What is Web Hosting anyway? 10 types of Hosting Explained

What is web hosting

When you mention web hosting to most people, some will understand what it is and how it works. However, it can be confusing to others about how it works, and even more strange for them to know that there is more than just one type of web hosting.

Hosting packages can vary greatly, but because there is so much choice available there is sure to be a package that is going to fit with your individual requirements as well as your budget. So we thought we would go into a bit of detail for you about how web hosting packages differ and show you some of the options that are available for you.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting is an ideal option for those people wishing to resell hosting plans and offer services to others. This type of hosting is also good for individuals who like to create a lot of niche microsites of their own and manage them themselves.

Each account created on a reseller plan will have very similar amounts of options and resources as is found in a more traditional shared hosting plan. The main difference being that you will be able to control this by yourself. So you could buy reseller-hosting with an aim of creating and managing a whole lot of your own websites, or if you prefer, you could set up accounts for your own clients to host their site with you. Your clients would get the same features as they would if they had chosen to go with a normal shared hosting plan.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is just about the most common type of hosting available. It is an option that suits most people for business or personal use no matter what size their website needs. So an entrepreneur with a single niche microsite to a more complex set up requiring a larger website can be catered for with shared hosting.

Just because it is called ‘shared hosting’ does not mean that you would actually be sharing your hosting with someone else. It really means that the server resources will be shared, not the actual hosting, so things like the bandwidth and the physical hardware would be shared. The scale of shared hosting is huge. A normal shared hosting server is capable of hosting thousands of very different websites, so this makes it easy for us at Wizz Hosting to offer you very affordable and competitively priced hosting plans.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress is an open-source platform that can be easily installed on most hosting types. However, for ultimate performance, if you are looking to host your WordPress site, then it would be better to go for a hosting plan that has been fully optimised for WordPress.

As one of the most popular choices for personal blogs, you will be perfectly fine hosting your WordPress site on a regular shared hosting plan, but if you are using your site for business or expecting a lot of heavy traffic use, then hosting on a regular shared plan may not be the best option. You may find your site starts to run a bit slow, especially if you have a lot of plugins installed. A WordPress optimised hosting plan will allow your site to function and perform much better for you.

Email Hosting

Email Hosting has fallen out of favour in recent years with the advancement of new technology, but for those people who don’t need a big and flashy website, or who need to run and maintain huge email lists, then email hosting packages are ideally suited for this job.

Email hosting plans are perfect for users who need to create hundreds of branded or corporate mailboxes. This type of hosting allows you to store your email on a remote server so you can access it from anywhere. This means you are not tied to keeping all your lists and information stored on an office PC in a central location. Great for remote workers or satellite offices that form part of a larger business network.

Dedicated Hosting / Servers

These are types of servers that are physically dedicated to serving one purpose. This is usually for very intensive, high traffic handling websites. This sort of hosting would be built specifically and configured to serve one single site. Even the physical hardware is not shared with others. This means that the hosting and server is dedicated to one client only and not split between other clients.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting has been quite revolutionary in recent years and has now become one of the most popular choices for web hosting today. When compared with a more expensive option such as dedicated hosting, cloud hosting offers great flexibility at very cost-effective prices. It is built on very strong foundations and its sharing structure is ideal for most experienced web developers.

Cloud hosting works very well because of it’s ability to draw resources from other cloud based servers when needed. This means that if there was a sudden traffic influx on one site hosted on the cloud, it would be less likely to crash because the cloud based server would draw more CPU storage, ram or disk space etc. from another cloud server. You are not confined by any physical limitations as you would be if you ran your website on a dedicated server.

This type of hosting can also be a lot cheaper in the long run because with cloud based hosting, you are not tying up hardware on a permanent basis. With a dedicated system you would be paying for not only the physical set up of your server, but also the high-end ram, disk and other hardware you would need, but may never fully use to capacity.

E-commerce Hosting

If you want to run an online shop, then e-commerce hosting has been especially engineered to serve this purpose. Fully optimised to handle shopping carts such as WooCommerce and Magento and the like, e-commerce hosting is your best option for a shopping site that needs to run lots of add-ons and plugins, as well as being able to handle large amounts of traffic. Pretty much all e-commerce hosting plans are delivered fully optimised and ready to take all of the most popular applications used on an e-commerce site to give you a highly functional platform to sell thorough.

Business Web Hosting

There is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ option when it comes to business web hosting. What a business owner would choose will depend on their particular needs as well as available budget. The choice is wide open from a dedicated solution, shared hosting or cloud-based options. However, tailored business hosting plans tend to include more resources than you would normally find offered with a shared hosting plan. Business hosting usually come with more email accounts, storage space and bandwidth. Many hosting packages will offer extra tools that businesses would find useful, such as analytical tools that can help you plan your marketing campaigns.

Managed / Unmanaged Hosting

When we talk about managed or unmanaged solutions, this normally refers to dedicated web hosting solutions or virtual private servers (VPS). With either of these two options you can choose to have them managed or unmanaged. For a managed service, the web hosting company will be responsible for looking after and maintaining your server. So should you have any issues, your managed hosting package will cover any fixes that need doing. An unmanaged hosting package is where you would handle all the maintenance issues and configurations by yourself. This option is great if you are already an experienced server operator and would usually work out cheaper, but if you don’t know what you are doing, then stick with a managed hosting package.

VPS

Over recent years, virtual private servers (VPS) have dropped in popularity. This can be directly contributed to the introduction of cloud-based options that offer far more flexibility. VPS solutions allow you to have complete control over your server just like it was your own personal machine. VPS give you the freedom to manage the configuration and allocate bandwidth, Disk space, memory and storage space. All this flexibility and choice, but in a virtual set up rather than a physical one.

At the heart of this lies one physical server that hosts multiple VPS machines. Each VPS machine has an even split of available resources, but you will be tied to the limits of your available allocation. Ultimately, this is also tied to the physical limitations of the original server. This is why many people are now turning to cloud-based options instead.

Conclusion

Although we have only gone into general detail about the above web hosting options, there will also be different hosting packages and options within each category. This will very much depend on your individual needs, so you may choose to go for a shared hosting option to only host one site, therefore this would be a cheaper option than going for shared hosting that will handle 5 or more domain names. You may find a cloud-based solution if better if your site experiences high traffic peaks at certain times. It is wise to take some time to browse what each hosting plan has to offer before choosing one that fits the bill.

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