Anyone who wishes to have an online presence of their own with the help of a website needs to go for a website hosting or web hosting service. A website hosting service provides users, be it organizations or individuals, to display website pages on the world wide web. The hosting of websites takes place on special pieces of hardware called as servers. Website hosting service providers are the businesses who provide the requisite technology as well as infrastructure essential to be able to view website pages on the internet. The necessary element in order for a person to undertake website hosting is the presence of a domain name, which is a unique identifier for every website on the internet. A person can either purchase a domain name on their own and then provide that domain name to their website hosting service provider, or alternatively they can ask their providers to purchase a domain name for them. Once a website hosting is finished, users on the internet can browse the site by typing the domain name of the website in their browsers. Each domain name maps to an IP address (Internet Protocol address), which is in numeric form, and is unique for every computer on the internet.
Website hosting service providers can provide website hosting service in many ways. One form of service is called Free website hosting, in which companies who do not have lot of resources at their disposal, provide this service. This service can sometimes be supplemented by advertisements on web pages for revenue generation. The features that are provided by free website hosting services are lesser in number compared to the ones provided by paid website hosting services. Another form of website hosting service is Shared web hosting, wherein on a single server, a number of websites can be located. Each domain corresponding to a website essentially shares the resources of the server, which are RAM (Random Access Memory), and CPU (Central Processing Unit). Again, this type of shared web hosting service has lesser features, and also offers very less flexibility when it comes to types of softwares and their updates. Managed web hosting is a type of service that is offered by providers who allot a dedicated web server to a user, but do not give complete control of the server to the user. By complete control it is meant that for the case of Windows operating system, administrator password is not provided, and in the case of Linux operating system, root password is not provided. In this only a lease of the web server is provided to the user. A contrast to managed web hosting service is dedicated web hosting service, which complete access and control of the web server is provided to the user. Of course this means that a user does not physically own the web server. In self managed type of dedicated hosting, a user is responsible for the complete maintenance as well the security of the server.