What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a type of internet service where the service provider helps the user host their website or application on his VPS / Server or Cloud Instance. Only if a website is hosted, it will be accessible to all over the internet. So, hosting is an important service that keeps the internet alive. Some of the large hosting service providers in the industry are – Godaddy, Google Cloud, AWS Hosting, 1 & 1, Hostgator, BlueHost, NameCheap etc.

Types of Web Hosting

All applications are different. Performance requirement, security, scalability, resources needed, budget, traffic all these should be considered when choosing the right type of web hosting. To meet all these different needs there are the different types of web hosting.

  • Reseller Hosting : First let me explain who is a reseller. A reseller is a service provider who has purchased a large amount of space from a Server owner and resells this space to his customers. So reseller hosting means renting out your purchased space to your customer for hosting their web application.

  • Shared Hosting : This is the most common form of hosting and the cheapest option as well. Here you will be hosting your website/application on a server where there will be multiple other websites already hosting their application. Since it is a shared server, you will have limited access or privileges.

  • VPS Hosting : VPS is Virtual Private Server which means you are getting a server equivalent. But not exactly a full fledged server. It’s basically carving out a server equivalent or also known as virtual server from a physical bare metal server. This is virtualization. Hypervisors are the tools that help in virtualization. There are multiple technologies that help virtualize a server like KVM, LXD, Xen, Virtuozzo etc. Hosting websites on this virtual private server is VPS hosting and you will get root level access to the server.

  • Cloud Hosting: We all are living in the Cloud era. Hence I believe everyone knows about Cloud. But still let me explain what it is. Cloud is a collection of servers working together to offer hosting services. Unlike traditional hosting service; the application is not hosted on a single server, but a network of multiple interconnected servers. Examples : Amazon Cloud or AWS , Google Cloud or GCP, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, SoftLayer, Linode, Vultr,  etc. On the cloud, you will only need to pay as you use and this help customers start with reduced capital investment. Hence, hosting your website/application on a cloud instance is cloud hosting. You can scale easily on a Cloud environment making it the best choice for hosting.

  • BareMetal Server Hosting / Dedicated Server Hosting: When you are hosting your website or application on a BareMetal & Dedicated server; it is known as Dedicated Server Hosting. This type of hosting gives you better control and freedom, but comes at a higher cost.

  • Colo Hosting / Colocation : If you already have a server setup. Want to place it with a hosting provider/data center for better connectivity and security reasons. Then choose providers who allow colocation within their DC space and place your server in their data center for a particular cost. Here you will be paying primarily for the power, connectivity and rack space. It’s a popular option among application builders, and a good one if you want your own server at the DC.

Which hosting is best for you?

There are a wide range of hosting options to choose from. Choose the right option that fits your requirement, based on – type of application, the resources you need, your budget, and expected traffic. If you have a small application and a tight budget go for the Shared hosting. If you have a rapidly growing application that needs scalable resources then opt for cloud hosting. For larger websites who need to be in full control and where budget is not a concern, go for Dedicated Server or Colocation Hosting.

Read more on web hosting : BI for Web Hosts, Web hosting troubleshooting

By Liz Mathew

Founder, InsightDials

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