A web hosting service consists of a collection of web servers - powerful computers stored in secure and climate-controlled environments called data centers that are permanently linked to the Internet through high-speed data lines.
These computers store the web pages that make up a website and also store and control email. A website hosting server is also configured with special software to support technologies such as MySQL databases, PHP and other forms of application development platforms. It's this added support that allows for functionality far beyond basic HTML pages; such as shopping carts, forums, blogs and other content management systems.
Maintenance of the web server is overseen by the web host's system administrator, who plays a critical role in ensuring that not only do services run smoothly and are upgraded to take advantage of technological improvements, but that they are secure; which is crucial in reducing hacking threats and allowing for secure online ecommerce transactions.
A system administrator's role is so complex, that for most business people, the amount of time and expense involved in maintaining a website hosting server located on their own premises could make establishing and administering an online presence nearly impossible. A web hosting service takes care of many technical issues related to running a web server, allowing customers to focus more on other aspects of their online business and web site.
Web hosting clients send (publish) web pages to the host's server using an Internet browser interface or via an (File Transfer Protocol) software application. As soon as pages are published to the server they become available on the Internet for viewing.
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If you're not quite ready for a web hosting account and would just like to acquire a domain name at this point in time; you can search domain names and register an available name here. For some helpful tips, see our guide to choosing domain names.
Learn how visitors reach your web site - DNS (Domain Name System)
How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.