What is Web Hosting? Web Hosting Types Explained for Beginners in 2023
Are you planning to digitalize your business by launching a website? You might have heard about several web hosting types. You may be confused regarding several types of web hosting available because you are unsure which one will be best for your website. To choose the best hosting for your site, you must first consider a few technical aspects of several hosting types. This blog explains the 5 important hosting types' benefits and drawbacks.
We suggest you read this blog from start to end to better understand web hosting services in connection to your site’s needs so that you can choose the best hosting type for your project. This guide is for everyone, including small business owners, e-commerce entrepreneurs, and bloggers. Let’s now dive in and explore the world of web hosting.
Web Hosting: Understanding The Basics
If you want to make your site viewable online, it can only be done by getting a web hosting service for your business or project. The purpose of a web hosting service provider is to provide site owners with server space and storage to store files, data, and other significant information so that internet users can access the website worldwide.
In simple words, the server, which is connected to the internet, offers rental spaces to the site owners to run their sites online. The server is a storage area where all the necessary site data, files, and information are stored. Once your website is live, it can be easily accessed by global internet users. All they need is to type your site’s URL or address in the browser, and your site will be displayed on the screen based on the files retrieved by the server. Which CMS is Better for you Shopify VS WordPress Complete Guide.
Web hosting services can come in various types, ranging from shared hosting, where multiple websites share the same server, to dedicated hosting, where a single website has exclusive access to an entire server. The type of hosting that you choose depends on your website's needs, traffic volume, and other factors.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Host
Choosing the right web hosting for you requires considering the technical aspects of different web hosting options. If the web hosting service provider fulfills your requirements, you should go for it.
Here are some key things to look for in a web host:
1. Reliability and uptime:
One key aspect to consider is the high uptime guarantee, which means if your website has more than 99% uptime, only then will it be visible and accessible to visitors at all times.
2. Speed and performance:
Speed and performance are the two significant factors in boosting your site ranking and improving user experience. Opt for the hosting provider with high speed and performance promise.
Scalability is crucial; this is why ensure that a web hosting service can accommodate the increasing data and traffic with your site’s continuous growth.
To keep your site’s data safe and protected, only opt for the service providers that offer robust security in the form of SSL certificates and firewalls against online threats.
5. Customer support:
Customer support is the backbone; with it, resolving any technical issue will be easier. Good customer support helps to keep the site running on the web without any trouble.
6. Pricing and features:
Make sure to opt for the service provider that offers competitive pricing and robust features to meet your business needs, like email hosting, site-builder, and more.
Considering these factors is mandatory to reach the best hosting type for your business or project. Look for a reliable, high-performing, secure service to lead a successful website.
Types of Web Hostings
After discussing the basics of web hosting and the important considerable factors before choosing a web hosting provider, let’s now dive into the details of the 5 main web hosting types.
Always remember that all hosting types can run a WordPress site. However, each type has its benefits and downsides too. You should choose the one that best suits your site's business requirements.
When a single server hosts multiple websites due to its shared CPU, disk space, and memory, then such a hosting type is known as shared hosting. In such a case, the server provides every user with their allocated spaces, but all of them will have a similar IP and the same server resources.
Normally people go for the shared hosting option due to its affordability for individuals and small businesses. But shared hosting is only recommended when your website requires limited server resources and its traffic is moderate. In shared hosting service, the responsibility lies on the manager’s shoulders, and they will also take care of the regular updates and security maintenance.
Building a heavy site requires high-security levels and customized configurations, so there are better options than shared hosting. Secondly, if any of the websites on the shared server experiences a sudden surge in traffic or resources, it will potentially affect the performance of other websites too.
Benefits of Shared Hosting:
Cost-effective: Shared hosting is highly affordable as the cost is divided among the site owners running their sites on a shared server.
Ease of Use: Setting up your new build site on a shared server is easy. Easy-use site builders and control panels will make overall site management easy.
Low maintenance: On a shared server, the responsibility to update, maintain, and resolve the security issues of the server lie on the manager’s shoulders.
Good for Small Websites: Shared hosting is best for small websites with moderate traffic and less requirement of server resources.
Drawbacks of Shared Web Hosting:
Limited Resources: In shared hosting, the resources provided by the server are also shared among the site owners. It is why the system experiences slow loading times and limited resources, especially when the traffic is high.
Lack of Control: Regarding customization options and control over website management, shared hosting service providers offer limited control.
Security Risks: As multiple websites share the same server, there is a higher risk of security breaches and hacking attempts.
Limited Scalability: Due to limited resources, shared hosting may not be suitable for websites that require rapid scalability.
Virtual Private Server hosting refers to the web hosting service in which a single physical server creates multiple virtual servers. Each virtual server is independent and bears its resources, software, and operating system. Unlike the shared hosting service, VPS hosting divides the physical server into dedicated and isolated multiple virtual servers to give users full control over their server environment.
VPS hosting is generally used by individuals or businesses who require additional resources and flexibility compared to shared hosting but do not require the full resources and cost of a dedicated server. In simple words, a VPS web hosting plan is an attempt to combine shared and dedicated web hosting features. The process is easy to understand; a physical server is virtually divided among multiple users to meet their specified needs.
Once you get a web hosting service from a VPS server, you can customize the storage resources on the web server without paying high amounts for the dedicated server option.
Overall, VPS hosting offers a level of control, flexibility, and performance that is not available with shared hosting, making it a popular choice for businesses and individuals who need more resources and control over their server environment.
Benefits of VPS hosting:
Increased performance: VPS hosting providers offer users dedicated resources such as CPU, storage, and RAM, enhancing their website’s or application’s performance compared to shared hosting.
Flexibility: The user will have greater control over their site’s data, resources, and management as they can have their own specified system, software, and server settings.
Isolation: In a VPS web hosting, each user is given their own dedicated virtual space in an isolated environment making the overall atmosphere safer and more securer against online threats.
Cost-effective: VPS costs more than a shared hosting service but is cheaper than dedicated hosting servers. Simply put, it is a good option for your business or an individual project.
Drawbacks of VPS hosting:
Technical knowledge required: With no technical knowledge, it would be challenging to deal with VPS hosting. A piece of basic technical information is required to get comfortable with the system.
Shared hardware resources: Although virtual resources are dedicated to the users, all of them are bound to a single physical machine. Simply put, if one user’s resource utilization over-exceeds, it will affect other virtual users.
Cost: VPS is cheaper than dedicated hosting and costly compared to the shared hosting service. It is up to the users to analyze the cost against the resources before opting for any hosting service to get the maximum benefit.
Limited customization: VPS web hosting providers sometimes give limited user customization options.
As obvious from its name, a dedicated server is entirely dedicated to one user only. There is no virtual sharing; the physical machine is also dedicated to the single site owner. With dedicated hosting, you will have everything you need to run your site(s) without sharing your system, storage, or CPU with other users. The key significance of dedicated hosting is that you can have full control over the physical parts, such as hardware and so on.
An interesting fact is that most WordPress users refrain from using dedicated hosting as it is costly and mainly required to cater to the needs of large-scale business enterprises. In our opinion, casual WordPress users should opt for cloud hosting that offers dedicated resources at lower prices than dedicated hosting.
If you have a large-scale business and strive to run it smoothly on the web, then you should go for dedicated hosting, which will cost you a lot of money comparatively. Otherwise, managed WordPress hosting offers the best value plan for a quick-loading site.
Benefits of Dedicated Hosting:
High performance: Dedicated hosting promises better performance as no shared resources exist. Rather the server is entirely dedicated to a single client.
Full control: No other hosting service can match a user's level of control in a dedicated hosting service. In the first place, the server is entirely dedicated to one user, and it can be customized as per the user's voice in a second. Full control enhances your site’s performance due to the increased flexibility and scalability.
Security: Dedicated hosting is undoubtedly more secure than VPS and shared hosting due to the greater control of the client over the server. The client can also implement security measures.
Reliability: Regarding the reliability measure, dedicated hosting stands first among other hosting options. In dedicated hosting, you do not need to worry about other users’ impact on your site’s performance, as in shared hosting.
Drawbacks of Dedicated Hosting:
Cost: If you want to have your dedicated server, you will have to pay extra money. Unlike shared hosting, you will have full control over the server against a full-price value plan.
Technical expertise: To have a dedicated server, you must first learn the technical side of server management. If you are not aware of the technical side of the server, then you will have to hire a professional system administrator.
Maintenance: Once you own the server that is dedicated to you, you are responsible for its maintenance, security, and software and hardware updates.
Scalability: Scalability sometimes causes trouble as it is difficult with a dedicated server with physical constraints. Due to the physical limitations, users must buy additional servers or upgrade to a larger server according to their needs and requirements.
Managed WordPress Hosting
As obvious from its name, managed WordPress hosting is primarily built to treat the websites designed on WordPress only. Managed hosting is better in comparison to the traditional hosting types. A managed WordPress hosting is highly optimized and secure but for WordPress sites only.
The hosting company handles the website's technical operations and upkeep, such as software upgrades, security, backups, and speed optimization. It liberates website owners to concentrate on developing and publishing content rather than worrying about the technical foundation. Read also, 11 Best WordPress Books to Improve Skills in 2023.
The astonishing feature of managed WordPress hosting is that the providers offer a suite of “concierge” features with the help of which WordPress users go beyond the limits of generic hostings. It includes the following features:
Benefits of Managed WordPress Hosting:
Easy setup: One-click installations and simple setup are features that managed WordPress hosting frequently provides, making it simple to launch a WordPress website.
Optimized for WordPress: Managed WordPress hosting companies carefully optimize their servers for WordPress websites, which leads to quicker load times and improved performance.
Automated updates: Managed WordPress hosting companies update WordPress core, themes, and plugins automatically, keeping the website safe and up to date.
Security: Managed WordPress hosting companies include increased security features like malware scanning and removal, SSL certificates, and firewalls, making it a safe hosting choice.
Drawbacks of Managed WordPress Hosting:
Cost: If you need extensive assistance or other features, managed WordPress hosting may be more expensive than other hosting solutions
Limited customization: To guarantee stability and security, managed WordPress hosting may restrict customization options, such as the capability to install unique themes or plugins.
Dependency on the provider: Clients may depend on the managed WordPress hosting provider for technical support, updates, and maintenance, which can be limiting.
Server limitations: Managed WordPress hosting may have server limitations regarding storage, bandwidth, and CPU usage, which can restrict scalability and growth for larger websites.
Suppose you are a small-scale business owner or working on an individual-level project. In that case, colocation hosting is not for you, as it is made to deal with large-scale businesses and big organizations. With colocation hosting, you can run heavy-traffic sites smoothly without trouble.
Once you purchase a colocation hosting plan for your site, you will own its physical server or hosting hardware. You can also rent space in another company’s data center to assist and maintain your business. In essence, you continue using your infrastructure without maintaining a separate physical location (along with all associated costs, such as electricity and air conditioning).
Again, a WordPress user won't ever require this, but it's useful to be aware of this word because you may encounter this form of hosting.
Benefits of Colocation Hosting:
Control: With full control over their servers and networking infrastructure, colocation hosting enables businesses to tailor their hardware to meet their unique requirements.
Security: With features like video monitoring, access controls, and environmental controls to safeguard the technology housed within, colocation data centers are made very secure.
Scalability: Without worrying about the physical constraints of their own on-premises data center, colocation hosting enables businesses to scale up their hosting resources as necessary.
Cost savings: Colocation hosting frees the need for businesses with lots of servers to construct and manage their own data centers, making it a more affordable choice.
Drawbacks of Colocation Hosting:
Upfront costs: Hardware and equipment must be purchased upfront for colocation hosting, and continuing costs are associated with power, cooling, and maintenance.
Technical expertise: Colocation hosting companies must have technical personnel to operate and maintain their servers and networking hardware, which can be difficult for smaller companies.
Dependence on the data center: Businesses rely on the colocation data center's dependability and performance, which can be affected by power outages or network problems.
Limited support: Colocation data centers often provide little hardware and equipment support, allowing businesses to do their upkeep and repair.
Frequently Asked Questions
In conclusion, selecting the right type of web hosting is a crucial decision for any website owner or developer. The different types of web hosting, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, and colocation hosting, offer varying performance levels, scalability, and control. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.
Understanding the needs of your website or web application, along with your technical expertise, budget, and growth plans, can help you decide the type of hosting best suited for your requirements. By choosing the right type of web hosting, you can ensure that your website or web application performs optimally, remains secure, and provides a great user experience for your audience.