Hosting or web hosting is the term used in the internet world that represents hosting or serving web sites on the internet. Let’s look at a quick background about hosting.
You type in a domain name and immediately you see a site that is hosted on that domain. So, how does this work?
Prior to domain names, people used to use ip address. ip addresses are numerical numbers of the form for eg. 127.0.0.1. Every web server hosted on the internet has a ip address. So, there will be millions or even billions of ip addresses.
Remembering of websites using ip addresses is not practical. So, they came up with the term called domain names where names are associated with ip addresses behind the scenes and all you have to remember is the names.
A website is made up of many files for eg. html, scripts, images, etc. When you request a website using your browser and a domain name what basically happens is these files hosted on a server machine is served to your browser.
In order to serve these files you need a web server or a hosting server. These are special and powerful machines than your traditional home desktops and capable of handling thousands of requests at the same time.
It would be costly and hard to maintain if we would host websites on our own and would be impossible to ensure 100% availability due to various environmental conditions.
This gave to the rise of whole bunch of companies that just do this : hosting of web sites and they are known as web hosting companies or hosters.