For the most part, what makes choosing a web hosting provider so challenging is that there are so many different types of hosting. Narrowing down the choices is often as simple as finding one that suits your personal or business needs. To give you an ideal of what is available, we have provided some details on the most common types of web hosting.
Yes, free web hosting really does exist. You can have your very own website without paying anything at all – that is, if you don’t mind being restricted. What do we mean by restricted? Well, with a free web hosting service, you generally have little disk space and bandwidth to work with. Features? You don’t get too many of those either. If you’re lucky, you may get a simple control panel along with the ability to upload a few images and integrate a free shopping cart into your site. How could we forget the advertisements? When hosting your site with a free service, the provider typically places third-party ads on your site and best of all, you have no say in the matter. If you can deal with the drawbacks, know that free web hosting is widely available.
Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting today. After free services, it is also the most cost effective. With shared hosting, you are literally sharing server space and resources with other web hosting customers. This arrangement calls for you to share disk storage, bandwidth, CPU, RAM and generally an IP address as well. Shared hosting allows providers to offer a cheaper service because the customers essentially pay for the cost of the hardware and critical resources. Although you have no control over the web server, you do have control over your site by way of a control panel application.
Short for Virtual Private Server, VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting in the way that it involves hosting multiple websites on a single server. The major difference is an evolving technology known as virtualization. This type of software has the ability to simulate multiple servers within a single physical server. A VPS is partitioned in a manner that isolates you from other customers hosting on the server, providing you with guaranteed resources and enhanced stability. If you require more flexibility than shared hosting can offer but can’t afford an entire server, VPS could be the right solution.
Often referred to as dedicated server, dedicated hosting is an arrangement where you have the entire server dedicated exclusively to your personal or business needs. This means that you don’t have to worry about sharing disk space, bandwidth, RAM and other vital resources. Dedicated hosting provides the utmost in flexibility, stability and security but is also far more expensive than conventional shared hosting.
Managed hosting can be described as dedicated hosting in full turnkey service terms. Because a dedicated server requires extensive maintenance and administration, managed hosting is often needed for individuals who lack technical knowledge or the time required to keep the machine thriving. With this type of solution, you usually have the luxury to choose a predefined managed package or select the options and services that best suit your hosting needs.