Behind every website you see on the internet is a complex web of devices interlinked with the internet. Have you ever considered where the information, files, data, and other details on a website are stored? For you, a website exists on a particular web address, but all the content you see on a web page is stored on the ground in storage units called servers, and this, essentially, is what website hosting is.
Know how website hosting works and the different types of web hosting available.
What Is Website Hosting?
Website hosting, or web hosting, is the act of floating a website on an available server. Some services allow people to host their web pages with a proper domain name and extension on their servers in exchange for a fee. Such services are called web hosting providers. In other words, it is like renting a commercial space to create an office and conduct business, except on a server connected to the Internet.
Depending on the provider one chooses and the hosting plan, the benefits and features of hosting could be different. Features like extra storage for heavy design files and faster loading times often cost more as they require high-quality servers. Based on what budget you have, what resources you need, and your website’s purpose, you can select from the different types of website hosting.
6 Main Types Of Web Hosting
Here are the most common types of web hosting. We’ve arranged them in ascending order of expenses, so you’ll read about the most affordable options first.
Shared web hosting, as the name suggests, is when multiple websites, including yours, share the same server and its resources.
As mentioned earlier, servers are basically computers that allow you to use their storage for hosting your website. Hence, when you, along with a couple of other users, are using the same server, it will slow down.
Shared hosting is the most affordable out of all, making it for personal or small-scale websites. However, as it hosts several websites simultaneously, it can degrade the overall performance and security. A few examples of shared hosting providers are TMDHosting, Bluehost, InMotion, DreamHost, etc.
- Easy to use
- Provides 24/7 hosting
- Technical assistance could take time
- Less secure than dedicated hosting
- Reliance on a single server
Reseller hosting allows you to provide a web hosting service without owning the technical equipment or expertise. It entails one to rent a space on a server and resell it to other customers. Naturally, reseller hosting isn’t for individuals but for small service providers.
After purchasing the hosting space on a server, the user can determine the retail price clients could pay and the features to offer in exchange. A reseller host gets access to a virtual control panel that can monitor all the websites linked to the rented space. However, resellers also have to take care of customer support, which could be tedious without any experience in the field.
Some examples of reseller hosting providers are A2 Hosting, Hostwinds, HostGators, etc.
- Free technical support
- Provides tools for managing clients and billing
- Ideal for web designers or developers
- Competitive market
- Requires technical understanding
- Providing customer support could be tedious
- Limited resources
VPS hosting, or virtual private server hosting, uses virtualization to divide one physical server into several isolated digital environments that act like a mini server. Each of these shares the collective resources of the physical server; however, the provider can customize the available resources, such as CPU cores, RAM, disk space, bandwidth, etc., based on the client’s requirements, which is one of its key advantages.
VPS hosting offers the affordability of shared hosting with the control of dedicated hosting, so consider it a hybrid of both. Some examples of websites that use VPS hosting include small-scale shopping platforms, streaming services, creative agencies, etc.
- Flexible resources
- More control than shared hosting
- Ideal for growing websites
- Requires a basic understanding of how virtual servers work
- Slightly more expensive
Cloud hosting is a web hosting technique that uses multiple servers to host a website or a web application using virtual machines and cloud computing technology. It is derived from the VPS hosting technique that we discussed earlier. Since it hosts your website on several servers around the world, cloud hosting reduces the chance of failure, making it one of the most reliable hosting methods.
Cloud hosting isn’t for people who wish to create a website as a personal project or even small-scale businesses. It provides flexible scalability, as more cloud hosting platforms offer a “pay-as-you-go” model, wherein clients can add more resources as needed.
Examples of cloud web hosting providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, etc.
- Highly scalable
- One of the most reliable hosting solutions
- Based on high-performance servers
- More complex to set up
- Increased dependence on a vendor
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting involves leasing an entire physical server from a data center. Unlike other types of web hosting, dedicated hosting gives the client complete control over the server and its configuration, making it one of the most expensive types of web hosting in 2023.
However, this type of hosting is generally for large-scale enterprises that want to store an entire database or have several high-traffic web pages. The dedicated server providers often offer technical assistance. Several companies often set up dedicated servers to assist them with in-house data processing and relaying.
Some dedicated hosting providers are AccuWeb, A2 Web Hosting, Liquid Web Hosting, GoDaddy, etc.
- Complete control over resources
- Best performance
- Most reliable and secure
- Required technical expertise
- Regular maintenance
- Most expensive
Managed WordPress Web Hosting
Managed web hosting is a type of web hosting wherein a client pays a service provider to look after all the technical aspects of a website, such as general upkeep, regular maintenance, performing security checks, and, of course, hosting the data on their servers.
Managed WordPress web hosting is a sub-type of this. It refers to a specialized service available for WordPress users that improves their website’s performance and provides additional features like plugins, security tools, etc. It eliminates the need to perform basic daily tasks, such as backups, core updates, server-level caching, etc.
Generally, Managed WordPress hosting is used by freelancers, agencies, growing e-commerce sites, small businesses, etc.
- Support from WordPress experts
- Faster loading times
- Easy management
- Saves time
- Slightly expensive
- Only for WordPress users
Which Type of Web Hosting is Better For You?
When it comes to web hosting, there are multiple options that one can explore. However, the best web hosting option depends on the purpose and budget. For instance, one can create a personal website for showcasing their resume for free using several service providers. Since this type of website doesn’t have to handle high traffic or oncoming tickets, it doesn’t incur any cost.
However, if a news publication wants to create a website where they’ll be pushing loads of data daily, opting for a VPS or cloud hosting service is a better option. Similarly, small-scale businesses or startups can contact their clients via websites created through shared hosting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the basic type of web hosting?
Shared hosting is often referred to as the basic type of web hosting. It is one of the most affordable hosting solutions for individuals or small businesses.
Is WordPress a type of web host?
WordPress is a content management system that one can use to create websites and blogs. Even after making a website using WordPress, one has to choose the hosting service.
Which type of hosting is cheaper?
Shared hosting or VPS hosting are the most affordable options, depending upon requirements.