With so many appealing offers coming from web hosting companies, it is very difficult to decide which kind of plan is the right one for you. If you are having this dilemma and completely not sure what the various types of web hosting are, then keep on reading as this post presents and elaborates on each type, including tips on how to choose the one you really need. All in all, it really depends on what kind of website you have; a portfolio, a blog, or a small business website. Each has its suitable type of web hosting, so make sure you know your site to know your hosting.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting plans are the most popular nowadays. It’s not really that surprising, seeing as they are also the cheapest. While shared hosting offers great value for money, you should know it comes with a series of drawbacks. First of all, your website’s files are located on the same drive with those belonging to other clients, and processed by the same CPU. This means lower speed and performance.

Another downside with shared hosting is the disk space and bandwidth limitations many providers set into place to avoid unfair usage and distribution of their resources. If your website features a sudden traffic spike, your progress could be halted by a hosting account suspension.

Customizing the hosting environment might be irrelevant to you if you run a simple website. However, if you need to build a custom application or run a more complex script, a shared hosting environment might not be the right one for you.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Providing you with greater flexibility and much better resources, dedicated server hosting plan is less popular than the shared option mainly because of its higher rates. The main advantage this type of web hosting plan offers is that your website is the only one using the server’s resources. This impacts positively the page load speed as well as its general performance. No more unexplainable crashes and frequent downtimes.

Dedicated server hosting plan is also the most suitable option for high traffic online stores or for those webmasters who need to install custom software and tweak their hosting environment’s settings to suit their needs.

Virtual Private Server Hosting

Virtual Private Server hosting, commonly referred to in abbreviated form VPS, finds some nice middle ground between shared hosting and the dedicate server plan. This kind of package provides you with your own dedicated server, but this one is actually a virtual machine. While you have complete control over the hosting environment, being able to install custom applications and adjust settings according to your needs, you are still sharing server resources with others. However, with Virtual private server hosting you benefit from a lot more access to server resources compared to shared hosting subscribers.

Cloud Hosting

When running a large website using heavy files and attracting thousands of visits a day, the challenge you are facing is hitting the actual server’s physical limitations. The solution web hosting companies offer comes in the form of something they call “cloud hosting”. But what does this cloud actually refer to? It refers to a huge cluster of computers, whose combined computing resources you can use when running a complex script or a custom software program.

Which is Best for Me?

Shared hosting is a good choice for personal blogs, small business or non-profit organizations websites. If you or your company relies on the website for revenue, or if your pages attract a lot of traffic, you should think about upgrading to a VPS or dedicated server type of web hosting plan. Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is the professional web hosting solution for websites that need a huge amount of server resources.

David Gibson
David has always been a computer geek. With a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and five years of building websites from scratch, he’s ready to master his new position as a web developing manager. David recently combined his love for technology with writing, and provides his input in the form of regular articles on Top 5 Hosting.
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