Here are the 6 types of hosting and best web host for each type:
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
The web hosting type you choose is incredibly important for the website you want to create.
If you’re starting out, you should learn about the different types of web hosting. That way you can figure out which option is the best for your website. Don’t rush this process. Choosing the wrong web hosting type can cause big problems for your site down the road. Some of you might be unhappy with your current web hosting situation, so you’re looking to switch. That’s what brought you to this page.
This guide will explain everything you need to know about your web hosting options. Once you figure out the type of web hosting you want, then you can review the best web hosting providers and select a plan to meet your needs.
What is Web Hosting?
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 websites are different. That’s why there are different servers to meet there needs. 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
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.
I’ve outlined and explained the six different web hosting options below. You can use this information to figure out which hosting type is the best choice for your website.
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 single server. This works well because the vast majority of websites don’t need a whole server of their own.
That’s how shared hosting remains so cheap. By splitting resources, it’s less cost for the web host.
As such, each website on the server will have a limited amount of resources as defined by their specific hosting plan.
Think of it as renting an apartment with roommates. You have your own bedroom, but you and your roommates will share resources like water, electricity, and common spaces throughout the house.
The nature of sharing a server with other websites has its drawbacks. If another website on your server has a traffic spike, it can potentially cause performance issues with your site. These situations are out of your control.
So while shared hosting is a great option if you want to save some money, it definitely won’t deliver the most high-quality web hosting experience for you or your website visitors.
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.
For those of you who want to run custom configurations to your server, you can get optional root access with your VPS hosting plan.
Your site will perform better due to having more resources. This means you’ll benefit from faster loading times and higher uptime rates. You won’t have to worry about another website causing your site to crash.
Most websites do not need a dedicated server (we’ll get to that next). But a VPS gives you some of the benefits of dedicated hosting at a fraction of the price.
A virtual private server is like renting an apartment on your own. You won’t be sharing a kitchen, bathroom, living room, or other common spaces with any roommates. This gives you much more freedom and flexibility to do what you want with the space.
However, you’ll be sharing some resources with the other units in the building. So there will still be some limitations.
Who is VPS Hosting For?
VPS hosting is best for small or medium-sized businesses that can’t afford to have unexpected downtime on their website. It’s a great option for website owners who have outgrown the resources of a shared hosting plan.
A virtual private server can benefit website owners who are tech-savvy and want to make custom changes to their server configuration.
Websites with large files like videos and images should consider a VPS. Interactive websites with complex files will perform better on a VPS as opposed to a shared server.
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 see two different types of WordPress hosting offered by providers.
- Shared WordPress hosting
- Managed WordPress hosting
Shared WordPress hosting works the same way as regular shared hosting, except WordPress might be pre-installed.
Managed WordPress hosting provides added benefits like enhanced security, server caching, staging, and faster loading speeds.
The best WordPress hosting plans come with one-click WordPress installations as well.
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.
Who is WordPress Hosting For?
This isn’t rocket science. WordPress hosting is for WordPress users. If you want your hosting to be optimized for your WordPress site, then you should look into this type of web hosting.
WordPress hosting pros:
- Optimized for WordPress.
- WordPress pre-installed or one-click installations.
- Enhanced security for WordPress sites.
WordPress hosting cons:
- Less control and flexibility.
- Updates aren’t always smooth.
- Sharing resources with other WordPress sites.
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.
However, it comes with a catch: This is the most expensive type of web hosting.
Since you won’t be sharing resources or anything else with other websites, your site will operate at peak performance.
Websites being hosted on a dedicated server have complete technical control over the server settings. You choose the software, configurations, and anything else you need.
If you get a dedicated server, you should expect extremely high uptime rates and lightning fast loading speeds. You won’t have to worry about traffic from other websites impacting your performance.
A dedicated server is like owning a house. If you want to build a fence, plant a tree in the yard, build a patio, or renovate the kitchen, everything is completely up to you.
Who is Dedicated Hosting For?
Dedicated hosting plans are typically reserved for enterprise-level websites. That means more than 100,000 monthly visits — not to mention plenty of revenue coming in to afford the server.
Don’t even consider this type of hosting if you’re still struggling to pull in a few thousand in traffic each month.
Large ecommerce sites and enterprises should consider a dedicated hosting plan because they can have complete control over the functions of their server. Sites that require the highest levels of security, such as websites that store financial data or medical information would benefit from a dedicated server.
Dedicated servers come with varying management levels. You can look for a hosting provider that will manage your server for you, or you can manage it on your own. The downside of managing the server on your own is that you’ll be responsible for installing updates and monitoring everything for glitches or errors.
Only consider a dedicated server if you can afford it. In most cases, a dedicated hosting plan will be out of your price range, especially if you are starting a new website. These servers can cost up to $2,000 per month.
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.