How to Use Web Hosting

Web hosting is the IT service which allows websites to appear on the internet. In general, web hosting also provides emails, FTP and online databases services. To use web hosting to run a website, a user will need a domain (such as camhosting.com.hk). This domain specifies the website address and the email domain (such as @camhosting.com.hk).

With popularity of smart mobile devices e.g. Google Android phones, tablets, Apple iPhones and iPads, users can access the internet and their emails on the move. This also changes the way how web hosting is used.

As Flash is not supported on many mobile devices, websites are moving away from Flash. Web developers are writing websites which can work well on desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Mobile apps, their data and content can also be provided through a website using web hosting.

Emails are also stored on the web server so that users can access them using any device with access to the internet. Traditionally, emails are downloaded to a user’s computer using email clients software e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail through POP3 protocol. By using POP3 protocol, emails downloaded are no longer stored on the server. The emails will just stay on the user’s desktop unless copied elsewhere.

In order to use emails on mobile devices, users have to keep the emails on the server. Users can then access emails through the webmail interface of web hosting. It is also possible to use email client software e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, Android email apps to access emails. This can be done by setting up these software to use IMAP protocol to receive emails. Emails received via IMAP protocol will stay on the server unless deleted by the user. By using IMAP, users can access emails on any device they like.

Email client software uses SMTP protocol to send emails. Emails sent via SMTP are normally kept in the Sent Items mailbox in the user’s device. This is not ideal as users also want to access emails sent on any device. Some email client software automatically sends a copy of email sent to the user. For other email client software, a user can choose to cc or bcc the email sent to its own email address. This allows the user to access the email sent in the Inbox using any device.

In conclusion, to make good use of web hosting in the age of mobile computing, a user can write websites which work on both desktops and mobile devices. A user can also configure email client software to receive emails via IMAP protocol and send a copy of emails sent to its own Inbox. This allows emails to be accessed anywhere and make life much more convenient for the users.

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