8 Types of Web Hosting Explained

So you are looking for Website hosting but overwhelmed by the types of web hosting plans available in the market. There are tons of Web Hosting providers are offering different types of web hosting packages and each has its unique name. No matter the type of web hosting, their sole purpose is same, Storing your site files and providing bandwidth (Internet) to access your site worldwide through browsers. Why there are so many types of web hosting packages?.

Simple, All of the websites on the internet are not same, each has its own requirements in terms of website resources.

Each site is differentiated by its reputation, a number of files stored, website traffic and budget. So one size doesn’t fit all. There have to be different types of web hosting packages.

Following is the list of different types of web hosting services explained.

  1. Free website hosting
  2. Shared website hosting
  3. VPS( Virtual Private Server) hosting
  4. Cloud/Grid hosting
  5. Dedicated Server
  6. Reseller hosting
  7. Colocation Hosting
  8. Self-service Hosting

#1. Free Website Hosting:

What Does It Mean?

Free Website Hosting is a non-paid website hosting service where you have to pay nothing for hosting your site. You might wonder why do someone provides free hosting. Let’s be honest, nothing is free in this world unless there is some benefit.

You create the content on your free website and hosting provider makes revenue out of the ads displayed on your site. Let’s put it this way It’s a Win-Win situation for both. You get the free hosting and hosting provider gets ad revenue.

There are few website hosting services who do provide free hosting without any ads but are limited by the features.

Few Examples:

000webhost, awardspace, Free Hosting,  wordpress.com, Blogger.

When Should I Use?

Free hosting is something you cannot rely on forever. If you are Serious about learning something new but tight on budget then this is the best start for learning purpose.

There is no guarantee of your content. If you are not serious about your content, then this might be a perfect solution. I like to add that your site may not have great visibility in search results.

#2. Shared Website Hosting:

types of web hosting

What Does It Mean?

As the name suggests server is shared by 100-1000 websites. Yes, Your site will be placed along with few other websites. Shared Hosting is the most popular option among the entry bloggers and website owners. Because It is cheap hosting compared to all the other plans available in the market.

All the expenses incurred in maintaining one shared hosting server are recovered by all the website owners who subscribe to that plan. Resources are shared almost equally.

That is why shared hosting is much cheaper compared to all the plans.

To understand it easily just imagine 100 members eating on the same plate and from there I will leave it to your imagination.

Few Examples:

SiteGround, Inmotion, Bluehost

When Should I Use?

Consider it as an upgrade to free website hosting if you are using one. For those of you who want to jump into paying option, Shared Hosting is the best place to take off. Small Blogs, Small stores, Small businesses are the best target audience for this option.

#3. VPS( Virtual Private Server) Web Hosting:

types of web hosting

What Does It Mean?

VPS hosting is almost similar to shared hosting except with some privileges. VPS Hosting Hosts a very limited number of sites for best performance. Usually, sites with decent amount traffic (100,000+) are hosted on VPS plans.

20-30 sites may be hosted on a single server, which gives ample resources for each site. VPS plans are slightly expensive than shared hosting plans.

To understand it easily just imagine 10 members eating in the same plate. Now each member can have extra food (Resources) compared to members in shared hosting.

Few Examples:

Inmotion, Bluehost,   

When Should I Use?

You can start with VPS in the first step itself. But you wouldn’t  be needed that many resources in the early days of your website unless you need some special features like unique IP address.

Let me put it this way VPS is an upgrade to Shared website hosting. As the traffic to your site grows your site starts consuming more resources which may affect other sites in a shared hosting so you have to upgrade your plan. Unless you don’t have huge traffic you are better with shared hosting.

#4. Cloud/Grid Web Hosting:

types of web hosting

What Does It Mean?

Cloud is the most trending word on the internet today. Many of the hosting companies started offering cloud hosting packages. Bunch of servers are connected together forming a mega server called Cloud server.

Sites hosted on the cloud have greater flexibility of scaling up. Sudden spikes in traffic can be easily managed and literally there is nothing to worry about for a site owner.

Unlike Conventional hosting plans Cloud hosting is different in its payment structure.

Usually, prepayment is done in Conventional hosting plans for a year or month. With Cloud Hosting we pay only for a number of resources we consume. And the best part is we pay as we go.

Few Examples:

SiteGround, Cloudways, Bluehost, Google Cloud Engine, AWS and more.  

Note: Cloudways offers excellent Cloud hosting solution. Cloudways has partnered with VULTR, Google, Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, Linode, and Kyup to provide a range of choice for their users.

When Should I Use?

Cloud hosting is best for those with technical know how. As it involves a lot of technical aspects in making payments based on the resources you consume. So you need to be aware of how much resources you are consuming and how to optimize it. Cloud Hosting is not as easy as Conventional hosting because it involves a great learning curve.

It is the best fit for SAAS products and eCommerce stores and sites with huge traffic.

#5. Dedicated Server:

types of web hosting

What Does It Mean?

It is entirely dedicated to you as the name says. You can have the complete administration privileges on your server. To put it, in other words, you rented the one complete server for your requirements. You can utilize the server to its fullest potential.

You are the sole user of the single server. There is no sharing at all. You are the only person who is going to use server resources. Dedicated servers are very expensive.

Few Examples: SiteGround, Inmotion

When Should I Use?

If you have any custom configurations like software and hardware, then dedicated server is your best bet. One more important advantage is a managing level of security is in your hands so you have the extra edge to make any further security improvements.

A dedicated server requires a server admin who takes care of the activities involved in handling server. It involves a lot of technical expertise. Sites with millions and millions of traffic can opt for dedicated servers.

Dedicated Server is not recommended.Unless you have a great traffic, budget, Custom requirements and decent staff who manage the server.

#6. Reseller Web Hosting:

What Does It Mean?

If you want to sell hosting services you need to have a

Data Center equipped with latest servers,

Cooling systems,

Unlimited power supply,

Unlimited Internet Connection,

Power Backup Generators

And not to mention a great team of technical experts with excellent support executives. That’s not all You need a great location which is safe from natural calamities and need to follow lots of local Govt. Regulations.

That’s a lot, right? This is why Hosting companies provide Reseller hosting Packages which allows you and me to sell hosting packages as a separate company While all the hard work (Mentioned above) will be handled by Hosting Company.

Yes, Everything is managed by hosting company all we have to do is subscribe to Reseller hosting and start selling hosting services with a new brand name.

Few Examples: SiteGround, Inmotion, Bluehost. And more.

When Should I Use?

Web developers, agencies who manage clients can opt for Reseller packages. Even you can start selling hosting services if you are good at online marketing with little technical expertise.

#7. Colocation Hosting:

What Does It Mean?

In Colocation Hosting you purchase the server of your own choice and rent out space from Hosting company. They provide Space, Cooling systems, Power supply, & Internet connection. You are responsible for server installation and maintenance. Few hosting companies provide additional services to maintain your server. However, it is optional.

You must visit the Datacenter to install your server. If there are any issues, it’s your responsibility to check and upgrade your infrastructure (Server).

To make it easy to understand, let’s take this analogy.

A dedicated server is like renting out a fully furnished home. You don’t have to buy anything.

Colocation Hosting is like renting out semi furnished home. You have to buy your choice of server.

Few Examples:  Nextraone, Rackbank

When Should I Use?

I don’t think small businesses need these. However, owners who want complete control on the server and capable of managing the server can find this solution helpful. It requires lots of technical knowledge to manage and maintain own server in the data centre. Colocation hosting has a great advantage over dedicated hosting because you own the server, allowing great flexibility for upgrades. the downside being the cost of owning server is quite expensive.

#8.Self-Service Web hosting:

What Does It Mean?

As the name states, it is a DIY type of hosting. In simple, you create a mini data centre for your requirements. I. e You install a server, cooling system, continues internet connection and power supply in a location of your choice. Not to mention you have to follow local Govt. bodies rules and regulations.

Maintaining a self-service web hosting is pretty expensive. It requires lots of technical knowledge and manpower to maintain.

A number of resources you can consume are unlimited and your wallet is the limit.

Scalability is easy because everything is controlled by you so you have decision power to make quick changes.

Few Examples: Amazon and Google they have their own hosting companies.

When Should I Use?

Huge organisations and governments maintain their own servers to have complete control over the data centre. This type of hosting ensures a high level of security and flexibility.

It requires deep pockets to own data centre and managing it.


Well, those are the types of hosting services available in the market. However, the recent trend suggests that there is an increase in demand for cloud hosting because of its features. Beginners can start with shared web hosting or Free web hosting if you want to test the depth of water. Bloggers can upgrade their plans in the following manner

Shared web hosting>VPS Hosting>Cloud Web Hosting.

However, for SaaS products, it is highly recommended to go for cloud package as it offers great flexibility in case of sudden spikes in traffic. For big houses, Dedicated or Cloud packages are the best fit.

That’s all from my side, Leave a comment in the comment section, Would love to hear your thoughts on types of web hosting.

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