On the basis of price, Web Hosting service can be differentiated into three categories:
A. Free Web Hosting
This kind of web hosting is most popular as well as suitable for small sites like personal one which has very low traffic. It is the most basic web hosting and “free”, so suitable for family, hobby or personal sites. Users are also provided limited free email option.
But this hosting has more dark sides than the bright one. Users of the free web hosting are not provided with MySQL databases, multiple email accounts or the facility to run any scripting language. Moreover, technical support is limited and technical options are few. Free hosting users cannot use their own domain; instead they are provided a sub domain (yoursite.webhost.com) or a directory (www.webhost.com//~yoursite). On the contrary, paid web host users are usually provided with a second-level domain along with the hosting (www.yourname.com).
A question here arises as to why companies provide free web hosting. What advantages do they have? There are several ways, which helps ISP companies monetize free web hosting.
a) Advertising – In lieu of providing free web hosting services to customers, companies earn profit by placing online advertisement on the customer sites. And in case of more traffic, the host firm puts additional advertisements, banners, popup to make parity with the expenses of the company.
b) Referrals – The ISPs hinge on the users to multiply the offer manifolds. If one user refers five names and these five (would be) users refer another five names and so on… making parity with the ratio of free to paid accounts, the company easily gets adequate paid accounts to compensate the cost.
c) Resell Hosting – Many ISP companies earn attractively by selling their hosting company to others if finds difficulty in handling the business. And again utilises these money for starting up multiple hosting ventures and as usual sells them.
B. Cost Effective Web hosting
Except free hosting services, all sorts of hosting come under paid category. Now, the client has to decide which type of hosting he/she wants to own. Selecting web hosting is not an easy task and the customers must keep in mind few things like bandwidth, disk space, database and scripting support, mail server, and terms of contracts while looking for the service of a deserving web host.
The host too not look for long-term contract, but first check the performance of the host, then review the contract. Generally cost-effective service provider suddenly hikes the charges or bends the service in case of not fulfilling the demand.
C. Reseller Web Hosting
This is a common chain system that is a part of our daily life. The three entities linked through a chain system are connected to each other and thereby mutually benefit each other. Likewise, we have another chain system in the area of web hosting.
The aforementioned chain system deals with the reseller web hosting. It can be understand as the primary host or the real host sells their services to the resellers who in turn sell the space to the site owners for a profit.
The reseller buys the services in terms of bulk amount of space from the real host and resells them to their customers along with some added services like web programming, web designing, management services etc. These additional services, which are not provided by real hosts, are provided by resellers to their customers in order to remain in competition, as there are many reseller-hosting companies who provide different packages to the clients.
The resellers, who get a certain portion of hard drive and bandwidth from real host company, may rent a dedicated server or resell shared hosting services to the customers. In the latter case, the reseller is allowed to sell a certain amount of disk space and bandwidth to his own customers without renting a server.
The reseller can be anyone from a web design firm to a web developer or a systems integrator who offers web hosting as an added service. The reseller hosting as a business is best suitable for web hosting entrepreneurs to start a company owing to its inexpensive cost. The resellers also keep a free hand in creating their own service plans and decide on their own pricing structure. They can also establish their own branding via customized control panels such as cortex provisioning system, pesk, direct admin, web min etc.,and name servers.
The good thing about resell hosting from the business point of view is the reseller does not need to have extensive knowledge of the technical aspects of web hosting. Anyone can start a business like reseller web host. The data centre operator is responsible for maintaining network infrastructure and hardware, and the dedicated server owner configures, secures, and updates the server. Resellers simply forward the customers' hardware, software and connectivity problems to the server provider from which it has purchased the reseller plan.
The question arises here as to why the primary hosts allow reselling? It is nothing but to enhance their sale. The primary hosts are able to make huge business and can deal with every individual client through resellers who are in direct touch with their clients. This is, however, the primary host that gains much than that of resellers.
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