Web hosting is a service for hosting websites on specialized servers and providing access to them via the Internet. Companies providing web hosting services ( hosting providers ) allocate space on their own or rental servers and provide the necessary width of the Internet channel. Companies can also provide the service of accommodation servers of other companies in their data centers: the so-called co-location service or Colocation. It is often called one of the subspecies of hosting, and sometimes it is distinguished as a separate type of service.

Hosting capabilities may vary significantly. The simplest type of hosting is the placement of single-page websites downloaded via the FTP protocol (File Transfer Protocol) or the web interface, and the files are usually stored on the server without changes. Many Internet service providers provide this service for free to their customers. Hosting personal sites usually costs quite cheaply or even free of charge (often subject to the display of advertising on the site). Hosting commercial sites is usually more expensive. Personal sites are usually a single page, large websites or Internet portals require a whole range of additional services, in particular, database hosting services and development platforms (such as PHP, Python, Java, and others) necessary for installing the software.

The hosting provider can also provide a control panel for managing the website and web server, as well as for installing the necessary web services, such as an electronic mailbox. A number of companies specialize in certain types of hosting, such as e-commerce. Large companies usually use their services, hiring hosting companies to perform work related to the technical side of working with the network.

Hosting quality (uptime)

Uptime (Uptime) host – the percentage of time he was in working order. Many hosting providers claim that they provide uptime of at least 99.9% (this approximately corresponds to less than 2 minutes of lack of access per day or no more than 45 minutes per month), but this is not always meant as a percentage of real-time. Some hosting providers, in order to attract more customers, indicate the time of hosting availability as a percentage of the server’s operating time, which leads to a significant overestimation of the result compared to the observed uptime. Few hosting providers take into account uptime when determining the cost of their services, but some still reduce the fee if the inadvertent decrease in uptime below a certain threshold.

Types of hosting

Free Hosting

Usually provided with a significantly limited range of services compared to paid hosting. The service of such a hosting is often compensated by showing on advertising sites. Shared hosting- A website is hosted on a single server at the same time as many other sites: from a few hundred to several thousand. Typically, all these sites equally have access to the processor’s working time, RAM, and a fairly wide range of additional services. Shared hosting services are often provided by intermediary companies between customers, site owners and data centers.

Virtual Private Server ( VPS )

Shares server resources in such a way that they do not explicitly depend on what kind of hardware they provide. VPS can be implemented by means of one or several servers. Such virtualization makes it relatively easy to move a virtual server from one physical server to another. Users of a virtual dedicated server can have superuser access within their virtual space, while users themselves must maintain the server in working conditions, in particular, provide updates to the server software.

Dedicated Server

the user gets to use his own web server and fully controls it (superuser access in the Linux operating system or Windows administrator), however, the user is usually not the owner of the server. A variety of dedicated server is the so-called unmanaged server (Unmanaged server), it is the most inexpensive dedicated server. The user has full administrative access, which implies the responsibility of the user for the security and technical support of the server.

Managed Server

the user is provided with his own server, but he does not get full access to his management. The basic configuration and basic technical support of the server are undertaken by the hosting provider, which is partly a means of protecting the server from inadvertent disruption of the server by the user.


a service similar to the service of providing a dedicated server. The hosting provider provides the physical space for hosting the server and provides its maintenance. This type of hosting gives the greatest opportunities and at the same time is the most expensive. In most cases, the provider provides a minimum set of server maintenance services, which is limited to providing electrical power, Internet access and organizing the server location. In most cases, the client needs to visit the data center independently if it is necessary to make any changes to the server hardware.

Cloud Hosting

A new type of hosting that provides the client with easily scalable hosting resources, based on the cluster distribution of the load on server equipment and payment for the actual use of resources.

Cluster Hosting

A multiserver type of hosting designed for more efficient use of resources. Cluster servers are an almost perfect solution for fault-tolerant and scalable hosting. Typically, hosting providers use cluster hosting to provide virtual hosting, as this provides significant convenience when performing bulk customer service operations.

Grid Hosting

This is a type of distributed hosting when server clusters operate as a network consisting of many nodes.

Home Server

Usually, a single computer located in a private house or apartment, providing hosting for one or more websites using a normal broadband Internet connection. It can be specially assembled computers or most often just old computers. Some ISPs block home servers by blocking incoming requests on the 80th TCP port or by refusing to provide a static IP address. The usual workaround is to use dynamic DNS, which automatically changes the IP address the URL points to.

Mediation in the provision of hosting services (resellers).

Large data centers provide the opportunity to resell hosting services, allowing their customers to become hosting providers themselves. Intermediary companies, in turn, can provide hosting services to other smaller customers. The number of resources available to different intermediary companies can vary greatly: they can have their own dedicated virtual servers or colocation. Many intermediary companies provide almost the same range of services as their own hosting provider, but at the same time provide their own technical support.

Getting Hosting

Web hosting is often provided as part of the usual set of Internet service providers. The user first needs to evaluate the amount of resources that the site will consume. In particular, the need for a database, software for implementing scripting languages, and the required operating system should be determined. Most hosting providers use a wide range of software on their Linux servers. The usual configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP / Perl / Python. Web hosting customers may also need other services: email, multimedia service databases, etc. Web hosting packages often include site content management systems so as not to burden the user with technical aspects of the service.