Hosts typically do not include intermediary network devices like switches and routers, which are instead often categorized as nodes. A node is also a broader term that includes anything connected to a network, while a host requires an IP address. In other words, all hosts are nodes, but network nodes are not hosts unless they require an IP address to function.

A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms (e.g. ASP.NET, ColdFusion, Java EE, Perl/Plack, PHP or Ruby on Rails). These facilities allow customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. Also, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is typically used for websites that wish to keep the data transmitted more secure.