.

A rented server that is setup to host one customer only is called a Dedicated Server, with Colocation Hosting being a dedicated server that is actually owned by the customer and stored at the web host's facilities.

Hosting by Scripting Technology:

In order to further highlight certain features of a hosting account, providers will often refer to their services by the main scripting technology that is available with the account. PHP is the most common of these, with ASP, Coldfusion and JSP also being widely used.

And finally, FrontPage Hosting is not actually a scripting technology, but it refers to a host that supports webmasters who use the popular FrontPage software to operate their websites.

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Hosting Reviews
iPowerWeb - $7.95/mo
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Globat - $7.50/mo
NitroWeb - $9.95/mo