As stated yesterday, I'm going to continue my blog "Aren't all hosting providers the same?".
A slight change in plans, though. Rather than going into some of the experience we had today, I'm going to explain (in a nutshell) what hosting is. I'm going to use an explanation that I used in my Business Network International (BNI) chapter today.
In the early days of the internet, there weren't hosting providers like are so prevalent today. In those early days, if a company wanted to have a website, they had to purchase the server, the connection to the backend of the internet, obtain IP addresses, and many times have a server administrator on staff. For many companies this was cost prohibitive. However, as the internet matured, some companies realized that they didn't need all of the disk space, or resources, on their server, so they were able to section off the server, and host other websites on the same server. As time went on, we now have the large data centers that are prevalent today, which are typically 40,000-60,000 square foot buildings with rows upon rows of servers all connected to the internet.
Hosting is the providing of the web space, emails, and databases, on a server that is connected to the backend of the internet. These servers are generally connected to a high speed network, which has a multi-gigabit connection to the backend of the internet. All hosting providers offer the above, but what features, reliability, and speed can vary significantly.