At its most basic, a server is a collection of physical components such as motherboard, processor, RAM, storage drivers, etc. A server however is more than the sum of its physical parts. Your server will have an operating system, on top of which you install or deploy additional software or applications. The additional applications can include a control panel to manage different applications and services, and additional applications such as a Content Management System (CMS), an email service, database, etc.

Shared hosting is one of the most common and popular web hosting packages. In such a setup, the resources of a single server are split across multiple users. The obvious advantage of such a setup is low cost, but this is at the expense of performance of your own website. The large demand on the resources of the server means more downtime and other problems as well.