Web hosting deals with putting the contents of your website on a Web server. Hosting your website on your own server could be an option. But this will become very much expensive unless you are hosting a site like yahoo.com or google.com.
Buying a server space or renting a complete server from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the most widely used option.
two most widely used hosting platforms are:
Many hosting servers running different flavors of Windows and sell space from these servers. Normally Windows hosting servers are more expensive because of lot of software licensing costs are involved with these servers.
In Linux opportunities are unlimited and cost less then Windows Hosting Server. There are many ISP who provides Hosting Servers with different flavors of Unix.
there are many service providers who will give you free space on their web server with a condition that you will allow them to run their advertisement at your web pages.
On a shared host, you will have your own user ID and password to login to the shared host and you will be allowed to work in your work area. You would not be able to touch any file or directory belonging to other host partner. Even you would not know how many sites are hosted on your shared host. This type of hosting is very cost effective and good for small websites where your space and speed are not very important. Here traffic on one site will affect the speed of all other hosted sites.
Virtual Dedicated Hosting:
This type of hosting is better for medium size business. With virtual dedicated hosting, you will have a dedicated bandwidth and dedicated RAM for your site. You will be given a root ID and password to maintain your Web server. You will be the complete owner of your virtual dedicated server and will be able to install or de-install any software. This type of hosting is created on a single server, but it is managed in such a way that every user will have dedicated speed and bandwidth. This is bit more expensive but really good one for medium size business.
This type of hosting is very similar to virtual dedicated hosting, but here, a complete machine will be allotted for you. They are more expensive than virtual dedicated hosting and should be considered when you have a very high traffic requirement.