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So how do web hosting servers deliver web pages to a web site user? Well, client software (such as a browser) on the user's computer begins the process by requesting data from the host across the Internet, usually via the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The client's request includes all the necessary information, including the file formats which are accepted by the browser. Regardless of what kind of file the client asks for, the web hosting server retrieves the file, attaches a header, and sends it on to the client. The client software typically displays the formatted web page on the user's computer display.
Many hosting server options are available, from the speed, memory size, and hard disk capacity of your server computer to the operating system, control panel, server-side scripting languages, database software, and e-commerce software that is installed on your server computer. Most website servers include a 2 GHz to 3 Ghz CPU, 512 MB to 2 GB RAM, and a 60 GB to 120 GB disk drive. They run under some version of the Red Hat Linux, Microsoft Windows, or FreeBSD operating system and are managed by a browser-based control panel such as Plesk or cPanel. They offer server-side includes and either php or ASP scripting languages as well as mySQL or MS-SQL database software. They may also feature shopping cart software such as Miva Merchant or osCommerce. Most hosting companies also provide support for FrontPage code.
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