Web Hosting: What You Need to Know

The Main Types of Hosting Explained

There are so many different advertisements for hosting. Each one boasting a million features and prices that seem too good to be true. It can be overwhelming and hard to understand what you really need.

The main types of hosting can be broken down into four main categories:

  • Shared
  • Cloud
  • VPS
  • Dedicated

This blog post is dedicated to explaining the differences between these hosting types and their pros and cons. In addition, I will recommend different hosting providers. Please note that these providers offer many different plans. Be sure to read the features before purchasing.

By the end of this post, you will understand the basics of hosting and hopefully be able to choose the right type for you and your business. 

Shared Hosting

Most of the time, this is the cheapest hosting for WordPress. With this option, many websites reside on the same server which is connected to the internet. Because of this, websites on that server share resources which is how the price is kept so low.

Pros

  • Great, low pricing. This makes it a good option for those who don’t have an extensive budget.
  • Mostly hands-off in terms of technical maintenance. Usually, the provider will do this for you.
  • Perfect for users with a small website (e.g. less than 1000 visitors per day)

Cons

  • Performance can sometimes be an issue – As I mentioned, with shared hosting you are sharing server resources with every other website on the server. This means that if one website takes up a lot of resources at once, you website may suffer without warning.

Cloud Hosting

According to IBM, cloud hosting makes ‘website accessible using cloud resources’. What does this mean for non-technical people? Basically, there is a network of both physical and virtual servers hosts the website and its resources. Unlike shared hosting, there is no sharing of server resources which leads to a faster website.

Pros

  • More reliable uptime and better availability – Cloud hosting is designed to be ‘self-healing’ meaning that your site will fix itself in the event of service failure. This leads to reliable performance and fewer site crashes.
  • Scalability and flexibility – This is great for people who want to start small and grow with time.
  • Great backup service – Data backups and copies of your website are usually automatically generated. This gives you peace of mind that your website is safe in the event of the worst happening.

Cons

  • Personally, I do not see many (if any at all) downsides to cloud hosting. Of course, there are always security risks which is why it is so important to choose a reputable provider.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)

With a VPS (Virtual Private Server), you get your own virtual portion of a server. VPS is more robust and offers a lot of different features when compared to shared hosting.

Pros                                               

  • Plenty of space and bandwidth – This is great if you know that, or anticipate, your website will be getting a lot of traffic.
  • Usually the VPS will have high performance components that allow for stability and reliability.
  • Flexible – You are in control and are able to scale up if necessary. Those with lots of technical experience will be able to configure the VPS to their specifications.

Cons

  • Can be quite pricy
  • The amount of control you have over your server can be a blessing and a hinderance. If you are not confident in your skills, you may need to hire someone with technical expertise to manage it. This may be an extra cost.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated web hosting allows the customer to purchase their own physical server that is completely exclusive to them. The customer will have complete control and will have the ability to make customizations that optimize their server for performance and security.

Pros

  • More reliable performance – Unlike with shared hosting, only your website is on the server. Thanks to this, there is no worry that another website will take up your server’s resources. This allows for more reliable performance.
  • You have complete control – You can customize it to your needs and requirements whenever necessary.
  • Safer and more secure – Because only your site is on the server, you will not have to worry about anyone else’s site bringing in a virus. You are also able to purchase security measures for your server.

Cons

  • Expensive – Unsurprisingly, having your own server is costly. As such, this option is not always feasible for small business. Thankfully, a dedicated server is mainly only a requirement for large business with a lot of daily traffic and advanced technical requirements.
  • You are in control – You will need to make sure that you understand the technical side of your server, or hire someone who does, because everything is up to you. If something goes wrong it will be on you to fix it and also to monitor your server.

Recommended Hosting Providers

Flywheel logo

Flywheel

Flywheel is my favorite cloud hosting provider. They are trusted by many developers and have many good reviews. Flywheel’s servers are build specifically for WordPress and the agents are experts who can help you optimize your website. Their managed WordPress hosting, which is what I recommend, includes many great features such as auto-healing technology, CDN, security and automatic nightly backups.

Unfortunately, you cannot purchase your domain name with Flywheel so you will need to purchase it from a separate provider. However, the other great features they provide overshadows this.

SiteGround logo

SiteGround

SiteGround is loved by many WordPress users worldwide (according to online reviews), including me! WordPress recommends SiteGround, so you know it is a safe choice. They have an easy to use interface and great support.

SiteGround not only offers shared hosting, they also offer cloud hosting. While I have not tried the cloud hosting myself, I have heard good things about it. SiteGround also allows you to purchase your domain name with them.

IONOS logo

1&1 IONOS

IONOS is a reliable hosting provider with great support. In fact, the NynaKenyetta website is currently hosted with IONOS’ WordPress hosting. While it is a shared hosting package, I have not experienced issues with speed or performance. The pricing of IONOS is great and they also allow you to purchase your domain with them which is a plus.

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