Web hosting is a service that allows individuals or businesses to create websites, so that they are accessible to the World Wide Web. These hosting companies provide space on there servers, so that we the user can upload our websites to the internet.
Internet website hosting varies greatly, where the most basic level would be a webpage that smalls just a small amount of files that can be transferred up to the internet through a method called FTP (File Transfer Protocol). As this is an easy method of transferring files up to the internet, most internet service providers allow this for free.
There are many types of web hosting that you can get for free especially for setting up basic web pages as mentioned, but as you get more technical then you would need a paid hosting service. Typically as the website you are developing will get more complex, as it will need a database support and development platforms. The developing platforms are numerous, though the most common ones are, Cold fusion, ASP.Net, PHP,Java, Ruby on Rails to name a few.
These platforms allow the user to install code, for example setting up a forum. Most of the top web hosting companies will have some form of a control panel, which is easy to follow, and gives the user many options to configure there website. This will include email facilities, adding domain names to the control panel, using sub domains and much more.
When deciding what type of web host you need there is a different package available for every customer.
This is a limited service for basic website creation, with not much space available to expand your site.
In shared hosting your website will sit on the same server as thousands of other websites, all sharing the same memory and CPU of the server.
Reseller hosting allows any individual or business to actually become a web host themselves.
Virtual Dedicated Server
In this service a virtual dedicated server will be divide the server resources in to virtual servers, in a way that it does not trouble the underlying hardware.
The user will get full control of a web server but typically will not own the server. This plan is usually the cheapest option for dedicated hosting.
The customer will get a server but will not have full control over it, but they will be able to manage files, uploading them to the server through FTP. The reason why they do not have full control is because the provider wants to ensure the integrity of the server, so the user will not configure and damage the server.
These are the most widely used types of hosting that people use, and there is an option for any type of user, business to choose from on this list.