Is Web Server and Hosting Same?


Heather Bennett

Is Web Server and Hosting Same?

When it comes to websites, two terms that often cause confusion are web server and hosting. While these terms are related, they are not the same thing. In this article, we will explore the differences between a web server and hosting, and how they work together to make a website accessible on the internet.

Web Server

A web server is a software or hardware component that delivers web content to clients (users) upon request. It is responsible for handling incoming requests, processing them, and sending back the requested files to the client’s browser. In simpler terms, a web server is like a waiter in a restaurant that serves food to customers.

Web servers use protocols such as HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) or HTTPS (HTTP Secure) to communicate with browsers. They listen for requests on specific ports (usually port 80 for HTTP or port 443 for HTTPS) and respond with the appropriate files or data.

Common examples of web servers include Apache HTTP Server, Nginx, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), and LiteSpeed. These servers have different features and performance capabilities but essentially serve the same purpose of delivering web content.


In contrast to a web server, hosting refers to the service of storing website files and making them available on the internet. It involves providing disk space on a server where website files can be stored securely.

A hosting provider is a company that offers these services by allocating space on their servers for customers’ websites. When you sign up for hosting, you are essentially renting space on their servers to store your website’s files.

The hosting provider takes care of maintaining the servers, ensuring they are secure, and keeping them connected to the internet. They also provide additional services such as domain registration, email hosting, and database management.

The Relationship Between Web Server and Hosting

Now that we understand the definitions of web server and hosting, let’s explore how they work together to make a website accessible on the internet.

When you visit a website, your browser sends a request to the web server hosting that website. The web server then processes the request, retrieves the necessary files from its storage (hosting), and sends them back to your browser. Your browser interprets those files and displays the website accordingly.

Essentially, hosting is like renting a space in a shopping mall (web server) to showcase your products (website). The web server serves as the platform for displaying your website to visitors.


In conclusion, while web servers and hosting are closely related, they have distinct roles in ensuring a website is accessible on the internet. A web server is responsible for handling incoming requests and delivering web content, while hosting provides the space for storing website files. Understanding these differences is crucial when setting up or managing websites.


  • A web server delivers web content to users upon request.
  • Hosting refers to storing website files on servers and making them available on the internet.
  • The relationship between a web server and hosting is like a waiter serving food in a restaurant – serving content from storage space.

By knowing these differences, you can better navigate the world of websites and make informed decisions about your online presence!

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