Understanding a Web Server and Its Types

Web servers are an essential component of every type of web hosting service and are at the core of the service of web hosting. What role do web servers have in web hosting? Understanding the part that web servers play in hosting websites becomes imperative to comprehend the way in which website hosting works.

This blog aims at providing particulars about web servers and the types of web servers that are used regularly for hosting websites.

Everything about a Web Server

A web server is a type of a server which hosts websites, in order to render the hosted websites available online to site visitors.Web servers are provided by certain service providers that are referred to as web hosting companies or as web hosts. Who avails server space on web servers from these service providers? It is the owners of websites that purchase web hosting solutions as various plans from web hosting companies, in order to host their sites on these web servers.

The reason for availing the service of web hosting, wherein web server space is made available along with different technologies and services and web hosting features, is to ensure that websites are always up and running and remain seamlessly accessible online to site visitors from every part of the world.

For any site to remain publicly accessible online, the presence of at least three components is essential; a web server, a browser and a live Internet connection. Let us explain this in detail, as this will help you comprehend the role of a web server in web hosting.

Availing a web hosting plan ensures that the site which avails this service gets hosted on the web server of the service provider. The web server stores and processes the files of that site. When a site visitor wants to visit this hosted site, its Internet-connected device’s browser initiates a chain of communication with the web server that is hosting that website. The web server receives the incoming request for the files of the hosted site, which is generated by the browser and subsequently responds to it by locating the corresponding files in its storage and providing those to the browser for the files’ retrieval. These files are delivered over the Internet to the same device whose browser initiated the communication with the web server. At this stage, the hosted site becomes accessible to the site visitor. It is evident that without any of the aforementioned components (web server, browser, active Internet connection), it won’t be possible for a website to remain accessible over the Internet.

If a website is not hosted on a web server, then the browsers have nowhere to fetch the files of the website from. Hence, despite the presence of browsers and an active Internet connection, a site that is not hosted on a web server cannot become accessible online.

To recapitulate, a web server provides the perfect platform for the files of a website/websites to be stored on and processed. It is configured to receive and appropriately respond to the incoming requests of browsers, with regard to the hosted website/websites. In short, a web server is the single most important element in the process of web hosting.

Every site aims at garnering more and more web traffic. The first step towards becoming accessible to site visitors is availing an appropriate web hosting service, so that the website can be hosted on a web server and become accessible to website visitors. You will find a range of hosting solutions for this purpose that cater to different hosting requirements and budgets. Some of the most common web hosting services are that of Shared hosting, Dedicated Hosting, VPS Hosting (Managed VPS Hosting, Self-managed VPS Hosting), Reseller Hosting and WordPress Hosting. The presence of a web server is common to each of these web hosting solutions. Every web hosting plan will provide web server space along with certain web hosting features, such as SSD storage, high uptime, fast speed, control panel, etc.

Now that there are various types of web hosting solutions, are there different types of web servers as well? Let us elaborate on it in the next section of the blog.

Types of Web Servers

It is evident that the primary function of web servers is storing and processing the files of websites, as well as receiving and responding to the incoming requests of browsers for the stored files of the hosted websites. Based on the number of sites that can be hosted on a particular web server, as well as the way in which these sites are hosted, web servers fall in either of the following three categories –

  • Shared web servers
  • Dedicated web servers
  • VPS (Virtual Private Servers)

Web server space on any of these servers can be purchased through their respective packages, provided by web hosting companies. These plans can be either for Linux or for Windows. For example, HTS Linux Dedicated Servers and HTS Windows Dedicated Servers refer to the dedicated server plans for Linux and for Windows respectively, that are offered by HTS Hosting, which is popular as the Best Website Hosting Company in India as well as abroad. HTS Hosting is a top-grade data centre and is fully equipped with the most advance infrastructure to deliver totally secure and efficient hosting services. Its state-of-the-art data centre, HTS Data Centre, houses its fast and secure web servers (shared servers, dedicated servers and Virtual Private Servers) that deliver powerful performance.

How do the aforementioned different types of web servers differ from each other? What is common among these web servers? To reiterate, whether it is a shared server or a dedicated server or a Virtual Private Server, every web server serves the same purpose. That is to host websites/website and render the hosted sites/site accessible online. Every type of web server stores and processes the files of websites and receives and responds to the incoming requests of browsers. The difference among these three types of web servers has to do with the number of websites that get hosted on each type of server and the way that these get hosted. Let us discuss this at length.

A shared server is used in Shared Hosting. Such a web server hosts multiple websites on a single web server. Hence, its server space and server resources are shared among all the sites that are hosted on the same physical web server. Every site gets a shared and common IP address. The shared server aspect brings down the individual cost of hosting a site on a shared server but also renders it not possible to customize the server based on individual user’s requirements. Here, it needs to be mentioned that HTS Hosting offers low-priced Shared Hosting plans starting at Rs.31/month. Its Shared Hosting plans are full of features, as well as are available for Linux and Windows and come along with SSD storage, free SSL certificates and many more features.

A dedicated server is at the other end of the hosting spectrum. A dedicated web server hosts a single website on each web server. Hence, it is able to provide dedicated server resources, dedicated server space, dedicated IP address and server customization to every hosted site. Dedicated servers are popular due to the benefits that these have to offer, such as enhanced site speed, peak site performance and powerful security. HTS Hosting offers a range of plans at heavily discounted prices for its Linux Dedicated Servers and Windows Dedicated Servers.

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) combines the cost-effectiveness of a shared server and the features of a dedicated server and offers an effective and less expensive alternative to a dedicated web server. Server space on a VPS can be availed through VPS Hosting plans. Several, independent, isolated, private servers get created virtually on a physical web server in a VPS. This is attained through Virtualization Technology. Each of these virtually-created servers hosts a website and has its own software and Operating System installed on it. In this way, these multiple servers that have been created virtually inside a physical server, function independently and provide the environment of a dedicated server to each of the hosted sites. Since multiple websites are hosted on a VPS, the cost of availing server space on a VPS is significantly lower than that on a dedicated server. Moreover, a VPS is able to offer the same benefits that a dedicated server offers, such as the availability of dedicated server resources, dedicated server space, dedicated IP address and server customization. A VPS can be availed as either a Managed VPS, which is managed and kept secure by the service provider or as a Self-managed VPS, which is managed and kept secure by the user without the assistance of the service provider in this regard. Depending on the extent of convenience or control with regard to server management and technical know-how about it, a user can opt for either a Managed VPS or a Self-managed VPS. At HTS Hosting, budget-friendly and feature-rich plans are available for Linux Managed VPS, Linux Self-managed VPS, Windows Managed VPS and Windows Self-managed VPS.

Equipped with this knowledge about various web servers used in web hosting, you will be able to make an informed decision regarding the type of hosting to opt for.


Web servers are a key component of web hosting. These servers store and process the files of hosted sites and receive and respond to browsers’ requests, in order to render websites accessible online. Shared servers, dedicated servers and Virtual Private Servers are the main categories of web servers that are used in web hosting.

HTS Hosting, a world-class web hosting brand, offers affordably-priced hosting plans and plans for dedicated servers as well as Virtual Private Servers and ensures the delivery of outstanding service to its global customers.

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