Seven Different Types of Web Hosting Explained

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The type of web hosting is a key consideration factor when choosing a web host because it directly impacts your experience as a website owner. Different hosting types offer varying levels of resource allocation, control, and technical requirements.

Knowing the different types of web hosting allows you to match your website’s specific needs. This knowledge ensures you invest in a hosting solution that offers the optimal balance of performance, reliability, and cost-efficiency for your website’s success.

Web Hosting Types At A Glance

Hosting TypesDescriptionKey Features
Shared HostingMultiple websites on a single server.Cost-effective, Beginner-friendly, Limited Resources
VPS HostingA server splits into multiple virtual servers, where each customer is allocated a portion of the server’s resources.Scalable Resources, Root Access, Intermediate Level
Dedicated HostingA server dedicated to a single client.Maximum Control, High Performance, High Cost
Cloud HostingResources spread across multiple servers.Scalability, Reliability, Pay-as-you-go Pricing
Colocation HostingRenting space in a data center for your own server.High Control, Requires Technical Knowledge, Costly
WordPress HostingOptimized specifically for WordPress sites.Easy Installation, Enhanced Security, WordPress Support
Reseller HostingAllows you to host websites on behalf of third parties.Revenue Opportunity, Control Panels, Billing Software

While web hosting is in general the provisioning of web space and related infrastructure – there are various types of plans available. We will look into the some common web hosting types below.

1. Shared Hosting

Example: Hostinger Shared Hosting Plan starts at $2.99 per month.
Example: Hostinger Shared Hosting Plan starts at $2.99 per month.

Shared Hosting is where multiple websites reside on a single server, sharing resources such as CPU, RAM, and disk space. The hosting service provider will allocate anywhere from between 100 to 300 customer accounts to a single server all of which use the pooled resources (CPU time, memory and disk space) of that server.

Shared Hosting is the most cost-effective option, ideal for small websites, blogs, and startups with low to moderate traffic. The downside is that high traffic on one website can impact the performance of others on the same server.

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Ideal For: New websites, small businesses, and bloggers. It’s the most cost-effective option, perfect for those with limited traffic.

Limitations: Limited resources, less control over server configuration, potential for slower website performance during peak traffic times.

Examples: Hostinger, Verpex, TMD Hosting

2. VPS / Cloud Hosting

Example: ScalaHosting VPS Plan starts at $29.95 per month.
Example: ScalaHosting VPS Plan starts at $29.95 per month.

VPS Hosting splits a single server into multiple virtual servers, where each website is allocated a portion of the server’s resources. It offers more control and dedicated resources than shared hosting, making it suitable for websites with medium traffic that requires more customization and scalability. Users get root access to install applications and make environment changes without affecting others.

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Ideal For: Websites that have outgrown shared hosting, businesses requiring more control and flexibility.

Limitations: More expensive than shared hosting, requires more technical knowledge to manage.

Examples: ScalaHosting, GreenGeeks, LiquidWeb

3. Dedicated Hosting

Example: NameCheap Dedicated Hosting Plan starts at $41.88 per month.
Example: NameCheap Dedicated Hosting Plan starts at $41.88 per month.

Dedicated Hosting provides a website with its own server, offering full control over server resources and configuration.

A dedicated server is suitable for high-traffic websites and those with specific security, performance, or compliance needs. It is usually expensive and offer users the opportunity to keep all the resources of a single server for their own website(s).

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Ideal For: Large businesses and high-traffic websites requiring maximum control, security, and performance.

Limitations: Significantly more expensive, requires advanced technical skills to manage.

Examples: LiquidWeb, InMotion Hosting, NameCheap

4. Cloud Hosting

Example: At Kamatera, cloud plan starts as low as $4 per month and goes up to hundreds of dollars for higher plans.
Example: Cloud Hosting prices can be less predictable. At Kamatera, cloud plan starts as low as $4 per month and goes up to hundreds of dollars for higher plans.

Cloud Hosting uses a network of virtual servers that tap into an underlying network of physical servers. The main advantage is scalability, as resources can be adjusted based on real-time demand, making it ideal for websites with fluctuating traffic. It offers high reliability, as website data can be mirrored across servers, minimizing downtime.

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Ideal For: Websites with fluctuating traffic or that have outgrown shared hosting; businesses looking for reliability and scalability.

Limitations: Pricing can be less predictable than fixed-rate plans, slightly more complex to set up initially.

Examples: Cloudways, Digital Ocean, Kamatera

5. Colocation Hosting

Rackspace Techonology Colocation Hosting allows you to eliminate the capital costs of maintaining the physical aspects of your data center while keeping control of your servers.
Example: Rackspace Techonology Colocation Hosting Plan allows you to eliminate the capital costs of maintaining the physical aspects of your data center while keeping control of your servers, storage, network and security.

In Colocation Hosting, instead of renting server space, you rent physical space in a data center where you place your own server hardware. The data center provides the power, bandwidth, IP address, and cooling systems your server requires. This option gives you full control over the server and its setup but requires significant investment and technical expertise to manage the hardware and software.

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Ideal For: Businesses that already own server hardware and require full control over their server setup. It’s also suitable for organizations with specific compliance or security needs that cannot be met by traditional hosting services.

Limitations: Significant upfront investment in server hardware. Requires technical expertise to manage and maintain the server.

Examples: LiquidWeb

6. Reseller Hosting

Example: GreenGeeks Reseller Hosting Plan starts at $19.95 per month.
Example: GreenGeeks Reseller Hosting Plan starts at $19.95 per month.

Reseller Hosting is designed for individuals or businesses that want to offer hosting services to others. Providers offer bulk plans that resellers can divide and sell under their own branding. It’s a way to start a hosting business without the infrastructure or technical knowledge required for direct hosting services.

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Ideal For: Web developers, designers, or agencies that want to offer web hosting services to their clients as an additional service. It’s also suitable for entrepreneurs looking to enter the web hosting business with minimal investment.

Limitations: Profit margins may be limited by competition and the cost of the reseller plan. Requires extensive time and resources to provide customer support.

Examples: Cloudways, UltaHost, Chemicloud

7. WordPress Hosting

Example: WP Engine WordPress Hosting Plan starts at $13.00 per month.
Example: WP Engine WordPress Hosting Plan starts at $13.00 per month.

WordPress Hosting comes in two main flavors – managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged WordPress hosting is more alike to shared hosting, with the key difference being that the account is set up with WordPress and ready to go.

Managed WordPress hosting is usually more expensive and comes with more benefits such as specially configured servers for optimal WordPress site performance. One good example of a managed WordPress hosting provider is WP Engine, which offers features like dedicated developer environments, use of the Genesis Framework and more.

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Ideal For: WordPress website owners looking for optimized performance, security, and easy management.

Limitations: Primarily suited for WordPress sites, might be restrictive if planning to use other CMS platforms.

Examples: Cloudways, WP Engine, Kinsta.

Each web hosting type offers distinct features, performance levels, and pricing. Your choice should be guided by your specific website needs, such as website types, anticipated traffic volume, technical requirements, and growth expectations.

Understanding these options will help you make an informed decision that supports your online presence effectively.

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Article by Jerry Low

Jerry Low has immersed himself in web technologies for over a decade and has built many successful sites from scratch. He is a self-professed geek who has made it his life’s ambition to keep the web hosting industry honest. For latest personal updates and news, follow Jerry on Facebook and Twitter.
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