Hosting is a service that is provided through the use of a specialized server running certain software to grant access to certain electronic content over the internet. This is how websites are able to provide their content to the masses. There are companies that provide this service and the service is called domain hosting. Domain herein refers to the website itself. There are several different types of domain hosting available to the consumer, depending on the method of categorization you use.
First, you can classify hosting based on the service provider. The first kind is where you get the service directly from a company that owns and provides the service. The company that provides the service is also the same that owns the hardware and software that runs the service. The second kind is reseller hosting. This is a form of hosting where the service provider does not actually own the hardware or software being used. Since the reseller has to get their service from elsewhere, there is created a system where you may not get actual access to those running the reseller hosting service.
The second way of categorizing hosting is based on access to the server. You can get domain hosting on a shared server. In most cases, the cost of getting a dedicated server is too high. There is an alternative that gives the best of both worlds to the user. This is called the VPS hosting. In this format, the service provider creates a virtual private server that is layered onto the actual server through the use of virtualization technology. This enables them to create servers that, while only existing online, are capable of being modified, altered, and customized as the needs of the consumer may be. VPS hosting has been gaining traction in the market because of its ease to use the system and affordability, especially for small businesses.
Third, you can categorize using they type of operating system that they are using. This gives two classifications; Linux and Windows. Linux hosting is where the server that is being used is operating on Linux operating system. This is a free and open source OS; it has proven to be an extremely sturdy system. The open source design makes it suitable for websites that run scripts that are designed from open source technology. This system is beneficial in that it can do most of its updates while it is still being used. This means that the downtime for the server is quite low. Windows, on the other hand, is designed by Microsoft using their proprietary technology. This is suitable for websites that are running on Active Pages, .Net and such other tools. The choice between either Linux hosting or Windows hosting should be made solely on the grounds of the design of the website.
These are the most common terms used when discussing hosting. The terms are not exclusive when in usage as they can be used to describe different aspects of the hosting service that is being provided.