The best guide for learning to navigate types of web hosting

understanding types of web hosting

Written By seankivi

I have been designing and building WordPress websites since 2017. Since then, I have been blogging and teaching people how to save money building a website.

April 1, 2023

Are you building a new website but need clarification about the many types of web hosting? 

Don’t feel confused because It’s much simpler than you think. 

Web hosting is a service that lets your website be accessible online.

Think of it as renting space for your site to live online.

I know it’s frustrating when planning a new website – I’ve been in your shoes.

I’ve created this guide to help you understand web hosting better. Picking the right hosting is important. 

Web hosting affects your website’s performance, security, and growth potential.

In this guide, you’ll:

  • Learn about types of web hosting
  • The pros and cons of each
  • Understand which is best for you 

By the end of this guide, you will have a clearer understanding of web hosting and which is best for your website.  

Types of web hosting for your WordPress Website

Before learning about hosting, you must know why WordPress is the best content management system (CMS). 

If you’ve not already, read about building a WordPress Website before trying to understand web hosting. 

If you’re already well-versed in how to start a WordPress website, this post will be very helpful. 

There are five types of website hosting you can choose for your website. 

They are:

  • Shared Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting
  • Managed WordPress Hosting
  • Colocation hosting

Below you can read more about the pros and cons of each. 

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most common and budget-friendly option for beginners.

In this setup, multiple websites share a single server and its resources.

The best way to think of this is like an apartment building.

You will pay less for hosting because your building is split into multiple rooms and sections. 

As with an apartment, there is a downside to this kind of hosting.

Your website may slow down because you are sharing resources on the server with other people. 

Shared hosting is great for beginners, but if you blog regularly, you should opt for a different type of web hosting. 

Namecheap has super cheap shared web hosting. If you purchase shared hosting, I recommend getting it with Namecheap. 

Shared hosting is best for you if you:

  • Are starting a personal blog
  • Are a small business with a limited budget
  • Have simple website requirements

In short, it’s a good choice for most people building their first website. 

shared type of webhosting

Virtual private server (VPS) hosting

VPS hosting is a step up from shared hosting. 

In this setup, a single server is partitioned into multiple virtual servers. 

But each has dedicated resources. 

While still sharing a physical server, websites on a VPS operate independently from one another.

When you choose VPS hosting, you will have greater flexibility in customizing your online website storage. 

VPS hosting is a great option for your website if: 

  • Your website is growing 
  • Your website has moderate traffic
  • Your website is an e-commerce platform
  • Your business needs more control and customization

You will benefit from VPS hosting if you fall into any of the above categories. 

VPS type of web hosting

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated hosting provides an entire server for a single website.

It offers maximum performance, control, and security. 

With dedicated hosting, your website will keep resources private from other sites.

Dedicated hosting is ideal for you if: 

  • You have a large website with high traffic
  • You need complex applications to run on your website 
  • Your business has strict security requirements

Dedicated hosting is best for enterprises or experienced website owners who need complete control over their online presence.

dedicated types of web hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a specialized hosting service tailored for WordPress websites. 

With managed WordPress hosting, you’ll get a hassle-free experience. 

When a hosting provider offers this service, it means they handle the technical aspects of your website.

You will not need to worry about updates, security, or performance optimization. 

I use managed WordPress hosting because it allows me to focus on my content and business.

If you’re going to use managed WordPress hosting, I recommend one of the following platforms:

These are the two hosting providers I use, and it makes everything so much easier. 

Managed WordPress hosting is a great option for most bloggers or businesses.

It provides a simple setup, and it’s easy to manage. 

However, that doesn’t mean setting up your website will be a piece of cake. 

You will still need to invest time into your site by writing quality content and designing a user-centered experience. 

It took me years to finally understand how to make a website aesthetically pleasing; some business owners don’t have time for this. 

Do you need help designing your website or creating quality content?

Fill out the form below and let me know how I can help.

I’ll review your site and let you know if I can help your business. 

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Colocation Hosting

Colocation hosting is an advanced hosting option. You will unlikely need to worry about this hosting if you’re reading my blog.

However, it is great to know more about all types of hosting.  

With Colocation hosting, you own the hosting hardware.

So rather than paying for servers, you pay for the space to store them. 

Usually, big businesses rent space in a third-party data center, which powers and maintains the hardware for you.

Colocation hosting allows you to leverage your infrastructure without allocating physical space or covering associated expenses.

And we all know that running huge computers for hours daily can be time-consuming and expensive.

Imagine the electricity costs!

Types of web hosting factors to consider when choosing a provider

I could write a dictionary of advice for things to consider when purchasing web hosting.

However, with experience, I’ve learned that some factors are more important than others.

Here’s what I recommend you consider when purchasing web hosting:

  • Website Size and Complexity
  • Traffic and Performance Requirements
  • Budget and Cost Considerations
  • Security Needs
  • Technical skill
  • Support

Let’s take a closer look at these so you can make an informed hosting choice. 

Website Size and Complexity

The size and complexity of your website play are important when choosing web hosting.

Shared hosting might be sufficient for a small website or blog with minimal features. 

However, you may opt for VPS, dedicated, or managed WordPress hosting for larger websites with more advanced functionality.

Traffic and performance requirements

Consider the amount of traffic your website receives and the performance levels required.

Shared hosting is ideal for low-traffic websites. 

Meanwhile, VPS or dedicated hosting can handle higher traffic volumes and perform better. 

If your website experiences fluctuating traffic or rapid growth, cloud or managed WordPress hosting can provide flexibility and scalability.

Budget and cost considerations

Your budget is an essential factor in choosing a hosting type.

Shared hosting is the most affordable option, while VPS, dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting come at a higher cost. 

Colocation hosting can be cost-effective for large businesses but requires a significant upfront investment in hardware. 

Consider your website’s long-term costs and potential growth when making your decision.

Security needs

Different hosting types offer varying levels of security. 

Shared hosting may have security vulnerabilities due to its shared environment. 

VPS and dedicated hosting provide better security, offering greater control and isolation. 

Managed WordPress hosting offers enhanced security specifically tailored for WordPress websites. 

I always recommend dedicated or managed WordPress hosting when working with clients needing a solution. 

These types of website hosting are the best. 

Technical knowledge and support requirements

Your technical expertise level and the support you need also impact your hosting choice. 

Shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting are user-friendly and often include comprehensive support, making them ideal for beginners or those with limited technical knowledge. 

VPS, dedicated, and colocation hosting require more advanced skills and may demand greater involvement in server management. 

If you need more technical knowledge, I recommend working with Pressable. 

The team has been wonderful each time I have had any technical needs. They are always online and willing to help. 

If they cannot address your need or concern immediately, they will email you when you reply. 

pressable is one of many companies that offer various types of wordpress hosting and their service is fantastic.

However, I have been able to handle the issue quickly. 

Namecheap also has fantastic service, but sometimes they assume you know more than you do. 

When I first designed a WordPress website in 2017, this happened. But I mentioned I was new to building websites, and they still assisted me. 

Popular Website Hosting Providers

Two well-known web hosting providers in the industry are Namecheap and Pressable. 

Both companies offer various hosting services to cater to various website needs. 

Namecheap provides shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting, while Pressable primarily focuses on managed WordPress hosting. 

Another honorable mention is IONOS, which offers various hosting solutions but is based in Europe and may have slightly slower service.

Migrating between types of web hosting

When you first start, you may choose shared hosting. As your business grows, you may need to change your type of web hosting for increased traffic and security.

Let’s talk about migrating from one type of web host to another. 

Reasons for migrating web hosting

There are several reasons why you might consider migrating to a different web hosting type, including:

  • Improved performance: If your website has outgrown its current hosting plan, moving to a higher-tier hosting type can enhance performance and user experience.
  • Scalability: As your website grows, you may need a hosting type to accommodate increasing traffic and resource demands.
  • Enhanced security: Upgrading to a more secure hosting type can protect your website from potential threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Greater control and customization: Advanced hosting types offer more control over server configuration and customization, which may be essential for some websites.
  • Cost savings: Migrating to a more cost-effective hosting type can help optimize expenses and accommodate your budget.

Challenges and risks

Migrating between web hosting types can present several challenges and risks, such as:

  • Downtime: During migration, your website may experience downtime, negatively impacting the user experience and search engine rankings.
  • Data loss: Improper migration can result in data loss, compromising your website’s content, settings, and user information.
  • Compatibility issues: Moving to a new hosting type or provider may introduce compatibility issues with your website’s existing plugins, themes, or software.
  • Learning curve: Transitioning to a new hosting type may require time and effort to learn new management tools and techniques.

Tips and best practices for a successful migration

Plan and schedule: Plan the migration process carefully, and schedule it during a low-traffic period to minimize potential disruptions.

  • Backup your data: Before starting the migration, create a full backup of your website, including files, databases, and settings, to ensure you can restore your site if issues arise.
  • Test your website: After migrating, thoroughly test your website to ensure all components function correctly, including links, images, forms, and plugins.
  • Seek professional help: If you need more clarification about the migration process, consider enlisting the help of a professional web developer or your hosting provider’s support team.
  • Please communicate with your audience: Inform your website visitors about the upcoming migration and potential downtime to manage their expectations and minimize frustration.
  • Monitor performance: After the migration, monitor your website’s performance, traffic, and user experience to ensure the new hosting type meets your requirements and expectations.

Migrating isn’t simple, and you may still need additional support. 

However, I’ve found the above tips helpful each time I have migrated. 

TL: DR – Recap of the Types of Web Hosting

In this guide, we discussed the various types of web hosting available, including:

  • Shared hosting: An affordable and user-friendly option for small websites and beginners.
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting: A balance between cost and performance for growing websites with moderate traffic.
  • Dedicated hosting: A high-performance solution for large websites, complex applications, and enterprises.
  • Managed WordPress hosting: A specialized hosting service tailored for WordPress websites, offering a streamlined and hassle-free experience.
  • Colocation hosting: An advanced hosting option primarily used by large businesses that own their hosting hardware but rent space in a third-party data center.

Importance of choosing the right hosting type for your needs

Selecting your website’s appropriate web hosting type is crucial for ensuring optimal performance, security, and user experience. 

The right hosting solution can accommodate your website’s size, complexity, traffic demands, and growth.

You can find a web hosting provider that aligns with your budget and technical expertise.

As you embark on your web hosting journey, take the time to research and compare various hosting providers, plans, and features. 

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