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What is a Server?
Internet Marketing Dictionary | Servers


A Server is a computer that stores information such as the files that make up a website and serves that information up to Client computers when asked to do so. Typically a web server is used to host a website and respond to requests made over the internet by browsers (Clients) such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

The terminology sounds horrible - servers and clients sound very impersonal - but the names are quite good from a descriptive point of view. A server does what it is asked to do: serve up files. A client is the computer that asks the server for information.

Note that this terminology doesn't just apply to the internet. Servers are often used in businesses and organisations to act as a central store of key data ranging from simple internal telephone directories right up to huge databases.

If you operate a website you need to set up a server in order for internet users to be able to access your pages. You can either do this by renting services from an existing hosting company or by buying your own server. Many hosting companies now provide you with a choice of having your own server installed in their premises. This gives you physical security and links to the internet whilst letting you run all your internet services from a computer that no one else uses.

Lower cost servers are typically shared between a range of different sites which keeps costs down. However, the cost of owning or operating your own server in a server farm has fallen rapidly and if you are planning to use the internet for business purposes it will probably make sense to explore the costs of owning or leasing your own. Many professional internet marketers do this.


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