What Components Make Up a Web Host?
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What Components Make Up a Web Host?

Web hosting might be a familiar topic to many, but it is still important to underline its core components for anyone who would like to learn or relearn.

The Browser

This is the window into the internet. Every time you want to view a page on the web, you need one of these, like Firefox or Internet Explorer. The web hosting company will provide you with a control panel which lets you control all aspects of your account. This cPanel can be accessed by any simple web browser, and allows you to make all the configurations and modifications that you are allowed to.

FTP Client

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. The FTP Client is the piece of software that allows you to view the files in your web account, as if they were locally stored in your own computer. The Client intuitively allows you to drag and drop the files you wish to switch between your computer and your account.

Web Server

The web server is the software that accepts HTTP requests, and avails the HTML pages and files to you.

FTP Server

FTP provides the means of transferring files to the server and from it. To enable you to load your HTML pages and files to a server, you will need to use FTP to transfer said pages and files to the server which runs the web server.

Mail Server

The mail server is comprised of Post Office Protocol, POP, and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP. Both of these are essential. With POP, your emails are delivered straight to your mailbox, while SMTP enables you to send and receive emails between different mail servers.

Database Server

Server side scripting (with Microsoft Internet Information Server, for instance) allows you to provide more than static data on your web pages. You can additionally add data from a database, giving your users the flexibility of browsing through the data in a more dynamic way. The database server can be used to collect any kind of important information – like feedback, product orders, comments and discussions etc.

Webpage Editor

The process of editing web pages is one that is admittedly complex, and without prior knowledge in programming, it was a challenge. This has since been made simpler by special editors which allow you to edit your pages over HTTP in the same way that they appear through a web browser. They utilise WYSIWYG technology, which is now supported by many web hosts. It is especially important to ensure you have it if you are new to hosting. Despite its convenience, it can offer a backdoor to many unscrupulous hackers so ensure your web host really understands it.

Email Client

An email client allows you to send and receive email from your website. Outlook Express and Eudora are some of the more common ones and others, such as Hotmail, are based online.
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