Many terms related to computers and the Internet are used casually or incorrectly, which can make a technical topic challenging to understand. However, with a functional understanding of how the Internet works, the context to make decisions on subjects such as server hosting becomes much easier. The computers used by individuals to access the Internet and use programs to communicate with others, whether in a consumer or business context, are generally desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. Servers are a specialized type of computer engineered to operate at a consistent performance level hours a day for extended periods of time.
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What is a Server?
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The Basics: What is the Internet and What Does it Physically Connect?
A web hosting service often shortened to web host is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by 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 other servers located in their data center, called colocation , also known as housing in Latin America or France. Until , the Internet was restricted to use only " The World Wide Web protocols had only just been written   and not until the end of would there be a graphical web browser for Mac or Windows computers. To host a website on the internet , an individual or company would need their own computer or server. The owners of the websites, also called webmasters , would be able to create a website that would be hosted on the web hosting service's server and published to the web by the web hosting service. As the number of users on the World Wide Web grew, the pressure for companies, both large and small, to have an online presence grew.
As people began to realize the effectiveness of transferring data across what is now known as the internet, multiple operating systems began to develop so that all industries, and eventually the public, could exchange data using computers. If you run a website, it is important to understand what web servers are, how they operate, and what role they play in delivering your website content to site visitors. It's possible you've never thought about what happens when you enter a URL into your computer's browser or click on a website found in a search result. In fact, you may just think that when websites appear on your computer screen, it is the result of some kind of technological magic. And for the most part, this is okay if you are a casual internet user who enjoys simply browsing and finding information that interests you.