Web hosting is something that any business or internet marketer needs but of course may not know how to use.
So I would like to explain exactly what you need and how you will use web hosting. Web hosting services that you get are all different from each other and becasue of this it is important to know the basics first.
Here are the layers that you need to know for your website in regards to web hosting. First you have an operating system, then you have a web server, then you have your applications.
Web Hosting Operating Systems
Just like how you use Windows XP or Vista to run the applications on your computer you need a operating system for the web server hosting your web site. There are two options these days for an operating system, Unix or Linux (Linux is an operating system that is much like Unix) and Microsoft Windows Server.
Along with the operating system to host your web server you also get other things bundled onto the operating system for your web host. The other applications that sit on the operating system include databases and mail. Mail is great becasue this allows you to have not only your website but alos an email address linked to that website so that you do not need to use hotmail, gmail, or your ISPs mail address, this looks a lot more professional.
The other thing important sitting on your operating system is you databases. Some hosts offer more or less databases but the ones that everyone uses these days is a MySQL database and this database will store any of the data that applications like WordPress or others will use.
Web Hosting Web Servers
For web servers there are really only tow choices. On Unix or Linux hosting you will get apache which these days hosts more than two thrids of all web sites in the world and on Microsoft Hosting you will get IIS, short for Internet Information Services.
All that a web server does is to give people pages when they are requested. lets say that you go to this page. You type in http://www.internetbusinessblogger/how-web-hosting-works (or find it in Google) and the web server serves up the page grabbing anything it needs from the database and any other links to build the page.
Most people I believe go with the Linux and Apache hosting because it is cheaper and in fact it is. For any hosting company there is no cost to server licenses for Linux and apache is a free product so they do not have to charge as much as they do with Microsoft hosting. The argument of course is that the support for Microsoft should be better but since we are end users we do not have to worry about this at all.
Web Hosting Applications
Now that you have an operating system and a web server you just have to put up pages with a .htm, .html or is they are created in another language .php or some other extension. You use a simple FTP program to put the pages up and then anyone can get these pages.
For some people this is not quite enough. There are lots of web scripts out there and lets use WordPress as an example. To create a blog you would install WordPress on your web server and then you will create pages from a simple interface. WordPress saves the posts in a database along with sidebars and pictures or anything else that you add and then whenever someone requests a page the web server will just go and grab the info from the database and display it on the screen so that you can read it.
Do you understand how your hosting works now? I I find that most people are nervous about committing to web hosting because they do not know what to look for and what it all uses.
I have one other post that I would like to do for you and that is regarding features of hosts and what they mean, do you need them or not. I know that all of this is confusing but it does not have to be.