A Breakdown of The Types of Web Hosting

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported, which means we earn commissions from links on Crazy Egg. Commissions do not affect our editorial evaluations or opinions.

The web hosting world is super fascinating. It gives you all kinds of options to get your site out on the web.

Hundreds of companies are already competing for your business, each offering several types of web hosting plans. Understandably, things can get very confusing very fast.

Every site has a web host, but you already know that. But what some of you may not know is that not every website is hosted the same way.

It’s why you need to educate yourself about the different types of web hosting. This knowledge will ultimately help you figure out the best option for your website.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about web hosting and its types. By the end of it, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting won’t just be ‘geek’ terms for you.

Ready? Let’s begin.

Why the Different Types of Web Hosting Are So Important

Before diving into the web hosting types, let’s familiarize ourselves with web hosting.

Websites are hosted on powerful pieces of hardware called servers that store the websites, along with their data. Every component of a particular website is kept on a server that’s accessible through your web host. Think files, text, videos, images… you get the drift.

The servers are managed by different web hosting companies that provide the technology and server space for your website. It’s how visitors can reach your site and view your content.

The interesting thing here is that all servers are different. It’s why you have a variety of web hosting options.

While most guides cover the four main types of web hosting, we want you to get the full picture. That’s why we’ll be discussing all of the six different types of web hosting.

#1 Shared Web Hosting

Hailed as the perfect entry-level website hosting, shared hosting is when your website is stored on the same server as several other websites.

When you choose a shared hosting plan, all the domains share the same server resources, including RAM and CPU. Naturally, since all the resources are shared, this type of hosting is the cheapest, making them an excellent option for beginners or entry-level bloggers.

Think of shared hosting as living in a hostel. While you do get your personal space, you have to share resources like electricity, water, and the kitchen or living room with your roommates.

The only catch? Potential slow loading times and performance issues.

Continuing with our hostel example, you might get a little late for an interview if your roommate takes longer in the shower, right? Similarly, you can face performance issues with your website if another website on your server experiences a traffic spike.

#2 Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated web hosting is like the Oprah Winfrey of the internet world. 

 This hosting type is considered the top choice for web hosting since users get a dedicated server that belongs exclusively to them and no one else. The direct benefit of this exclusivity? More uptime and faster speeds.

However, considering only your website will be stored on a server, you need a higher budget to enjoy the special treatment.

Nevertheless, many people who can afford the steep price prefer a dedicated server to have complete technical control over the server settings. You can choose the software, configurations, and really anything else you need concerning your website.

Dedicated servers are like living in a private villa. You get all the space in the house and the complete freedom to do whatever you want—renovate the kitchen, maintain the yard, build a pathway, whatever.

#3 VPS Web Hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. This web hosting type is the better and more expensive version of shared web hosting—like an upgrade.

It’s like renting an apartment. You won’t have to share your personal space like the bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. But you’ll still be sharing a select few resources with other apartments, which is where the limitations of this type of hosting come into play.

When your website outgrows your shared plan, you can think of upgrading to a VPS. Here, your website still shares a single server with other sites, but the number of servers will be significantly lower.

Think about it: You get a bigger slice of cake when there are five people at a party as opposed to 10.

VPS hosting is the middle ground between a shared server and a dedicated server. We recommend this hosting for website owners that want more control but don’t necessarily have the budget to get a dedicated server. 

It can also be a viable choice for advanced users that want specific software and package installations.

Keep in mind that while VPS hosting does give you more customization and storage space, it still isn’t efficient to handle high traffic levels or usage spikes. So your site performance can still be compromised.

#4 Cloud Web Hosting

You’ve got to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about cloud hosting. After all, it’s the latest buzzword in the tech world. 

This hosting type is the hybrid version of a VPS. The only difference is that the former is more cost-effective.

It involves working with multiple remote servers, with every server having different responsibilities. If one of the servers gets compromised or has a problem, the other servers on the network will step up and take over those responsibilities, keeping everything on track.

In other words, companies can consume computing resources like a utility. 

Even users can use as many resources as they want without building or maintaining their own computing infrastructure. Instead, the available resources are spread across several servers, which, in turn, reduces the chance of any downtime due to server malfunction. 

It’s why so many people find cloud hosting more appealing than traditional web hosting.

There’s always a constant dilemma between server resources and price when you select traditional hosting. Obviously, you don’t want to overpay for a plan with resources that you‘ll never use, but you also don’t want to exceed the resources of a cheaper plan and compromise your website performance.

The scalability of cloud web hosting provides a happy middle ground, letting you upgrade in the event of traffic spikes. All you have to do is select a plan that can accommodate that kind of traffic.

#5 WordPress Web Hosting

WordPress hosting is just another form of shared hosting, specifically created for WordPress website owners. What’s more, you get to options under this hosting type:

  • Shared WordPress hosting
  • Managed WordPress hosting

Shared WordPress hosting works similar to that of shared hosting. The only difference is that WordPress might be pre-installed here. 

On the other hand, Managed WordPress hosting gives you extra (and super useful!) benefits that boost your website security, server caching, loading speeds, and staging effectively.

We have to point out that WordPress hosting also has added security to protect both press website owners. This can come in handy as cybercriminals often target WordPress websites due to their massive popularity.

#6 Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller Web hosting lets you sell hosting services to your clients. 

This type of hosting is only for a targeted customer base, such as agencies, web developers, and web designers. Basically, those people who already have clients in this space, due to which they can simply add web hosting to the services they currently offer.

So if you’re looking to build a small website from scratch or host one on your own, you should stick to the web hosting types options.

However, if you want to sell web hosting to other websites, you can look at reseller hosting plans. These are white label web hosting where you buy hosting from the provider and then resell the service to your clients.

What makes it even better if you get to choose your own pricing. You only have to pay wholesale rates to the provider, which will leave you with a substantial profit margin to build your capital.

How Do I Choose the Right Type of Hosting for My Website?

Launching your website isn’t that difficult anymore. When people claim that anyone can do it, they aren’t joking—provided they understand the nitty-gritty related to web hosting.

When we say web hosting, we refer to file storage, security, and the available bandwidth on the server. All this is typically maintained by a web hosting service like Bluehost, Hostinger, or Dreamhost, among others.

Now that we’ve already discussed the six main types of web hosting, let’s focus on how you can determine the right kind of posting for your website.

When Should You Pick Shared Hosting

  • When you’re just starting out and are looking for a beginner-friendly and no-frills hosting type
  • When you want to spend the minimum amount of money
  • When you don’t have a problem with sharing your server resources with other websites
  • When you aren’t experiencing too much traffic 
  • When you want pre-figured server options
  • When you don’t want the hassle of maintaining and administering servers

When Should You Pick Dedicated Hosting:

  • When you have a mature website with consistently high traffic numbers
  • When you have a larger budget to accommodate the premium pricing of dedicated hosting
  • When you want full access control over the hosting server
  • When you want to guaranteed resource availability with top-notch privacy and security
  • When you want predictable and highly stable website performance

When Should You Pick VPS Hosting:

  • When scalability and customizability are important to you
  • When you want to upgrade from shared hosting but don’t have the budget for dedicated hosting
  • When you want dedicated server space and root access to the server
  • When you’re experiencing frequent traffic surges 
  • When you want higher uptime rates and faster loading speeds
  • When you want the freedom to install any software you want

When Should You Pick Cloud Hosting:

  • When you want instant scalability
  • When you want access to the latest hardware
  • When you want top-notch security with higher uptime
  • When you want the benefit of opting for value-added cloud services
  • When you prefer a pay-as-you-pricing strategy, where you only have to pay for what you use
  • When you want the flexibility to allocate resources on demand

When Should You Pick WordPress Hosting

  • When you have a WordPress website
  • When you’re just starting out
  • When you want to top website performance with high loading speeds
  • When you want to automate regular plugin updates, security patches, and version updates
  • When you don’t want to bother with the technical aspect of running a website
  • When you want a one-click installation facility and efficient customer support

When Should You Pick Reseller Hosting:

  • When you want to earn money by selling hosting services
  • When you want access to free website templates and private name servers
  • When you want white label technical support

Keeping the above factors in mind will help you make the right choice. 

Once you get some hosting experience, you’ll be able to assess your needs better, making the whole process more manageable. You’ll know whether you should opt for a dedicated server, cloud hosting, or shared hosting.

Just trust the process, and don’t rush.

Make your website better. Instantly.

Over 300,000 websites use Crazy Egg to improve what's working, fix what isn't and test new ideas.

Free 30-day Trial