Different Types of Web Hosting

So, you are going to set up a website but do not know what kind of hosting to get? Do not worry. We understand that it can be a bit confusing at first which is the reason to why we have written descriptions of a couple of the most popular forms of web hosting available on the market today. There are more types of hosting than the ones described here but they all originate from these some way or the other.

Shared Hosting

This is without a doubt the single most popular form of web hosting today. The main reason for this is most likely that shared (cheap) web hosting is a very affordable alternative, only costing a couple of dollars per month. Shared hosting is cheap since you share the server with other websites. Some claim that this form of hosting lacks in quality but can not find this to be true. However, it is always advisable to do some research beforehand. For example, make sure that you get plenty of bandwidth, disk space and uptime, which thankfully is something that many of the shared web hosting providers provide their customers with. Checking the uptime of a web host can be done either via our web hosting reviews or through a free uptime hosting monitor. Lastly, check up in advance that the web host offers the opportunity to work with a user-friendly control panel, as it will be a struggle if they do not.

Dedicated Server

If you are looking for the crème de la crème of web hosting you will be more than pleased with dedicated servers, also known as dedicated hosting. This form of hosting will provide your company, dedicated hosting is aimed at being a hosting solution for major online businesses, with an extremely powerful computer/server that will put all of its efforts on you and your site alone. It will only provide services for one account, hence meaning that you will not share the server with anyone else. Do not worry that you will have to make any physical room for the server at your office as it will be stored, maintained and under the security of the web host. We have already mentioned that dedicated servers are aimed at being a hosting solution for major online businesses and with this we mean a site that is sure to drive a substantial amount of traffic on a daily basis. Important to think about when deciding on dedicated hosting is whether you want it to be managed or unmanaged. Managed dedicated servers are good if you only want the basics and do not handle anything else than the onsite content. If you, or anyone else in the company, on the other hand have the necessary technical knowledge – you can pick unmanaged dedicated hosting. This way you will be more in charge of the server.

Virtual Private Server

What if you need something that is stronger than shared hosting but do not need it to be as strong as dedicated web hosting? The solution is VPS Hosting. This form of web hosting displays a virtualization of a server being split into several “virtual” servers. Next to shared hosting, virtual private servers are becoming the foundation among many web hosts. With VPS hosting you will get grass-root level access without having to think about the hassle (it can be a hassle if you are not technically minded) that can come with dedicated servers. Shared hosting can be kind of a “closed” environment and with virtual private servers you will get a more customizable solution. This form of web hosting is often utilized by medium-sized companies and it will most often cost around $30 to $40 per month.

Green Hosting

As the earth is getting increasingly ill the web hosting industry is making an attempt in green hosting to do something about it. Green hosting is eco-friendly and is growing in popularity which has lead to more web hosts offering it to their customers. With eco-friendly means that the web host either purchase carbon offsets or use eco-friendly energy efficient servers. Green hosting is almost exclusively shared hosting which means that it can be a good alternative for you that want to do something for the environment and only require shared hosting for your website.

Cloud Computing

The other type of "it" hosting at the moment is called cloud computing. The easiest way of explaining cloud computing is in the way that it is different from the “traditional” hosting.

  1. Cloud computing is elastic which means that the consumer only use as much hosting that is needed.
  2. As a consumer you will only have to pay for the amount of hosting that is used. If you require a lot of hosting one month you will pay more that month and other months, when you require less hosting, you will also pay less.

The above mentioned qualities are also what make cloud computing as popular as it is today. Your hosting grows when you need it to and you only pay for the amount of hosting that you are using.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress is a free open-source blogging platform and content management system (CMS). It’s built on PHP and MySQL, and currently the most widely used CMS on the Web. Via its template system, plug-in architecture and built-in content editing and organization, WordPress allows a developer to create and manage highly active and sophisticated websites with minimal effort.

Typically, a WordPress installation runs on a Linux server, although the platform supports Windows as well. WordPress does not require WordPress-specific hosting. In other words, a webmaster can install and configure WordPress on nearly any available Linux or Windows hosting package.

So what is WordPress hosting, and what good is it? Generally, a WordPress hosting plan is a package that includes WordPress preinstalled and preconfigured. Often, it boasts a one-click deployment tool as well. With this feature, a webmaster can install and configure a WordPress instance, or multiple WordPress instances, with a single button click and minimal data entry. Usually, any full-featured Linux plan includes WordPress hosting, and the term ‘WordPress hosting’ is just a marketing tool.

E-commerce Hosting

E-commerce, also electronic commerce, e-comm, ecommerce and eCommerce, is a broad term that refers to the selling of products and services via the Internet, or any electronic system. E-commerce hosting is a business solution that includes whatever tools and resources the particular client business requires in order to sell effectively.

Within the context of the World Wide Web, e-commerce hosting usually refers to the web hosting and related services. Most online companies require, at the very least, web hosting and a shopping cart. The shopping cart is the tool that facilitates client orders, and interfaces with other components of the sale process, such as shipping options and credit card and PayPal processing.

Generally, web-centric e-commerce hosting will include other features, such as domain registration, automatic domain renewal, domain privacy protection, merchant account setup, merchant account services, 24/7 customer support and so forth. Contract flexibility is also an important aspect of most e-commerce plans because small businesses need to limit expenses early on, but must have the option to grow as they achieve success.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting is web hosting that allows clients to resell bandwidth and storage space. Some hosts, particularly server farms and the like, only deal with high-volume wholesale orders. In these scenarios, resellers are the primary clientele. The source host makes less money per unit of bandwidth and storage this way, but it offsets that through lower overhead and the cost of support services.

The most common form of reseller hosting is available through web design firms. Such firms will often achieve great discounts by purchasing in large volume. Since ongoing maintenance is often the most lucrative aspect of a web design contract, firms will often pass the savings associated with bulk hosting packages entirely onto the client. The other advantage for the firm is that it can assign and configure hosting accounts immediately, as needed.

From the perspective of the end-user, there is not usually a great deal of difference between a provider and a reseller. In some cases, resellers do offer the best possible rates for the smallest packages. Sometimes resellers get a bad rap, but it’s generally because of a few bad eggs. A top-notch reseller can deliver all of the services a standard provider does, and is often able to do that with much greater attention to detail.

Server Colocation

In business, colocation is the placement of multiple entities in a single location. In the case of server colocation, those entities are dedicated servers. With colocation hosting, the provider is essentially just providing the server farm environment. The servers are dedicated servers owned and maintained by client businesses. The provider maintains the connection to the Internet, and manages environmental factors, such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), climate controls, fire controls and so forth. The client business is responsible for everything that it can handle remotely.

With colocation hosting, the client is paying for the physical space for the server, with the certainty that the physical space will meet a pre-established standard at all times. At the start of the plan, the client also pays for the equipment and setup of the equipment, although some colocation providers allow the client to purchase their own equipment.

ASP Hosting

ASP stands for Active Server Pages, which is a server-side scripting platform, and in many ways the Windows counterpart to PHP running on Linux. The most modern from of ASP is ASP.NET, and since its advent, ASP is often called ASP Classic or Classic ASP. ASP hosting is web hosting on a Windows server with Internet Information Services (IIS) and some form of ASP. Nowadays, that form of ASP is generally ASP.NET, but there are still providers that host Classic ASP in order to support legacy systems.

In the past, PHP on Linux was much more accessible to the average user, but despite common perception, this is no longer the case. With ASP.NET hosting, developers have access to a powerful web platform and free sophisticated tools, such as Visual Web Developer Express. Developers can also easily integrate a wide range of technologies, including PHP, CGI, Server Side Includes, Python, Perl and so forth. Compared to PHP, ASP.NET has the advantage of speed, wider language support and more development environments.

Joomla Hosting

Joomla is a free open-source CMS written in PHP with an object-oriented programming (OOP) approach, and it stores data in MySQL or MS SQL databases. The advantage of the OOP design is that, compared to most CMSs, Joomla is much easier to extend and customize. In fact, Joomla users have nearly 10,000 free and commercial extensions available to them in the Joomla! Extension Directory alone, and there are thousands of other extensions available elsewhere online.

Joomla hosting is web hosting that is suitable for a Joomla-based website. At the very least, Joomla hosting ensures that the server meets all of the technical requirements: PHP 5.2.4+, MySQL 5.04+, Apache 2.x+ and Microsoft IIS 7. Most Joomla hosts, however, provide much more than that. Most offer one-click deployment of Joomla, and they also offer one-click deployment of many of the most popular free Joomla extensions.

FrontPage Hosting

Microsoft Office FrontPage, or just Microsoft FrontPage or FrontPage, was a popular website administration tool and WYSIWYG HTML editor. Microsoft has discontinued FrontPage because it was outdated and redundant compared to Visual Studio and the free Visual Web Developer Express. In its heyday, FrontPage was popular for its in-place editing, dynamic web templates (DWTs), accessibility checker, Intellisense auto-completion, code snippets and support for VBA, ASP and ASP.NET.

In order to take full advantage of all the features that FrontPage offers, it is necessary to be accessing a web server with FrontPage Server Extensions installed. FrontPage hosting is web hosting on a server with these extensions installed. Despite FrontPage no longer being in popular use, FrontPage hosting is relatively easy to find, primarily because it’s a very simple thing for any Windows web host to offer FrontPage support as well.

Linux Hosting

Linux is a Unix-like OS. It is free and open source, and in the early days of the Internet, it was vastly more accessible and server-appropriate than the alternatives from Microsoft and Apple. That made Linux the most popular web server platform by far, and even today, when Windows is much more accessible and arguably more secure and a better performer, Linux is still the top choice.

Linux hosting is web hosting using a Linux server, such as Debian, Ubuntu or Red Hat. Most Linux-based hosting packages come with Apache, PHP, MySQL and a wide range of other software. One of the key benefits to Linux hosting is cost. Since Linux and most related software is open source and free, the web host is able to pass those savings onto the client. A Windows environment, on the other hand, requires more licensing fees, and the hosts recoup those costs by passing them onto the consumer.

A Video Explain Hosting

The video above is great if you want hosting explained in just a couple minutes - check it out.

What is the next step when setting up a website?

Well, next you should start thinking about what domain name to choose.

Written 2012-01-29 (Updated 2016-12-21)
david for reviews7

Written by David Walsh

David Walsh is the editor in chief here at Web Hosting Search. Having been in the industry for many years now he knows pretty much everything about everything. At least that's what he keeps telling everyone at the office. So, don't hesitate to drop him a line  if you've got a question - david(a)webhostingsearch.com.

Share your thoughts

Gowebbaby WordPress Designer,  1 May, 2012

I was just passing through and i find your blog it is really informative about web hosting..web hosting play a great role when starting n a web design.
Thanks for sharing.

Janny Smith,  9 April, 2012

Excellent post!

Kimberly,  9 April, 2012

HELP...I am going crazy trying to figure this out and I am sure you hear this 2 zillion times a day. Ok I am a real estate agent in Tennessee that wants to start a website with great hosting potential. I would like to get warm leads from future clients via the internet. I just don't know what or who I need to contact. Can you help me pretty please!!!!!! Kimberly:)

Ezeifedi Ugonna Julius,  9 September, 2011

I want to be an agent to the hosting company in my country-Nigeria-how do i register to be selling to people and what is the guarantee of the host company

Real Estate and Properties,  6 December, 2010

this paper is very meaningful to me, because after reading this paper, I understand about web hosting, thank you for the information

James Afam orji,  3 May, 2010

great article...it's imperative that prospective website owners know the type of hosting that's best for their budiness.

uzair,  29 January, 2010

helpful information nice !!!

Elune,  4 January, 2010

Great information about web hosting.

Kristen,  30 September, 2009

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