If you are thinking of making your own website, you are sure to come across the term ‘Web Hosting’. In this article, we are delving into that exact topic to help you understand the types of web hosting along with its definition a little better.
What Is Web Hosting And How Does It Work?
Website Hosting is a service through which you can make your website live on the internet.
To do so, firstly, you will require a web hosting account. Such an account has to be bought from a hosting provider ( third-party organizations that sell web hosting solutions ).
The provider will then create a unique space on the internet for you to store the files that compose your website and only then your website will be active.
Different Types Of Web Hosting
We have covered that websites do not work without taking hosting services, but there are various types you will find on the web.
So, to help you chose the perfect kind of hosting for your website, we are listing the variety below :
- Shared web hosting
- Dedicated web hosting
- VPS/VDS hosting
- Cloud hosting
- Reseller hosting
- Hosting using website builders
- Colocation web hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Self service hosting
- Clustered hosting
- Grid hosting
1. Shared Web Hosting
A shared web hosting means hosting your website using a web server that is also being used by many other websites for hosting purposes.
Such hosting is very suitable for beginners because of its easy-to-use approach and cost-efficiency. It is a very useful hosting solution for those who run small e-commerce websites or are new to blogging etc.
But, there are some cons to such hosting. If a website on a shared hosting server takes up a lot of internet traffic, other users on the same server might face issues with their site’s performance and may also face potential system crashes.
Other disadvantages include having a security risk to some extent because you are a part of a shared system and also you are not allowed to change any configuration on your own.
2. Dedicated Web Hosting
One can say dedicated web hosting is the exact opposite of shared web hosting. Using dedicated hosting would mean having ‘almost’ all the control.
There is a far superior security system involved and the amount of traffic that other websites receive is never going to hamper your website’s user experience as each server is dedicated to a singular user.
Yet, the downsides are that such hostings require more time to grasp all the navigation techniques because of their complexity. So it is not suitable for beginners or people who are inexperienced with handling servers.
In addition, the expenses may also prove to be a turn-off because dedicated web hosting is one of the most expensive types of hosting to exist out there.
3. VPS Hosting
The term VPS is the acronym for a virtual private server. If you want cheaper hosting with the benefits of dedicated hosting, VPS is the way to go for you!
This type of web hosting provides you with the flexibility to customize your virtual server but you get the same treatment as that of a shared hosting service. It is mainly used for websites that gain a large amount of traffic from global users.
While this is a popular hosting solution, a downside can be that sometimes providers do not give you the sufficient space your website needs and thus can prove to be rather deceitful.
And it also entails some underlying security risks because of the server being shared and although this could be justified by the lower cost, the expenses are still higher than the usual shared hosting services and undesirable for some users.
4. Cloud Hosting
Unlike traditional hosting methods, cloud hosting is a great alternative hosting solution. Such hosting involves using a whole network of different servers to make your website accessible.
As it is connected to a network of different servers, so, if one server goes down but the others still work, you will have less downtime – sort of like how parallel electric circuits work. You will also be entitled to higher security compared to what traditional servers provide.
Along with limited control over configurations, a major downside for cloud hosting is that unexpected website traffic may bring in unwanted increases for your hosting expenses.
This also signals that the pricing for such a service is not fixed. And so, if you cannot choose your resources wisely, you may end up overpaying or underpaying but negatively impacting your website.
5. Reseller Web Hosting
The name for this type of web hosting is kind of self-explanatory but to be clearer, reseller web hosting basically means buying a hosting service from an official provider and selling it to other people.
This kind of hosting is mainly used by people working in the IT sector such as – graphic designers or programmers. They can add web hosting to their services using reseller hosting and sell it to their clients to have an extra and steady income source.
Even though the income from such hosting can seem alluring, this is not worth the time and effort if your clientele is of a limited number.
That said since you are acting as a mediator between your clients and the actual providers, your clients will come to you whenever they face a problem with their website and that itself can prove to be rather tedious.
6. Hosting Using Website Builders
This is another type of web hosting generally used by beginners. They use something called a website builder which allows one to easily build and manage an entry-level website without technical knowledge.
They allow the users to build and manage websites using a web browser-like interface, meaning that hosting with website builders provides a better experience for the website owner.
Website builder hosting is not as versatile as traditional hosting methods. It is usually only in the shared hosting type. So, it is inevitable that if you need to transition to VPS hosting, you will need to shift to an actual web hosting provider when your website starts getting more successful.
The cost is almost the same as shared hosting, but if you aren’t wise enough, you may pay extra for unnecessary plugins.
7. Colocation Web Hosting
For colocation web hosting, you will need to purchase a server of your own from a data center who will in turn allocate a space for you on the internet and let you keep your server in their care.
This type of hosting is very similar to dedicated web hosting, but even dedicated hosting allows some control to the provider. Whereas, colocation web hosting gives you complete control over your server and your providers will keep your server’s security in check.
Though getting full control is a plus point in many aspects, it can become a hassle for you to purchase all the props needed and any updates that are deemed necessary.
That said, such hosting is much more expensive and you will have to be a tech-savvy person to handle everything wisely. Also, finding a good data center near your location means more unwanted trouble.
8. WordPress Hosting
WordPress is one of the world’s largest content management systems and open-source software that now works as a full-fledged website builder. But to use WordPress, you’ll need to buy a WordPress hosting service plan first.
Using such hosting means that you are using WordPress to run your website. This would make your work a lot easier since all you need to do is set up your website and upload your files to your web hosting account and WordPress will manage the rest while still allowing you to have full control.
Beginners often face problems navigating and working with WordPress in the initial stage. So, if you wish to use WordPress services, you might need to give extra time into first learning how to use it.
Another disadvantage is that even though WordPress hosting plans are often affordable in price, you cannot use them for any other platforms. So, your resources are exclusive to WordPress only.
9. Self Service Hosting
It is all in the name! A self-service hosting is a bit of a DIY situation. If you’re one of those people who trust their own work more than anybody else, this is just the type of hosting you need.
You will get full control over your web server and will not have to pay any third-party organizations a single penny. So, you’ll have complete freedom of installing any script or application you want on your server and take full responsibility for it.
Even though the freedom is tempting, this ship is bound to sink if you do not have a clear knowledge of what you are doing. At the end of the day, all your hard work will go in vain if your website does not work efficiently because you lack knowledge.
You will be fully responsible for your website, you will have to buy all the machines and servers required to run your website smoothly and all that stuff needs a lot of effort. In the long run, it is cheaper and less of a hassle to purchase a web hosting plan from an official provider.
10. Clustered Web Hosting
A clustered web hosting means hosting your website using multiple servers. This is different from cloud hosting because it uses a local area network ( LAN ) instead.
The pros of this hosting variety are similar to that of cloud hosting. As it uses multiple servers, your website will have more uptime and a lesser number of unexpected crashes than traditional hosting types. Also, if one server fails, the others will keep up your work.
As this type of web hosting works via a clustered environment, all servers are linked together by the same IP address. So, if one server gets hacked, the others will have a chance of getting hacked too, and hence, recovering the old database could be hard.
This also requires better hardware and as there are more machines, the cost of equipment, as well as maintenance, will be significantly higher.
11. Grid Hosting
Grid hosting much like cloud or cluster hosting involves the use of multiple servers to achieve your goal of making your website accessible to people on the world wide web via grid computing.
Grid hosting is far cheaper than its previous kin – cluster web hosting. The big SMP servers are unnecessary for grid hosting and your script can run smoothly over much smaller servers so it also saves office space as well as saving your website from crashing more frequently due to the multiple numbers of machines.
Maintenance is still going to need some effort because the servers are still multiple and that brings in complexity to some extent.
A Gigabit Ethernet connection is required to run your applications smoothly and if your server applications are on the heavier side, you might still need the large SMP servers.
Which Hosting Should You Choose?
If you wish to open a website for your new business or a hobbyist blog, shared hosting or website builder hosting is just for you.
On the other hand, if your website attracts heavy traffic regularly or you run a large brand website, dedicated, VPS, cloud, cluster, or grid hosting should fulfill your needs well enough. Colocation and self-service hosting are for people who like handling their own things.
WordPress hosting is the most versatile one here as it fulfills almost every need from all sorts of websites.
So, to fully understand what types of web hosting your projects need, you must fully understand the aim of your website.
To end we would like to mention some renowned hosting providers such as Bluehost, A2 Hosting, Namecheap, Hostinger, Hostgator, etc; all of which provide excellent hosting services at affordable prices.