If you want to have your own website but don't want to take the pain of maintaining a web server, you can go for public hosting. Public hosting means a hosting company will run your web server and manage it.
Hosting companies will have all facilities to run several web servers. They will have dedicated, high speed internet lines. Most often they will have internet lines from multiple providers so that just in case if somethings goes wrong with one provider, still they can manage with other providers. Also, they will be equipped with power lines from multiple lines and several powerfull UPS systems to backup the power supply. Also, they will have several staff monitoring hundreds of web servers placed in their data center which will be highly secured from even severe natural disasters.
In short, a web site hosted with a public hosting company will give you a peace of mind and guarantee 99.99% up time and higher secirity. You can for vacation with the peace of mind and your web site will be still running.
Different hosting plans
Most of the web hosting companies offer various hosting plans. They are categorized into 3 types.
1. Shared Hosting
2. Dedicated Hosting
3. Virtual server hosting
There are several web hosting companies who offer each of these plans. Many companies offer all of these plans while some others are specialized in specific plans.
Windows hosting and Linux hosting
Since Linux is a free open source operating system, many cheap shared web hosting plans come with a Linux server. But if you are looking for ASP.NET web hosting, you must get a plan which support Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 operating systems. Learn more information about Windows Hosting.
Not all shared hosting plans support databases. Some of the plans allow you to use MS Access database, while others support SQL Server. If your web site need database, you must check with the hosting company if they allow and support the specific database system you want to use.
Many plans start with some basic requirements. You may be asked to pay extra for each optional feature. Optional features include automatic backup everyday, extra bandwidth and harddisk space usage, database support, email support etc.