Website hosting is one of the most important businesses to the modern way of life, yet many people are unfamiliar with the services provided by a web host. In simplest terms, website hosting is a service where an organization makes a website available to the users of the Internet. Without a website host, neither organizations or individuals would be able to publish their websites to the Internet. Website hosting companies provide an important link between businesses, organizations and individuals and those entities that want to communicate with them around the world.
To understand what a web host does, it is important to be familiar with the Wrold Wide Web. Many people believe that the Internet and the World Wide Web are the same, but that is not correct. The Internet refers to a networking system that allows computers to be connected to one another. The World Wide Web is a communication process that uses the Internet. Though the Web is probably the largest form of Internet communication, it is not the only way. Traditional email accounts, not web based email, communicate via the Internet without being part of the Web. Many businesses, organizations and governments have communication systems that exist outside the of the web to allow the group to transmit data in a more private and secure manner.
Website hosting is typically provided by a business that converts a website owner’s information into data that can be used with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Information must be configured in accordance with HTTP so that the information can be published in a manner that can be read by other computers around the world. The website information is stored by the website host on the company’s servers, or servers leased by the company. In many cases, hosts store information on multiple servers in order to backup customer information as well as to make the information more accessible to the public. Some website hosts provide web access to customers who have their own servers. In fact, many conventional desktop computers can be modified to act as a server, though this arrangement is not as common as it was in the past.
Website hosting companies generally provide a range of services to customers in addition to web hosting. For example, most hosting companies provide assistance with developing a website. These services may vary from standard templates for basic websites to more in-depth services that create custom websites to meet client need. Web hosts may also provide email services, blog hosting and support, search engine and other marketing assistance and private storage space that is not connected to the Web.