A List of Different Types Of Website Hosting Options Available
There are several types of web hosting. The differences are primarily based on the infrastructure that is used and the manner in which each web hosting account of all clients is managed by the host. There are primarily six types of web hosting – free, shared, dedicated, collocated, VPS and reseller. There are other types of web hosting such as cloud hosting and e-commerce hosting but they are a different classification. Cloud and e-commerce hosting can be free, shared, dedicated, collocated, VPS or reseller hosting accounts.
Free Web Hosting
Free web hosting is what WordPress.com and Google Blogger offers. You don’t have to pay anything to host a site. In some cases, you can buy a domain name and in some cases, you don’t even have to do that. You can go with a sub-domain from the site itself and host a few pages. Free web hosting is very convenient and certainly beneficial because there are no costs involved but it is not good for a company or for any website that has professional and commercial objectives. A fun website or a personal blog without any commercial interest can be set up with free web hosting. In free web hosting, there is very little space allotted to each website, the connections are slow and the websites can be down if something goes wrong with the host server, which would be beyond your control. Also, the company offering you free web hosting services is not accountable or answerable to you.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is an arrangement where the same infrastructure is used for multiple clients. For instance, to host a website, you would need a database server, name server, disk space, bandwidth and you need to have a team of technicians or at least one admin taking care of the site at all times. In shared web hosting, one server is used for multiple clients. The same disk space would be split for multiple clients. One technician will look after several hosting accounts and the predefined bandwidth will be used by many websites at the same time. Shared web hosting is affordable or reasonable but it is not ideal for high profile sites or a website that draws a lot of traffic. Shared web hosting usually leads to slow operation of a website due to the crunch of infrastructural resources and space which is because many websites are hosted on the same systems.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated web hosting is the opposite of shared web hosting. Your website will be hosted exclusively. There will be exclusive servers, disk space, bandwidth, and an exclusive technician or team of technicians. Dedicated web hosting is more expensive than shared web hosting but there are many advantages. It is more secure than shared web hosting. This is partly because one website is hosted exclusively which isolates it from all other websites which could be affected by viruses or malware and that could affect the website in a shared environment. The other reason for enhanced security is that you can demand special security protocols or systems in a dedicated environment, something you cannot do in a shared environment because not everyone wants it or would want to pay for it. Sensitive sites or websites that draw a lot of traffic, have to be live at all times and has a brand value should always have dedicated web hosting.
Collocated Web Hosting
This is a unique type of hosting wherein you hire a web host but you procure the server and have it placed in the facility of the web host. This allows you to own the server and make all the changes that you want. The web host will still be accountable for associated services and actual hosting of the site but you would own the primary infrastructure needed for hosting a website.
VPS Web Hosting
VPS is an acronym for a virtual private server. This is neither shared hosting nor collocated hosting. In VPS web hosting, you have a dedicated server but located offsite. You don’t get to own the server but it is dedicated to your needs and whatever software you want. This server will not be used for any other website and shall be completely dedicated to your website.
Reseller Web Hosting
This is not a technically different kind of hosting from the five aforementioned types of web hosting. Reseller web hosting is simply an opportunity for webmasters or small to medium companies to have the infrastructure of a major web host and be licensed to sell web hosting plans of their own using the larger infrastructure. It is similar to how normal retailers are given the reselling rights of various products by larger companies and manufacturers. Reseller web hosting can be shared, dedicated, collocated or VPS. It cannot be free as that is not saleable.