What is a Web Host and How Does it Work

what is a web host

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If you want to know what is a web host, let us simplify the answer. When you create a website, you will need the services of a web hosting company to host your website on internet to make it accessible.

Since your website has files which can only be accessed by visitors if these files are made available on high powered computer that are connected to high bandwidth internet connection 24 hours a day. These high powered computers also called web servers have to have high processing power, storage and RAM because they host and serve thousands of websites.

So the basic idea of what is a web host is that when you sign up with a web host, you transfer your website files to their web servers. When a visitor types your domain name (like howtomakeawebsiteonline.com) in their browser, they access files on that server which in turn transfers data back to visitor’s computer. In this way, the visitor will be able to view your website and browse pages on it and this is what summarizes what is a web host.

However, a web host is responsible for managing the servers and these management tasks relate to hardware, speed, bandwidth, security, software and updates etc. Since bigger web hosts server millions of websites, therefore, their web servers are usually hosted in purpose built data centers.

Depending upon the requirements, there are different types of web hosting. The most popular types of web hosting are:

  • Shared Hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting

Most of the people looking for answer to what is a web host will end up buying shared hosting which is a form of web hosting in which a single physical or virtual web server is used to host multiple clients, each of which can host its websites on the shared hosting server.

In comparison, a VPS stands for virtual private server, which means that the physical web server is virtualized to create independent virtual servers which are used by individual clients to host their websites. This will ensure that the VPS owner gets all the resources that are committed to the VPS without worrying about others compromising the speed or resources which might happen in case of shared hosting where abuse by a single user can affect the whole server.

The next type of hosting is called dedicated hosting which means that you have access to a complete physical server and only you host your websites on that physical machine.

The above is a brief introduction to what is a web host. You can choose your preferred hosting but most probably you will be starting with shared web hosting.

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