When you’re looking for a website hosting provider, you’ll quickly discover that there are different types of hosting with different prices, performance features, and technical specifications. In this article, we’ll discuss the most popular types of hosting and help you decide which is right for your website!
If you want to build a WordPress website, you will need website hosting. As you want to make the right decision for your website, it’s important to know what each type of hosting is and the associated advantages and disadvantages.
That’s what this post is for! Let’s start with a general explanation of what web hosting is. Then we’ll break down the most popular types of hosting and help you understand which is most suitable for your website needs.
What is Website Hosting and how does it work?
Website hosting is the hardware that secures your website and makes it available to visitors around the world.
In other words, it’s where you store your website’s files and content, and it serves those files to visitors when they enter your website (by typing in your website’s domain name).
Behind every website is some form of web hosting, whether it’s a big site like YouTube or a friend’s knitting blog.
When you buy web hosting, you are essentially renting space on a computer. This can be part of a computer that you share with others, an entire computer, or even a location on a computer network (also known as a “cloud”).
Once you have your website hosted, you can start using it.
Just as you can install software (such as applications) on your personal computer, you can also install software on your web hosting.
For example, if you want to build a WordPress website, you first need web hosting (the hardware). You can then install WordPress (the software) on your web hosting. And voila, you have the basics of a website that can be accessed by people anywhere in the world.
Different websites will have different hosting requirements when it comes to the resources required to run the website.
High-traffic, high-resource sites require high-performance storage to handle the workload, while low-traffic sites are fine with less power.
Generally, more powerful hosting costs more money. You wouldn’t expect a cheap $600 laptop to perform as well as the $10,000 for a high-end computer and the same for web hosting.
What are four the main types of website hosting?
Now that you know what web hosting is, let’s take a look at the four main types of website hosting.
All of these hosting types are fully capable of running WordPress websites. However, some are better suited to your WordPress site’s unique situation than others.
1. What is Cloud storage
With cloud hosting, your website gets its own dedicated resources on a vast network of computers called “the cloud.”
This is one of the key differences between cloud hosting and shared hosting – instead of sharing resources, you get resources that are 100% dedicated to your website. This usually results in better performance because you don’t have to worry about someone else’s sites affecting your site.
Cloud hosting also offers excellent reliability, as a network of computers powers everything rather than a single point of failure.
It’s also easy to upgrade or downgrade your hosting resources, as all your hosting provider needs to do is allocate more (or less) resources to your account on the network.
For this reason, cloud storage is one of the fastest-growing types of storage. For example, you may have heard of some cloud hosting providers names like Google Cloud Platform, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, etc.
Within cloud storage, you can divide storage into two categories:
- Managed – your hosting provider configures and maintains basic server data for you.
- Unmanaged – You will be responsible for configuring and maintaining the server.
All things being equal, unmanaged hosting costs less than managed hosting because the host offers extra features with the managed option (and those extra features cost more money).
In general, non-technical users almost always want a managed solution. However, developers may prefer unmanaged hosting for greater flexibility and/or cost savings.
2. What is Shared hosting
Shared hosting is where many people start their hosting journey because it is one of the cheapest ways to run a website.
With shared hosting, your website/account shares resources with other accounts and websites on the hosting server – hence the name.
Hosting providers can keep their costs low by sharing resources like this and offering the lowest prices.
That’s really the only advantage of shared hosting – it’s cheap. Shared hosts also usually advertise heavy resource limits, such as “unlimited websites”, “unlimited hosting” and/or “unlimited bandwidth”.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as truly “unlimited” hosting, and all shared hosts still apply “fair use” rules. That said, shared hosting can be a very affordable way to host multiple websites.
Although the low price of shared hosting is attractive, it can have many disadvantages in terms of performance, reliability and security. For example, if the other accounts you share resources with consume a lot of resources, it can negatively impact your site’s performance because there aren’t enough resources to go around.
For this reason, many people move beyond shared hosting once their website starts to grow, as other types of hosting can offer significant improvements in key areas such as performance and reliability.
3. What is Managed WordPress Website hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is a special type of hosting that is unique in the WordPress space.
You can host a WordPress site using all the other hosting methods, so it’s certainly not the only way to host WordPress sites. However, unlike other types of hosting, managed WordPress hosting can only host WordPress websites, which can be limiting in some situations. For example, you could not install your own self-hosted analytics tool for your WordPress site.
You can use different hosting environments like shared hosting, cloud hosting, etc. In this way, managed WordPress hosting is not separate from other types of hosting.
The main thing that sets it apart from “regular” hosting is the series of concierge services that are added specifically to WordPress sites.
This typically includes the following types of services:
- Automatic daily backups with the option to manually backup from the website if needed.
- WordPress hosts.
- Automatic WordPress updates.
- WordPress-specific performance optimizations such as page caching and possibly a content delivery network (CDN).
- WordPress-specific security rules.
- Expert WordPress support.
The main advantage of managed WordPress hosting is convenience. You get more than just web hosting, and with these other features, you can save time when it comes to maintaining your website.
However, the main disadvantage is the price. Assuming you’re talking about plans with the same resources, managed WordPress hosting will always be more expensive because you somehow have to pay for those extra features.
This means that managed WordPress hosting can be a good choice for those willing to pay a small premium for convenience and extra features.
4. What is VPS hosting or Virtual Private Server
VPS Hosting is very similar to cloud hosting. The main difference is that the site gets its dedicated resources from a single physical server rather than “the cloud”. While you don’t get the entire server, the resources assigned to your website are 100% yours (unlike shared hosting).
While traditional VPS hosting used to be quite popular, now that cloud hosting is on the rise, it has taken a bit of a backseat.
Most people are better off with a cloud hosting approach because it offers more flexible scalability. This means that it is easier to add more resources to the server (or reduce resources) when needed.
That said, you’ll still see many hosting providers advertising VPS hosting, so it’s worth knowing about this type of hosting.
The Importance of Website Hosting for online success!
If you want to create a website, you will need website hosting. However, there are different hosting types to choose from, so it’s important to understand your options and the pros and cons of each hosting type.
For example, some hosting types focus on keeping costs low at the expense of performance, while others focus on providing maximum performance and flexibility (but often at the expense of higher costs or complexity).
Instead of worrying about the technical details and the best type of hosting, always call us at Buzzword and our helpful team will guide you to the best hosting for your business.