Is Web Server Same as Web Hosting?


Larry Thompson

Is Web Server Same as Web Hosting?

When it comes to setting up a website, there are many technical terms that can be confusing for beginners. One such pair of terms is “web server” and “web hosting.”

While these two concepts are related, they are not the same thing. In this article, we will delve into the differences between a web server and web hosting, and how they work together to bring your website online.

Web Server

A web server is a software or hardware that handles the storage, processing, and delivery of web pages to users over the internet. It is responsible for handling incoming requests from web browsers and sending back the requested files or data.

When you type a website’s URL into your browser’s address bar, it sends a request to the web server associated with that domain.

Web servers operate on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which allows communication between clients (web browsers) and servers. The most common web server software is Apache HTTP Server, followed by Nginx and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS).

Web Hosting

On the other hand, web hosting refers to the service of storing your website’s files on a server connected to the internet. It is like renting space on a computer that is always connected to the internet and accessible by anyone visiting your website.

A web hosting provider offers different types of hosting services, such as shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, and cloud hosting. These services differ in terms of resources allocated to your website, control over server settings, scalability options, and cost.

Shared Hosting:

Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting. In this setup, multiple websites share the same server resources, including CPU, RAM, and storage.

It is an affordable option for small websites with moderate traffic.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS):

VPS hosting provides a virtual machine that mimics a dedicated server. It offers more control and resources than shared hosting, making it suitable for larger websites or those with specific requirements.

Dedicated Servers:

Dedicated servers are physical machines solely dedicated to one website or application. They provide maximum performance and flexibility but come at a higher price point.

Cloud Hosting:

Cloud hosting utilizes multiple interconnected servers to distribute resources and ensure high availability. It offers scalability and reliability by allowing you to scale resources as needed.

Web Server vs. Web Hosting: The Relationship

To make your website accessible on the internet, you need both a web server and web hosting. The web server software runs on the web hosting server, handling requests from users and delivering content back to their browsers.

Think of the web server as the software responsible for processing the requests and the web hosting as the physical or virtual space where your website resides.


In summary, while a web server is responsible for handling requests and delivering content over the internet, web hosting refers to the service of storing your website’s files on a server accessible by visitors. Understanding this distinction will help you navigate the world of website setup and choose the right solution for your needs.

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