An Internet presence provider (IPP) is a company that provides the disk space, high-speed Internet connection, and possibly the Web site design and other services for companies, organizations, or individuals to have a visible presence (meaning Web site) on the Internet. Using an IPP means that the owner of the Web site doesn't need to have the files for it served from the owner's computer. Although one can maintain a Web site from a smaller computer if site traffic is very low, most moderate- to high-traffic Web sites require a relatively expensive, higher-speed connection to the Internet. For this reason alone, most individuals and organizations put their sites on a server at an Internet presence provider.
Many Internet service providers (ISPs) act as both Internet access provider (IAP) and Internet presence provider, although some provide only one or the other service. An IPP sometimes offers design and production services for a Web site as a package or on a consulting basis. Some Internet presence providers use the term hosting or virtual hosting for the "housing and maintenance" aspects of presence providing. Typical service packages at different prices include assistance with domain name registration, a specific amount of hard disk space for Web pages, a number of e-mail addresses, the arrangement of server application or database access from Web pages, e-commerce shopping page setup, a specific amount of allowable Web data traffic, and assistance in setting up and maintaining the site.
Some presence providers let you put your own server machine (or lease one to you) at their location and they manage it for you. This is called co-location.