A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, called colocation or Housing as it is commonly called in Latin America or France.
The scope of hosting services varies widely. The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web "as is" or with little processing. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to their subscribers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting often has a higher expense.
Single page hosting is generally sufficient only for personal web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, and ASP.NET). These facilities allow the customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also highly recommended.
The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts as well as other services like e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce). They are commonly used by larger companies to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company
Full-featured hosting services include:
Dedicated hosting service, also called managed hosting service, where the hosting service provider owns and manages the machine, leasing full control to the client. Management of the server can include monitoring to ensure the server continues to work effectively, backup services, installation of security patches and various levels of technical support.
Virtual private server, in which virtualization technology is employed in order to allow multiple logical servers to run on a single physical server
Colocation facilities, which provide just the Internet connection, uninterruptible power and climate control, but let the client do his own system administration; the most expensive
Cloud hosting, in which the user only pays for the system time and space used, and capacity can be quickly scaled up or down as computing requirements change.
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