What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. …
Let’s cover the basics to make sure you have a full understanding of what web hosting is first.
Websites are hosted on servers, which are powerful pieces of hardware that house websites and data related to those sites. Every component of your website is stored on a server and accessed through your web host. This includes elements like files, text, images, videos — everything.
Servers are physically located in data centers, which are typically run and managed by different web hosting companies.
Web hosts provide the technology and server space required for your website to be accessed on the Internet. This allows users to search for your site and view your web pages online.
Different Types of Web Hosting
All servers are different. That’s why different web hosting options exist.
Multiple websites might share a single server. Meanwhile some websites have a server to themselves.
There are four main types of web hosting:
VPS (virtual private server) hosting
Reseller hosting and WordPress hosting are also specific types of hosting that fall within these categories. We’ll cover all six types of web hosting as we continue.
How do you know which hosting option is best for your website?
The type of server you choose impacts elements like performance, security, scalability, and management level of your website.
Your decision also depends on the type of website you have and the amount of traffic you get.
For example, a small personal blog with 5,000 monthly visitors have different hosting needs than a large ecommerce site with 250,000 visits per month.
It’s also worth noting that different hosting options are offered at varying price points. So it’s important that you find an option that falls within your budget as well.
Shared hosting is the most basic type of web hosting. It’s cost-effective and the best choice for small or entry-level websites . As the name implies, websites using shared hosting will be sharing resources with other websites on a singular server.
Shared web hosting pros:
- Most cost-effective type of web hosting.
- Easy to set up.
- No technical knowledge required.
- Great for beginners and small websites.
Shared web hosting cons:
- Sharing server resources with other websites.
- Performance issues are out of your control.
- Slower loading times and lower uptime rates.
- VPS stands for “virtual private server.” This hosting type is a step above shared web hosting. When a website outgrows their shared plan, it’s common for owners to upgrade to a VPS.
- With a virtual private server, your website will still be sharing a single server with other websites. However, the number of websites you’ll be sharing it with is significantly lower.
- The main server is split into multiple virtual servers—hence the name. These virtual servers can be customized by individual websites.
VPS hosting pros:
- Dedicated server resources.
- Ability to make custom configurations to your server.
- Higher uptime rates and faster loading speeds.
- More cost-effective than a dedicated server.
VPS hosting cons:
- Sharing the main server with other websites.
- Not as easy to set up as a shared server.
- Still has limitations in terms of what you can control.
WordPress hosting optimizes for WordPress as your content management system.
You’ll normally see two different types of WordPress hosting offered by providers.
- Shared WordPress hosting
- Managed WordPress hosting
WordPress hosting usually has added security that’s specifically designed for websites that are running on WordPress. Since WordPress is the most commonly used CMS across the globe, those websites are a higher risk for cyber crime. So that added security is definitely a great benefit.
Dedicated servers are typically considered the best choice in web hosting. That’s because you have a dedicated server that belongs to you, and you alone. You typically get more benefits with dedicated hosting too such as more uptime and faster speeds.
Dedicated hosting pros:
- Complete control over the server.
- Not sharing resources with any other websites.
- High security.
- Fast load times, high uptimes, and optimal performance.
Dedicated hosting cons:
- Most expensive type of web hosting.
- Requires technical knowledge.
- You are responsible for everything.
Cloud hosting is like a hybrid version of a VPS—but more cost-effective.
Cloud hosting pros:
- High security.
- Scale resources on demand.
- Less unexpected downtime.
Cloud hosting cons:
- Pricing isn’t always fixed.
- Unpredictable traffic can increase costs.
- Limited customization.
Reseller hosting involves selling hosting services to clients. As such, it is definitely not for everyone. If you’re building a small website from scratch or just looking to host a website on your own, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Reseller hosting pros:
- Set uncapped prices to your clients.
- Get recurring and sustainable income.
- Improve your existing services.
Reseller hosting cons:
- Need lots of clients to make it worth your time and effort.
- If something goes wrong, your clients will turn to you.