Different Web Hosting Types Explained

Let’s first talk about web hosting. If you want to construct a website or have an email address on the internet with your own domain name, then you need to have web hosting.

Web hosting can be best described as storage for the files (images, texts, code, databases and emails) that make your website live so that other people can use your domain name and see your site. Each storage area sits on a server (a computer that is accessible by the Internet) and has an address (domain name). When that address / domain name is typed into the browser, it tracks down the correct storage unit and let’s us view what is inside. If there is no web hosting, there can be no way for the web browser to find and view the website.


Shared web hosting is the most common type of web hosting, and generally the cheapest. The reason for this is that many people will use space on the same server (a computer that is accessible by the Internet) and spread the costs around. Think of it as one computer that has multiple folders on it, each one for each account that has been purchased. The folders have a maximum amount of space that can be used depending on the web hosting plan. It is also wise to note that all users on that server will be using that computer’s resources.


Virtual Private Server hosting, or VPS, is the next step up on the web hosting scale. This option is a bit more expensive, but the flexibility and control gained more than make up for it. The idea here is that multiple accounts are placed on one server, but the server is partitioned (physically or through special software) in a way that each account acts like its own computer. What this means is each section runs without affecting the others, even to the point where the individual partition can be rebooted while the others continue to run. This concept is fantastic because it allows more serious customers, such as larger businesses, to have dedicated-like hosting, yet it cuts back on costs since, essentially, multiple users share the expense.


Dedicated server hosting gives the user full control over the server, therefore it is the most flexible and personal option out there. Full control over the server means that no other accounts are hosted on it, and you are able to reboot and install whenever and whatever you desire. However, this option definitely requires server knowledge. Even though we look after the hardware in our data centre, the customer is the one to control what happens on the server including the handling of software. We generally refer to this type of dedicated hosting as unmanaged. Unmanaged hosting is generally designed for organisations that have their own System Administrators or other equivalent advanced users.