What to Look For When It Comes to Web Hosting: Types of Web Hosting

What do you know about the types of web hosting? Did you know certain features of web hosting factor into where you rank the search engines? Do you know why you might need a larger or smaller web hosting plan? What do you think the right type of web hosting costs?

Welcome to the first in a series of posts here to help you navigate finding a web host.

What to Look For When It Comes to Web Hosting - Types of Web HostingHaving worked in the web hosting industry for a number of years, I wanted to share some hosting insider tips that will help your website in more ways than one. Choosing the right web hosting plan will improve your rank and not hurt your wallet quite as much. Starting out with the right web hosting company will put you on the path to success.

Starting a Web Hosting Search

When you first start searching for a host, it can be worse than buying a car. You may have heard of a web hosting brand from a favorite website. It seems everyone and their brother recommends them. Pretty soon you visit the website and start looking at plans.

You then see a list of plan types and addon features. All of these new terms begin to meld together into some diabolical witches brew of confusion. Do I need shared, cloud, reseller, dedicated, virtual or _______ hosting!?

Cut through the confusion by sticking to the points we are going to cover in this series of posts. Up first, it’s absolutely key to:

Zero in on the type of web hosting you need. On the car dealership lot, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the features. You start out with the notion that you need something with four doors (hello kids) that safely and reliably moves down the road. You end up with DVD systems, Wifi, and heated seats. Features are great, but if you only have the budget for the car that gets down the road, the maxed out dream car might cause some financial problems. Just as there are different kinds of cars, there are different types of web hosting.

I spent some time trying to come up with simple ways to understand the types of web hosting, so look at the descriptions below to zero in on what you need.

The Five Basic Types of Web Hosting

  1. Shared Hosting

    This is the most basic form of web hosting, suitable for the vast majority of websites, WordPress blogs included. Shared hosting means you share the server with other people. It’s the Uber concept of web hosting. If you share space and other resources, expect costs to be lower. Most websites should start with shared hosting, with few exceptions.

  2. WordPress Hosting or Managed Hosting

    I put these two terms together for a reason. You will see still other terms used, but the basic idea is a premium upsell on shared hosting. There might be perks like fewer people per server and other tools, but the ideas are all the same. You pay more for more resources and often premium services. In reality, this level of hosting is a good idea when your site visitor count takes off and you’re not the most technical.

  3. Reseller Web Hosting

    Reseller hosting is designed for you to resell. It’s also useful if you own or plan to develop several websites. Each site can be hosted under its own account with the master reseller account controlling all of them. This is useful if you are simultaneously developing websites and one or two take off. These accounts can be moved much more easily to larger solutions than migrating an addon domain in a shared account. (more about these later).

  4. Cloud Hosting

    Cloud is a buzzword. Once you understand that, you understand cloud hosting. Clouds are more than white fluffy things. They’re also groupings of servers that host content in a redundant manner. Cloud hosting can improve site speeds, but often come with added configuration options. Use at your own risk, but I would recommend this choice for the more technically capable.

  5. Dedicated Servers or VPS Hosting

    These two aren’t the same, but they’re lumped together for a reason. Dedicated servers are entire servers. These are for larger websites or websites that need access to certain tools and resources. In a nutshell, you don’t need a dedicated server unless you know that you need a dedicated server. VPS stands for Virtual Private Servers. Virtualization is another buzzword, but this technology is a way to have multiple virtual servers on a single physical server. They’re a lot like mini dedicated servers and can be a more economical way to have access to certain tools and resources without the costly bill of an entire server. These are a great option for more advanced users for a little more customization than a shared hosting environment is going to permit.

Determining your web hosting needs begins by understanding the types of web hosting. Knowing what you need sets a firm foundation for success.

For example, purchasing Reseller Hosting might seem like a bargain, but could add unnecessary levels of confusion. Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Servers, and VPS Hosting include their own level of complexity with added cost. Your website is likely not ready for complex hosting when starting out.

Planning to run a blog? Then stick with Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, or perhaps Managed Hosting. These levels of web hosting are going to cover the vast majority of websites on the internet. A great place to begin is the excellent web host that hosts this website, SiteGround.

Ready to learn more about web hosting? Head to Part 2: What to Look For When Choosing the Best Web Hosting Company.