What Type of Hosting Do I Need?

Published: November 14, 2022 | Updated: November 14, 2022

Let’s be honest, there are a LOT of choices when it comes to web hosting. If you are new to owning a website, choosing between the many options can seem like a daunting task. This guide will help you to break down the types of web hosting in detail so you can make a more educated decision.

Here are the main types of hosting you will often find:

  1. Shared Hosting
  2. VPS Hosting
  3. Dedicated Hosting
  4. WordPress Hosting
  5. Cloud Hosting

What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a service that stores your website and data on a server for others to access publicly on the Internet. When you sign up with a hosting provider, you are renting space on a physical server, similar to buying a piece of land for your home. You can create a website locally on your computer, but hosting the site is what makes it accessible across the web. There are a number of web hosting companies, as well as types of hosting to choose from, which we’ll go into further detail below. Let’s get started!

Shared Hosting

Best For: Personal websites, startups and small businesses. This option is the most cost-effective for websites with limited traffic that don’t require many resources or bandwidth.

Shared hosting is extremely popular because of it’s ease of use and affordability. Most new website owners will choose this type of hosting. You will be sharing space and website resources with other users, hence where its name came from. Depending on the hosting provider, they may put either a few or many users on the same physical server, but will still be a great option if you are starting out, need to save money, or have limited traffic.

VPS Hosting

Best For: Growing businesses, developers and high-traffic websites. A great option for those looking for increased performance and server control. A VPS may require some technical expertise.

The middle ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting is a VPS or Virtual Private Server. While the main physical server is still shared with other users, it’s split into multiple virtual machines each with their own amount of allocated resources. This allows you to have dedicated resources while being less expensive than a dedicated server. A VPS is highly customizable and usually comes in two flavors: Managed and Unmanaged. For Unmanaged, you may need more technical expertise. A VPS also allows you root access to the server, and won’t impact your website if other websites get increased traffic.

Dedicated Hosting

Best For: Medium to large businesses, application developers, and resource-intensive websites. Dedicated hosting provides full server control and requires technical expertise.

If you are a tech nerd like us, this is where things get fun! With dedicated hosting, you will get an entire server to yourself, while not having to worry about sharing resources like CPU, RAM, hard drive space, or bandwidth. However, this does come at a much higher cost than a VPS or shared hosting and is usually geared towards medium to large businesses. Website owners seeking a dedicated server usually have high-traffic websites or custom applications that need the extra power, security and full server control.

WordPress Hosting

Best For: Small to medium businesses looking for a managed WordPress solution, tailored customer support and ease-of-use.

WordPress hosting is a beginner-friendly and low-cost option that has everything you need to setup a WordPress site with very little effort. This type of managed hosting will provide an optimized server environment specifically tailored to WordPress that helps you get the best speed and performance out of the CMS (content management system). Features often include pre-installed themes, automated backups and plugins that focus on caching, security and performance. This may not be the best solution if you are planning to use another CMS, need more server flexibility, or you don’t have a WordPress site.

Cloud Hosting

Best For: Businesses that require high availability or experience large spikes in traffic. Cloud hosting is a cost-effective option for those who need more control and high uptime.

Cloud hosting is a highly scalable and highly reliable type of hosting when compared to the traditional types of web hosting we’ve talked about. It relies on multiple virtual servers working together, which allow you to scale up or down depending on your needs. If a server in the cloud goes down, another server can instantly be provisioned to keep the website up and running. This eliminates any downtime or loss to performance. You get a flexible pay-as-you-go pricing structure, whereas traditional hosting depends on the current package you are signed up for. Some popular cloud service providers include Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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