A website is a set of web-pages (HTML etc) that are access using a protocol called HTTP. Basically, you design your web-pages in a manner that is understand by web browsers. Browsers then use the HTTP protocol to download these pages and then display them appropriately.
Now, if you are to host a web-site, you will need some way of getting the web-pages that you have designed onto the provider's servers. One way of doing this is to use the FTP protocol (which is a file transfer protocol) in order to upload these files to your providers server.
Also check out the following link for more information on web-hosting:
No, an FTP account is not the same thing as hosting a website. You can (but not need) use FTP to update pages on your web-site. It is also possible to have a web-based interface in order to accomplish the same thing.
As to your second question, the answer is yes. You can host a website on your PC, provided you have a permanent connnection (otherwise, it won't be available most of the time). Using web server software, you can run your own web-site without requiring a hosting service provider.
- the PC first uses a service called domain name service (DNS) to determine the IP address that corresponds to www.cisco.com. The use of names such as www.cisco.com are just a convenience. The actual locations of these services is determined based on IP address.
- once the PC determines the IP address, it will use the HTTP protocol to open a session with the web server located at this IP address
- if a web server is indeed runing at this address, the server will respond with HTML (other formats are possible) pages that correspond to what you actually requested
So how did those web pages get to this web server ? If you are sitting at the server, you could simply copy some files from say, C:\my webpages\* to say, C:\htdocs\. In my example, any files you place in C:\htdocs will will accessible by opening a HTTP session to the server. Now what do you do if you are remotely located and cannot get to the web server ? One option is to use FTP, a file transfer program. You would then open an FTP session to this server and use that to transfer files to the C:\htdocs folder on your server. To do that, however, you will need to set up an FTP account on that server for you. As you can see, FTP is a tool that may be used to update web pages but there is no other intrinsic relationship between FTP and web-hosting.
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