The computer system providing the web hosting is known as web server or the web host.
Basically, the web hosts allow their customers to place web documents, such as html pages, graphics, and other multimedia files etc. onto a special type of computer called a web server, which maintains constant, high speed connections to the backbone of Internet.
There are following types of web hosting services:
Free hosting is available with many prominent sites that offer to host some web pages for no cost.
Free hosting is free for fun, means if you want to do some experiment with a site or put up a small, personal site for the fun, then free hosting is best suited.
Virtual or shared hosting is provided under one's own domain name, that is, www.yourname.com. With a hosting plan with the web hosting company, one can present oneself as a fully independent identity to his/her web audience.
Virtual hosting is where one's web site domain is hosted on the web server of hosting company along with other web sites.
One can access and update to the site and its files are carefully secured.
Though a login id and password, one has 24-hour access to maintain one's site.
Go for virtual or shared, if you are serious about doing some business or have a professional website that is much better off standing on its own. Or if you simply prefer your own domain name and space.
In dedicated hosting, the company wishing to go online, rents an entire web server from a hosting company.
This is suitable for companies hosting larger web sites, maintaining other's sites or managing a big online mall etc.
Dedicated hosting is for large, high-traffic sites, or for those with special needs such as e-commerce or security.
Dedicated hosting are also good for those folks for whom money is no object.
For those who do not fit the dedicated server mold, hosting companies offer a similar but less restrictive hosting, known as co-location hosting.
In co-location hosting, the company actually owns the server on which its site is hosted. That is, the company owning the site rather than the web hosting company, is responsible for all the server administrator.
The web hosting company is only responsible for providing rack-space for server and meeting its physical needs. This generally includes a high speed connection to the Internet, a regulated power supply, and a limited amount of hands-on-technical-support, such as data backup or hardware upgrades.
Co-location hosting is similar to that of dedicated hosting except for the fact that the server is now provided by the user-company itself and its physical needs are met by the hosting company.
Co-location hosting is suitable for those with complex needs and for those who require the ability to make changes as per its changing requirement as and when.