A web hosting is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to create 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.
The scope of hosting services vary widely. The most basic is file hosting web pages and small scale, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or 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 customers. People can also obtain Web page hosting from other, alternative service providers. Personal web site hosting is usually free, ad-sponsored, or cheap. Business web site hosting often has a higher burden.
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 (eg PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, and ASP.NET). This facility allows customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. For e-commerce, SSL is also highly recommended.
The hosts can also provide an interface or control panel to manage Web server and installing scripts as well as other services such as e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (eg e-commerce). They are generally used by companies more likely to outsource network infrastructure to a hosting company.