If you are interested in knowing about the different types of website hosting available, this article is for you. Before I get started, I want to clarify that I don’t have any allegiance to any company and am only giving my personal preference of hosting companies.
This is the hosting that most businesses and websites use or at least started off using. It is where you (the customer) have your website hosted with multiple other people’s sites on a single server. This is ideal if you have limited expertise and want a cheap, easy to use hosting solution. It is by far the cheapest type of hosting, starting from just a few dollars a month.
It does, however, have some issues. Firstly, as you share server resources with others, you don’t know or trust, they could be hogging all the server’s resources. This would make your website slow or even go offline if hackers attack another person‘s website. You usually get what you pay for with shared hosting, so don’t just choose the cheapest option.
Note: Read the terms and conditions. Remember, there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth or storage.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
This is the next level up after shared hosting. It is where you still share a server with other users but have a dedicated allocation of resources. This means that even if another VPS on the same host server is attacked, you won’t even notice. Some types of VPS include a control panel, e.g. cPanel or Plesk. Alternatively, you may wish to install one if you have little admin experience.
A VPS cost is considerably more than shared hosting and is, therefore, a restricting factor for some uses. From my own personal experience, I recommend using the hosting provider Linode. They are excellent value for money and have a great support community.
This is where you rent a whole physical server. Obviously, this is overkill for most sites and is very expensive. You are looking at a minimum of $100 a month. From my experience, I would recommend Limestone Networks for this hosting.
This is a new type of hosting that isn’t very well defined. It takes VPS hosting a stage further. Typically, you pay for the computing resources on an hourly basis. This allows your website infrastructure to scale at very short notice.
There are many cloud computing companies on the market. These include Rackspace and Amazon Web Services. Warning: Some companies just put the word ‘cloud’ before their hosting packages to entice you, and really, they don’t have any of the characteristics of cloud hosting.
This refers to when you own your own hardware, e.g., servers, switches. You then pay for space in a data center and for the bandwidth you need. This hosting is usually only used by companies and can be very expensive. Prices usually start at hundreds of dollars a month. You then have the additional cost of running and maintaining your own hardware.