In order for websites to be seen on the internet they need to be stored on special computers called servers. Virtual server host companies lease out space on these computers that are stored in warehouses. The companies provide physical security and technical support to keep the computers up and running online without any service interruptions to the websites.
The computers store all the programming software needed that instructs the web pages how to behave and interact with visitors. For example, different programming codes allow for site visitors to register as a frequent guest or to give their credit card information to guy goods or services. Administrators have full access to their web site control panels to monitor the site’s performance.
The machines use an operating system language so they can speak to other computers on the internet. The two most common systems are Windows VPS, supported by Microsoft, and Linux. There are several versions of Linux sold by different companies. Customers can usually pick which kind of system they want.
The machines use a special program to divide its resources such as RAM, disk storage space and CPU into separate machines, so that dozens of web sites can be hosted on it without interfering with each other. Business owners who have their data files stored on the machines do not need a lot of technical knowledge, because most of the software they need is already installed.
Customers who lease space on a shared machine will find it is a money saving option, compared to leasing a dedicated computer to only hold the files for one web site. Dedicated machines are used for web sites that get a lot of visitors and require use more complex software, such as the kind of software codes needed to display video or allow customers to use a shopping cart to buy products.
The basic purpose of the servers is to respond to a request for a web page when a user types in the web address of the site. This is called a request, and it is sent to the machine containing the digital files for that page address. The digital content is then sent back to the user’s browser, where it is displayed as a web page. Most companies have a large library of web page templates for customers, so all they have to do is add the content for their site to the templates and their web sites can be online in a matter of minutes.
Companies providing hosting also sell a wide range of other products and services needed to conduct business online, such as email addresses, domain registration and email marketing. Because it is critical for a customer’s website to open for business, the companies also let them automatically renew their lease automatically by providing a credit card. For an additional charge they can also provide designers to create custom logos or websites.
Web site owners have a wide range of options to help them get their site online quickly and easily, thanks to virtual server host companies. And they do not need a lot of technical knowledge or design experience to create a professional looking site.