What is Web Hosting?

Learn the basics of web hosting so that you can make the right decision for your personal or business website. This article covers:

  • World Wide Web basics.
  • The definition of web host and web hosting.
  • How does web hosting work?

World Wide Web Basics

  • The Web is a collection of electronic pages linked together like a spider web.
  • The Web exists on computers that are connected to each other all around the world. Many of them are connected 24 hours a day.
  • These computers are able to "talk" to each other.
  • A website is a collection of pages and files.
  • A website's collection of pages and files "sits" on one of those computers that are connected 24 hours a day. These computers are called web hosts.
  • When you "go" to a web page your computer requests the page from a web host computer and displays it in your browser.
  • When you click on a link your computer requests a page from a web host and displays it in your browser.

The Definition of Web Host and Web Hosting

Web Host
A web host is a computer that is connected to the Internet, has websites stored on it, and "serves" (sends) pages to those who request them.
Web Hosting
Web hosting is the storing, serving, and maintaining of website pages and files.

How does web hosting work?

  • Web hosting companies charge a fee for you to store your site on on their computer that is connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.
  • The web host will "serve" your pages by using a web server.
  • A "web server" is a program used to send pages and files to others on the Web.
  • The term "web server" may also refer to the computer that the web server program "sits" on.
  • A web hosting company will usually provide a way for you to transfer your site's pages and files from your computer to their web host.
  • Transfering your site's pages and files from your computer to a web host is called uploading.
  • Your website becomes available to others on the Web after you upload it to a web host.

If you are building a website for your hobby or business the quality of web hosting is important to you. Some web hosts take longer to serve your pages than others. Some poor web hosts have problems that will cause your site to be temporarily unavailable. If you find that your web pages seem to take a long time to load, or if they seem to be unavailable sometimes, you may want to look into getting a different web hosting company.

Here's more information in these articles: Choosing Your Web Host and Choosing Your Hosting Package.

Web hosting is storing, serving and maintaining websites so that they are available on the Web. Any website that you have ever been to was "sitting" on a web host and served to you by a web server. The above points are the basics of web hosting. Need more information? Try this: What is web hosting?

Website Building Tip

The Web is basically a bunch of web hosts serving files to you.

The faster and more reliable a web host is the faster and more reliable your website (and your company) appears to be.

Web Pages A web host (computer)