What Are Web Hosting Services?
Web hosting services provide shared or dedicated hosting of one or more services for their customers. Usually used for hosting websites, a web hosting service can also be used to host company email, files, games and other content. Web hosting services enable companies to subcontract one or more web-based core functions to a hosting provider. This allows the company to focus resources on supporting its customers and growing its business.
In the US, the web-hosting services market’s 2015 revenue was $16 billion, according to IBISWorld’s market research. The market’s annual growth rate typically exceeds 11 percent as businesses increase their web presence.
Four types of web hosting services
Web hosting companies range from service providers who offer extensive web management and support to service providers who lease a single private virtual server. Hosting services include:
- Managed Hosting - In managed hosting, the service provider owns and operates servers leased to a customer. The provider is responsible for server management, backup services, software maintenance, security, technical support and more. Rackspace is an example of a managed hosting provider.
- Cloud Hosting - With cloud hosting, the service provider supplies a private, public or hybrid cloud, and the customer pays for system time and storage. Cloud capacity can be scaled up or down, depending on a customer’s compute needs. Leading cloud hosting providers include Microsoft® and Amazon Web Services®.
- Colocation Facilities - A colocation facility hosts a company’s servers and provides an Internet connection, a power supply and a climate-controlled environment. Most colocation facilities are owned and operated by a local provider.
- Private Virtual Server - A service provider hosts a customer’s website on its own private virtual server, thereby physically isolating it from the websites of other customers. Managed hosting providers, cloud hosting providers and colocation facilities all offer private virtual servers.