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Hosting, in its most generic sense, is a service through which storage and computing resources are providing to an individual or organization for the accommodation and maintenance of one or more websites and related services. While hosting doesn't need to be IP-based, the vast majority of instances are web-based services that allow a website or web service to be globally accessible from the Internet.
Hosting is also known as Web hosting or website hosting.
As a highly critical service, hosting has facilitated the development and growth of the Internet. Hosting is primarily provided by a hosting service provider that builds a specialized backend computing infrastructure. In turn, the website owner/developer utilizes the infrastructure to host its website via uploaded source code, where each website is distinguishable by its unique domain name and logically allocated Web space and storage. After the domain name is specified in a Web browser, a website is accessed by the Internet.
With the evolution of technology and delivery models, hosting has evolved into a variety of formats, including shared hosting, dedicated hosting and cloud hosting. Besides websites, hosting also may include data/storage hosting, application/software hosting and IT services hosting. The line is also blurred with cloud computing and virtualization, which allow another level of sophistication and customization.