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Different Types of Web Hosting Explained

What are the different types of website hosting(servers, plans, services) you ask?

This article will cover:

  • What the different types of web hosting server plan to choose from are
  • Which web hosting type is right for certain sites

We hope that after reading this that you can pick the best web hosting kind suited for your website(s).

What are the Different Types of Web Hosting Answered & Explained

In other for the 1.7 plus billions of websites in the world to be accessed, they have to be hosted on one of the web hosting server types.

Like everything else, one can find themselves with a whole lot of hosting options to choose from that will get their information or site out there on the web.

So in this section, we will be discussing and explaining the many kinds of web hosting such as:

  • Shared hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Semi & fully managed hosting
  • Colocation
  • DIY hosting
  • WordPress hosting
  • Joomla hosting
  • Drupal hosting
  • Magento hosting
  • Woocommerce hosting

So let's get started.

Refresher, Web Hosting Definition?

In simple terms, web hosting is a type of hosting service on the internet that is provided to individuals and organizations alike to put up a website or a webpage of their own that can be accessed via the World Wide Web.

However, it is important to note that each kind of hosting is relatively different and thus meets different needs.

Thus, it is critical to choose the right kind of hosting services that will cater exactly to the needs of a website owner – however big or small, easy or complicated those needs might be.

Even though modern web hosting platforms more or less provide similar features and benefits, they vary in the amount or quality of such options such as the:

  • Quality of control
  • Amount of provided storage space
  • A requirement of technical knowledge
  • Speed of server and reliability
  • Technical customer support

In general, there are about 6 different types of website hosting that any website owner is likely to have come across.

There're shared, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers, cloud, managed, and colocation.

Below is the breakdown.


Often referred to as cheap web hosting, this type may not be the best web hosting for performance for some websites but we have to mention it first as it is the most popular as it is the cheapest.

This type of hosting server is the best for amateurs or small hobby websites for entry-level hosting of a website.

However, if you optimize your website properly for speed, then a shared server might work for medium-trafficked sites.

Here, your individual or organization’s website will be stored on the same server as multiple other websites which is why the name shared hosting.

Many websites share the same server and thus by virtue of which also share the same resources of the server, such as the Random Access Memory (RAM) and Central Processing Unit (CPU).

The costs that one will have to bear when using a shared hosting platform for their website are relatively low since they are shared amongst many other websites, which is why this is an excellent option for those who are just starting out and are in the very beginning stages of owning a website.

Since in general, beginners have a simple website and looking for the simplest or low-cost ways to host their website, using the right shared hosting service will ensure your website is accessible regardless of whether your website is one made out of passion or it is of a small business group.

Shared hosting plans typically come with a few helpful services such as WordPress installation, website builders, and a platform to email clients and thus establish a connection for future benefits.

A shared hosting service is typically best for those websites that do not receive a whole lot of internet traffic or just starting off.

Best For:

  • Hobby websites
  • Small websites
  • As a starter plan
  • Sites without a tone of traffic

Best Providers

Picking the right shared provider is very important because some shared are better than others.

With some hosting company's you will get more features and customer support.

One of the best providers of shared hosting is Bluehost

Other great hosting providers to consider are WPengine, GreenGeeks, and Dreamhost.

Typical Cost

Good ones generally cost about $2-$4 a month if you sign the multiple-year agreement.

And you have other ones that go up to $30 a month.


  • Affordable
  • Manageable and convenient
  • Can be customized


  • Resources are shared
  • Security can be an issue with bad hosts
  • You can only host one website

Dedicated Server

As one of the different types of web hosting services, dedicated server hosting gives the owners of the website the highest amount of control over the particular server their website is stored on.

Here, that server that is in your control is so because you have exclusively rented the server for yourself, and is for all practical purposes your own and contains only your website.

Impliedly, you have complete administration and root access which means that you are in charge of everything from the operating system to the security that your website will run on.

As they say, with great power comes great responsibility....well, you will have to bear the responsibility of shelling out a considerable amount of money for a dedicated server for your website.

Dedicated server hosting is one of the most expensive options of web hosting and is thus typically used by those persons or organizations that see a high web traffic level and are thus in need of complete control over the server of their website.

Additionally, such wholesome control for a dedicated server requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise which will be necessary not only for the installation but also for the continued management of the server.

Best For:

  • High traffic website
  • Big business
  • If security is top of mind
  • If speed and performance are important to you

Popular & Best Providers

Some of the best providers of dedicated server hosting are WP Engine( for WordPress Sites) and Bluehost.


This type typically costs anywhere from $80 - $700 per month.


  • Ease of use
  • Flexibility
  • Performance, reliability, and capability


  • High cost
  • A requirement of high technical skills

 Virtual Private Server (VPS)

Want the best of both worlds of shared and dedicated server website hosting?

The VPS website hosting plans provide the supreme middle ground for the two.

This means that a Virtual Private Server addresses the needs of those website owners who require more control than a shared space would give them but don’t necessarily require a dedicated server.

In the case of a Virtual Private Server, a unique feature of it would be that it provides a website with its own space within the server, but all the websites associated with a VPS hosting service inevitably still share the same physical server.

This helps in the reduction of the cost an individual owner or an organization would have to pay, but also provides them with a relatively larger amount of control at the same time.

However, while virtual private server hosting provides its users with higher storage spaces and customizable options, it is still not very capable of handling high levels of web traffic and thus is preferred by those website owners who want dedicated hosting but do not possess the required technical skill.

The VPS host can be affected by surges in the web traffic levels, which affect the user experience of all the other websites on the server.

A virtual private server type of hosting is also a great choice for those advanced website owners who prefer specific software as well as package installations.

Best For:

  • If you need more control
  • More resources
  • For medium businesses
  • Medium traffic websites
  • If you don't want shared plans but do not want to spend more on dedicated and the other expensive options

Popular & Best Providers

Some of the best providers of this type of web hosting service are:

  • Bluehost
  • Dreamhost


A VPS would typically cost anywhere between $20 and $100 per month or more depending on the type and level of configuration one requires for their website and the control one has over it.


  • The process of setting up is relatively faster than dedicated hosting
  • Easily upgradeable
  • Flexibility, root access, and powerful


  • Allocation of resources is not always done properly
  • More expensive than shared website hosting


Cloud hosting is another type of web hosting service that is popular.

Making your website accessible through a cloud hosting service is the current trend amongst website owners – both individuals and organizations.

When considering a cloud hosting service for your website or webpage, it simply means that a multitude of computers are working together and running applications and functioning by way of using computing resources that are combined.

A cloud hosting service is one that works by a network thus enabling companies or individual owners to use the available resources for computing as a utility.

This feature of cloud hosting allows users to employ however many resources that they might feel necessary without really having to install, build, and maintain their very own infrastructure for computing.

Hence, such resources that are being used are typically spread across several different servers for websites and web pages which further reduces the possibilities of a crash or any downtime for the websites which may be caused due to a malfunction of any server.

The best part about using a cloud server hosting service for making your website accessible is that cloud-based hosting is scalable.

This essentially means that your website can grow with time using as many resources as it requires to get to that level and even still the owner of the website only pays for what they need.

Best For:

  • Big businesses
  • High traffic websites
  • Multiple business locations or potential clients in multiple locations city or country wise

Popular & Best Providers

Some of the best providers of cloud hosting services are Bluehost, Dreamhost, and WP Engine.

Typical Cost

Availing of a cloud service to a website can cost its owner anywhere from $4 to $250 per month.

However, be careful with cheap cloud services.

Understand what exactly you will be getting if a provider s offering a cheap price.


  • Cost reduction
  • Highly scalable
  • Easier collaboration
  • Levels the playing field: by providing access to sophisticated technologies that are available in the market at lower and more affordable prices.


  • Compromise on privacy
  • Inflexibility
  • Availability: which is subject to a properly working internet connection

Semi & Fully Managed Hosting

A guide for the different types of website hosting won't be complete without mentioning WordPress hosting.

Manage to host is basically hosting providers providing additional services for cloud, VPS, or dedicated hosting services.

Managed hosting can either be fully or semi-managed.

So what is semi-managed hosting? Semi-managed hosting is when you use a web host provider's infrastructures and support while managing your own servers.

A fully managed hosting provider allows you to focus on other important while a website hosting company handles everything for you.

Popular & Best Providers

  • WPX
  • WP Engine
  • Kinsta


Prices can range from $10/m to $40 a month.


  • Always up to date
  • Powerful and assured security
  • Speed
  • High uptime
  • Tailor-made solutions
  • Lots of features


  • Expensive

Other Lesser Used Types


A kind of hosting that is rare is setting up your own host from home.

Hosting your own website is basically having your own server.

Having your own server to host your website is usually not recommended as it requires a lot of technical skills, time, and resources.


  • Ultimate control
  • Customizable
  • You are in charge of everything


  • No external assistance
  • Quite pricey
  • Very demanding
  • You need to have the technical skills to run it


Colocation hosting is when a data center leases out space and houses servers at its data center.

Popular Providers

  • Sharktech
  • Hostdime
  • Equinix


The price of this type of web hosting can range from $80/m to $500/m or even more.


  • Security
  • Better management and monitoring
  • Unlimited power
  • Use of more bandwidth for lower cost


  • Server not easily accessible
  • You have to buy your own equipment
  • Update your own equipment

Specialized Types of Website Hosting

There are also other kinds of website hosting that are based on the type of web app such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.


We can't talk about the different types of website hosting types without mentioning WordPress hosting services.

WordPress is one of the most popular blogging and CMS platforms used by millions and by well-known companies like CNN, TechCrunch, Ted, etc.

Because of its popularity, there are now many hosting companies specialized in hosting these WordPress websites.

WordPress hosting is website hosting that is optimized in a manner by which it is successfully able to meet the performance standards and security needs that WordPress requires.

One advantage of using a WordPress-focused web hosting provider is that it provides an option for WordPress installs initiated by just one click so that hosting through WP becomes a breeze.

Sometimes, a few hosts of WordPress will even provide you with the feature to update the WordPress software as and when new updates are available and will do it automatically once the feature is checked.

Popular & Best Providers

Some of the best providers of WordPress website hosting services are

  • BlueHost
  • WP Engine


This website hosting typically costs between $2 to $30 a month for one site for a basic host.


  • Increased website working speed
  • Improved security
  • Automatic backup as and when it is required
  • Software that stays up to date

Picking the best WP hosting plan and provider is very important for a WP's optimal performance.


Joomla is a flexible website hosting platform that can be used to create and make any type of website an owner wants.

Joomla provides website creators with the opportunity of constructing and growing their online presence to millions of business owners, webmasters, and bloggers all around the globe.

Joomla Website hosting services are generally packed with updates that improve performance and custom migration but usually provide the best benefits to Joomla-based websites than others.

Joomla is a free and open-source system that manages content that is extendable and provides its users with many free plugins and themes.

Joomla Hosting services are generally availed by those who seek to build their websites or blogs as it is a good open-source platform.

However, unfortunately not every hosting service provider is ideal for Joomla.

The best Joomla hosts generally offer automatic installation of Joomla, servers that are optimized and compatible with the development of Joomla, and finally, allow for generous bandwidth and disk space allowances.

It is also generally preferable for the providers of Joomla Hosting services to have Joomla experts and staff for support.

Popular and Best Providers

  • Dreamhost
  • Bluehost


Providers who avail their services will cost the creators and owners of websites quite a considerable amount of nearly $200 and can even extend to $500 per year.


  • Easy to install
  • Availability of extensions
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • An active community that can help in providing assistance when issues arise


  • Slightly complex
  • Compatibility issues are often faced by users


Another type of specialized web hosting is Drupal hosting.

Drupal hosting is essentially any web hosting plan that ensures compatibility with Drupal, which is a management system for content.

Drupal is a content management system that is open-sourced and is particularly popular amongst professionals and experts who primarily appreciate how flexible and powerful it is as well as the high level of security it offers which is why it is also just as appreciated and used by the government websites and enterprise websites for whom privacy means a whole lot.

The tons of websites of Drupal require a website server and its hosting means to be accessible to the visitors on the web.

Drupal services provide a basic template or framework to enable its users to be able to construct and build their websites.

Drupal Hosting services, however, are critical in the sense that it is the necessary required component that makes the website or webpage available and accessible to the masses of visitors on the World Wide Web in the first place.

Top-Rated, Popular & Best Providers

Some of the best providers of Drupal hosting services are

  • Dreamhost
  • Bluehost

Average Cost

The cost per month for availing of Drupal Website Hosting services is generally less than $5 per month depending on the package.


  • It lets the user initially set up the Drupal software in just a single click
  • Relatively cheap
  • Many hosts of Drupal support Unlimited Domains, Emails and provide a significant storage capacity


  • Complicated to use and not always user-friendly
  • Performance issues are sometimes faced
  • Requires time and effort


Magento hosting is another popular website hosting type offered by web hosting companies.

Magento is a free and open-sourced platform for E-commerce that lets its users begin their online sales as quickly as possible without too much hassle.

Impliedly, it is predominantly meant for those who seek to make profits online by selling goods and services.

Choosing the best Magento website hosting plan helps keep your E-commerce site fast and secure.

To host Magneto, a hosting service compatible with Magento is required to own unlimited features and be highly scalable to its users, especially large business organizations.

This platform of Magento for E-commerce purposes has tons of different themes that suit the requirements of the user as well as the plug-ins that are necessary for its swift operation.

It is also available with a one-click installation wizard.

Top-rated, Popular & Best Providers

Some of the best providers of Magento website hosting services -

  • Bluehost
  • Dreamhost


  • Flexibility
  • Scalable
  • Large user community so assistance can be sought


  • Premium version can be expensive
  • Time-consuming
  • Has only a few developers

Factors To Consider Before Selecting Any Type

With a wide range of web hosting options to choose from, it can become a little difficult to come to a definite conclusion which is why it is important to properly analyze the type of website that you want to make accessible to millions of people via the web.

Factors to consider vary from not only the kind of website or webpage but also extends to the level of the user – beginner or advanced and the amount of expected web traffic to your site and the amount of money that a website owner has allotted to such online accessibility of their website.

Further, you must also decide on the amount of control you wish to possess over the website and whether or not you wish to share such online resources with other website owners that share the same server or resources of a common server.

Besides, you must also take into consideration the type of service you require and go through the pros and cons of each before coming to a final decision.

Factors to be considered when choosing a web host include:

  • ease of use
  • efficiency
  • flexibility
  • security
  • performance
  • and the cost of each service provider before deciding on one particular hosting service type.

Security is extremely important when it comes to picking any type of hosting service.

So choosing a package type and a provider with the best security updates and monitoring is extremely important.

According to this study by A James Clark School of Engineering, hackers attack computers every 39 seconds.

So since your website will be hosted on servers that are basically computers you want to make sure that you pick the right host and provider who is proactive and have the right tools in place to protect your website from hackers.

The hosting service must also allow for user-friendly interfaces and be able to handle large influxes of web traffic for multiple websites and most importantly be scalable to be most effective for the website owners.

The number of data centers a provider has around the globe is very important as this will impact your website speed.

With so many different types of hosting services, take your time, and consider different factors before jumping into one.

If you pick the wrong one, the cost can be a nightmare.

Types of Web Hosting Conclusion

We hope that you enjoyed our guide on the different types of web hosting services out there.

Choosing a WordPress website or other types of website hosting type and the service provider will be different for each user and depends on their website requirements.

So we hope that our guide will help you in picking the best web hosting package that is right for both your short and long-term website goals.

Emmanuel Okeke

A Los Angeles resident who loves to write awesome guides on SEO, WordPress speed/security, content strategies, business and personal finance, digital and growth hack tools, legal stuff, etc, that are helpful to businesses, solopreneurs, bloggers, and consumers.

What I write about is based on tests, extensive research, and 11+ years of experience as a former Senior digital & content marketing consultant with a division of Thomson Reuters and running a successful digital marketing agency...[Read full bio]