2 common types of web hosting
You are ready to build a website of your own with WordPress and you need a hosting provider, but you soon find that choosing the right one can be a difficult task. This is because there are many different types of hosting on the market (shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS, etc.) and these hosting options have different names, prices, features and technical requirements for different application scenarios. However, no one has provided an easy-to-understand explanation of these technical terms, so you are confused and delayed in making a decision.
If you want to make the right decision and choose the right hosting provider, it is important to understand each hosting type and its advantages and disadvantages. That’s the purpose of this article, we’ll explain web hosting, shed light on common hosting options and help you understand which hosting option is best for your website.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is the hardware that powers a website and makes it accessible to people all over the world. In other words, it is where the files and content of a website are stored and where these files are made available to visitors when they visit the site (by entering the website domain name).
Every website has some type of hosting behind it, whether it’s a large website like YouTube or your own personal blog.
When you buy managed hosting, you are effectively renting space on a computer. This can be a part of a computer or an entire computer shared with others, or it can be space on a computer network (aka ‘the cloud’). You can install software on your host computer in the same way that you can install software on your personal computer.
For example, if you want to create a WordPress website, you first need to have a host, and then you can install the WordPress software on your host machine and start building your website. Of course, there are now some WordPress hosts that have WordPress pre-installed on themselves (such as WPSCALE’s WordPress hosting), then the site builder does not need to install WordPress, and can directly carry out the site building operation.
In terms of website performance, different websites will have different hosting needs. High traffic, high utilisation websites need more powerful hosting to handle the load, while low traffic websites do not.
Generally speaking, the better the performance of the managed hosting, the more expensive the hosting will be. You get what you pay for, you can’t expect a $3,000 computer to perform the same as a $10,000 computer, and the same is true for web hosting.
The 2 main types of managed web hosting
Now that you have an understanding of what web hosting is, next, let’s take a look at the 5 main types of managed hosting. All of these managed hosts can support WordPress sites, however, there may be some hosts that will be a little more suitable for WordPress sites than others. As space is limited, we will start with the first two types of managed hosting in this post and cover the other 3 types of managed hosting in the next post.
- Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is where many people start their hosting journey, as it is one of the cheapest ways to host. Shared hosting, meaning that your site shares resources with other sites on the hosting server, is where shared hosting comes from. By offering shared hosting, hosting providers are able to reduce costs and offer low cost hosting.
Low prices, that’s really the only benefit of shared hosting. Many shared hosts also often advertise high resource limits, such as “unlimited websites”, “unlimited storage” and “unlimited bandwidth”. But, in fact, there is no such thing as “unlimited” hosting and each shared host has a limited amount of space.
While the low price of shared hosting is attractive, it does have some very real drawbacks in terms of performance, reliability and security. If the website you are sharing hosting with is taking up a lot of resources, this can result in less resources being available to your website, which can have a negative impact on its performance.
This is why many websites will ditch shared hosting in favour of other types of hosting once they start to grow.
2、 Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is an IT infrastructure capacity rental service that integrates computing, storage and network resources, and can provide on-demand and pay-as-you-go capabilities based on the cloud computing model of server rental services. Customers can deploy the required server environment through a self-service platform with a web interface.
The biggest difference between cloud hosting and shared hosting is that cloud hosting is not a shared resource, but a resource that is used 100% independently for the site. This allows for improved performance without having to worry about your site being affected by other people’s sites.
Cloud hosting also offers extreme reliability as there is a network of computers to back everything up and if a node in the current network shuts down, all tasks on that node will automatically be transferred to other functioning nodes, thus keeping the site up and running.
Hosting resources are also easy to upgrade or downgrade, with the hosting provider simply allocating more or less resources to your site on the network.
It is for this reason that cloud hosting is one of the fastest growing types of hosting. You may have heard of Google Cloud Platform, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, DigitalOcean, etc. These are all cloud hosting providers.
Within cloud hosting (and among many other hosting types), hosting can be further divided into two categories.
Fully Managed (Managed) – the hosting provider provides server configuration and basic maintenance services.
Semi-hosted (Unmanaged) – You are responsible for configuring and maintaining the server yourself.
All things being equal, semi-hosted hosting is less costly than fully managed hosting because the host provides additional hosting services that are costly.
In general, non-technical users almost always opt for a fully managed solution, while developers may prefer a semi-hosted solution for added flexibility and cost savings.