What is a Web Hosting Service and What are the Most Common Types?

Web Hosting

Everyone needs an online presence. You may don’t want to sell anything and that’s fine. There are tons of portfolio websites showcasing cool creative work.  What you really need before you go any further is a hosting service.

Now, with so many companies out there competing for your attention, how to know which hosting plan is good for you. Besides, what is a hosting service? Today I’m going to explain what web hosting means and the most popular services.

What is Web Hosting?

In order  for your website to be visible you need to have your website files in a server other than your computer. Those servers are regularly checked and have a solid infrastructure. Web hosting companies have a large number of servers and they can send files all over the globe 24/7.

Your computer’s server is not enough, it doesn’t have the power and scope to send numerous files requests throughout the day.  Think on your website as a lodger and the server as the landlord, your website rents space to a hosting company so it can live there for some time. But, you may don’t want to live in the same house forever, here is when the  different hosting solutions come in.


hosting services


Types of Web Hosting Services

The hosting market is quite big, there are hundred of providers offering different plans. You can even start with the most basic solution and switch to another plan once your traffic grows. Services vary from shared to self-managed. Some solutions are easy to set  while others are a bit more complex.

Still, the plan you choose will depend on your  specific needs, and those needs will change over time. As your folders and traffic get bigger you’ll need more bandwidth and a reliable infrastructure. Let’s have a look at the different types of hosting services.


Free: This type of hosting comes with every website builder, and it’s very easy to set. You normally get a name alongside the company name. Said your website name is “blue cat”  the name would look like that www.bluecat/weebly.com

And to get rid of the service provider’s name you have to pay a small fee. So, in theory it’ not totally free, it has a catch. If you’re experimenting and not sure where your site is going, a free hosting service is a good option to start with.


Shared Hosting: This is classic for beginners, a shared hosting means your site shares a server with  other sites. This is one of the cheapest options and the most popular for newbies. The down side is that  can be a bit slow, and sometimes the service goes down. Also, because you’re sharing a server with several other websites if one of them becomes infected your site is a risk too. Shared hosting services are good value for money, but for a short period of time.


Virtual Private Server ( VPS): This plan means you share servers with other sites, but with a smaller number of websites 10 to 20. Plus, everyone shares the same space within the server, meaning you run your own mini-server with your own control panel.  A Virtual Private Sever has the advantages of a dedicate server but for a fraction of the price. Also, the chances of the site going down are very slim.


Cloud Hosting:  This is quite new, cloud hosting means your site files are in the cloud, or distributed  servers. If the site needs more bandwidth a cloud hosting will automatically compensate without you having to switch to another plan.

Other advantage, is that the cloud has a number of servers distributed across different regions, so if somethings goes wrong with a particular set of servers you can rely on the others to continue operating. So, you site is very unlikely to go down or crash. In addition, cloud services instead of charging a monthly fee, charge for the data used.


Dedicated Hosting: The server is all yours, which means you can have a large number of visitors and the server will never go down. Dedicated serves are used by companies that need a big amount of data. This hosting solution is more expensive as you have full control, but on the long run it’s more efficient. The down side is that you need to know how to keep the server running smoothly. You’re responsible for the sever and its maintenance.


As you can see the options are pretty big, it’s super important to think about your needs and how you can get good value without compromising  on the quality. There are more options, but I haven’t put all of them here, I just gave you the ones I think are most popular.

This site gives  independent reviews,  you could have a look  at it before you decide. Also, think in the internet world things change very fast, you may need some flexibility and easy access. From my point of view VPS ( Virtual Private Server)  and cloud hosting services are the best. But, again you need to think what is more convenient for you.


Did you find this article useful? Have you decide with hosting plan go for? Leave a comment in the comment section below.

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