Web hosting is one of those things with so many variables that sometimes, it can be really difficult to choose the right one. We have shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting which are the four main types of web hosting and all of them have different features that are provided by the different web hosting companies. In this article, we will explain said main types of web hosting and we will also clear out some common misunderstandings on the subject. Let’s begin.
What You’ll Learn
- The main web hosting types and how you can choose the one that best suits your needs – we will explain, in detail, what shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting are and in this process, you will learn how you can choose the one that will meet your needs.
Explaining The Different Types Of Hosting – Shared, VPS, Dedicated & Cloud
Okay. So we established the four main types of hosting and before we get to explaining each of them in more detail, let’s talk quickly about what hosting is. Basically, every website on the Internet is hosted on (resides on) a server (computer) somewhere. Hosting companies are basically establishments that sell space on their servers. That’s it.
It is not practical to spend $1,000 on a computer so you can host your website on it. Sure you can do that, but it is more practical to pay something like $5 per month to host it on one of the servers of the many reliable web hosting company out there.
Now let’s dig into them starting out with the most popular and most used type of hosting – shared hosting.
#1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like – it is shared. Basically, the server your website is hosted on contains many other websites from many other users – usually around 2 to 3 thousand websites. And there lies the problem.
Imagine if just one of these websites has some problem in its code and started overusing the resources of the server – you know, the ones that all other websites are also using. This is what’s called being in a bad neighborhood and is the main reason why shared hosting is generally not the most loved type of hosting.
Now, that being said, nowadays most web hosting companies are doing their best to try and avoid such scenarios. They would temporarily disable a faulty website or try and contact the owner to resolve any problems. But despite that, shared hosting is still not the best of ideas if you are looking for a reliable hosting solution.
And don’t blame the hosting companies. I mean, shared hosting goes for around $10 per month so the level of service you receive for that kind of money is pretty good despite the problems it might come with. Now me personally, I’ve used and am still using shared hosting for some of my sites and (knock on wood) I’ve never had any serious problems with any of my hosts. Guess I have just been lucky.
So is shared hosting a good option? Yes, yes it is. Especially for people who are just starting out in the online world, I’d say it’s the best option. It’s cheap, it’s really easy to setup and it comes with a ton of features that help beginner online marketers.
#2. VPS Hosting
VPS hosting is basically shared hosting on steroids. The situation is similar – you have more than one user (usually around 10 – 20) on a single server however there’s one big difference – they all use independent resources. That means that a single faulty website can’t cause any problems to the rest of the neighbor websites like it is with shared hosting.
The other great thing about VPS hosting is that it is very flexible. If your website is getting a huge burst of visitors you can easily increase the resources by upgrading your VPS plan and it all happens in a matter of seconds.
So who should go with VPS hosting? Well, anyone who could afford it I would say. It is well worth it, especially if your website is starting to get a significant amount of traffic.
#3. Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is basically the same as VPS hosting only more scalable. Many web hosting companies are already replacing the term VPS hosting with Cloud hosting. So the way cloud hosting works is it allows your website to access the resources on an entire network of servers.
While you can scale a VPS hosting plan only to what the server it is hosted on allows you to, you can scale a Cloud hosting plan a lot further. Another great bonus of Cloud hosting is its natural defense against DDoS attacks.
Since your website is basically in a network of servers, it can naturally withstand a lot better on DDoS attacks than if it were hosted on a single server. As I said, most companies nowadays are replacing their VPS hosting with Cloud hosting simply because it is the same thing, but better.
#4. Dedicated Hosting
This is where things get really customized. Dedicated hosting allows you to fully control the server your website is hosted on and guess what, there’s no one else on the server – it’s all yours. However, with a lot of resources comes a lot of responsibility.
Dedicated hosting actually requires you to have good knowledge of servers, server technology and configurations. After all, you need to setup everything on your own. Another downside of dedicated hosting is the fact that if there’s a hardware failure, you’re basically screwed.
With Cloud hosting, if there’s failure in hardware, your website will basically start using another module from the network, but with dedicated hosting, it might take a few hours (or more) for the problem to get fixed.
Who is dedicated hosting for? I’d say that you don’t really need it unless you have highly specific needs in hardware and resources or if you are looking for the highest level of security. A dedicated server might have its bad sides, but from a security and privacy point of view, it is the best option out there.
Okay, so now that you have a basic understanding of each of the main types of hosting, I think that you can easily choose the right one for your needs. Again, if you are just starting out with Internet marketing, I’d go with shared hosting.
Otherwise, if you have the budget, start looking out for VPS or Cloud hosting – you won’t regret it. You can check out this article for our top 5 pick for the best web hosting companies which reviews their best features, hosting plans, and prices. Hope you find what you are looking for.