What are the Different Types of Hosting Servers?
You’ll need one of the reliable hosting servers to power anything online – be it a website, an online store, a blog, or an image gallery that you want the world to see, among others. However, you need to choose wisely because the kind of web host you choose will decide how your website, online store, blog, etc., will work in terms of online accessibility, speed, and performance.
Hosting servers act as a storage place for your blog, website, online store, or image gallery. When trying to make a choice, you’ll come across different types of hosting servers that vary with respect to their server speed, storage capacity, reliability, technical knowledge requirement, and control. This could make your choice difficult, especially if you don’t know what their features are and which one would suit your requirements the best.
6 Different Types Of Hosting Servers For Your Business
To make your choice easier in 2022, here are the six types of hosting servers for your business you’ll often find:
1. Shared Hosting
If you’re looking for entry-level hosting plans, this is your best bet. Shared hosting servers refer to the arrangement where your website is stored on the same server with several other websites. Thus, when you choose a shared hosting plan, your hosting provider will allot certain resources that you’ll share with other users on that server. This includes resources like
- CPU (Central Processing Unit)
- RAM (Random Access Memory)
- Bandwidth (capped at X Mbps)
- Storage (limited to Y GB)
As all users of a shared hosting plan share the same resources, such plans are relatively cheaper than others, making them a favorite choice of website owners looking to host their sites during the initial stages of their business. From websites of start-ups and newly-established small businesses to affiliate websites and personal blogs, shared hosting servers are the ideal solution.
Most shared hosting plans come with several add-ons, such as:
- Domain name
- Integrated website builder
- SSL certificate
- User-friendly control panel (cPanel or WHM)
- Auto backups
- Anti-malware scans and some other security measures like CDN, DDoS support
While some of these add-on services are usually free (domain name, SSL, website builder, and cPanel), others (auto backups, CDN, DDoS support, etc.) may need you to pay an additional cost.
Despite being very simple to access and manage, shared hosting servers mean you’re sharing the same server with multiple website owners. As a result, surges in their web traffic can ultimately have an adverse impact on your website’s user experience. Though shared web hosting providers are careful to rebalance their shared resources to counteract the sudden traffic spikes, such incidents affecting your website’s performance is a reality, which though rare, should be kept in mind.
- Cost-effective plans, often starting for as low as $1 per month
- No particular technical knowledge is necessary
- Pre-configured server setting
- User-friendly website management
- Managed server administration and maintenance
- Limited storage space and bandwidth; additional payments are needed to upgrade
- Typically supports particular programming languages and settings like HTML, PHP, etc.
- Traffic surges on other websites that are hosted on the server could affect your website’s availability
Monthly cost varies from $0.99 to $10.
Start-up websites, newly-established or small business websites, hobby/personal bloggers, and affiliate websites.
2. VPS Hosting
Once you outgrow your shared hosting plan, you should upgrade to a VPS server. A VPS (virtual private server) hosting can be called the middle ground between a dedicated server and a shared server. In other words, a VPS hosting plan is suitable for website owners who need more resources and control than what a shared server offers but aren’t yet ready for (or simply don’t need) a dedicated server.
While shared hosting is akin to sharing a flat (and its facilities), SSD VPS server is like renting an apartment in a multistoried building where you can change anything within your rental unit but not in the building itself. With VPS hosting, every website will be hosted within its designated space on the server, though it’ll still share a physical server with other users.
With a VPS server, you’ll get more storage space and customization options. However, such hosting won’t still be capable of dealing with exceptionally high spikes in usage or traffic levels. This means your website can get adversely affected by other sites hosted on the server.
- Dedicated server space
- Root access to the server
- Scalability and stability
- Customization options (you can install software or packages of your choice)
- More budget-friendly than a dedicated server
- Still has storage, bandwidth, and control limitations
- Your responsibility includes software patches, security, and server performance tuning and maintenance
- Requires technical expertise for installation/management
Monthly cost varies from $15 to $80.
Media-heavy websites, and medium- or small-sized business websites.
3. Dedicated server hosting
Dedicated server hosting gives you utmost control over the server on which your website is hosted. This happens because you rent the server exclusively for your purpose, and it’s just your website that’s hosted on it. For you, this means getting full admin and root access, thus letting you exercise control over everything – from the OS (operating system) you run to the security software or patches you use.
Dedicated server is similar to living in an independent house where you can do whatever you want to within the limits of your territory, as you get full admin and root access.
Dedicated servers are one of the costliest web hosting options. If your website attracts high levels of website traffic or needs massive storage space and you want to exercise complete control on your servers, you should choose dedicated server hosting. However, such hosting plans require you to possess technical expertise for:
- Operating system installation (Linux or Windows)
- Addition of the tools essential for running your operations
- Building a security perimeter for your infrastructure’s protection
- Website performance optimization
- Optimal allocation and use of server resources
- Server’s installation and ongoing management
- Complete control over hosting environment
- Non-constrained customization/configuration
- Guaranteed availability of resources
- Improved security and privacy
- Predictable and stable website performance
- Most expensive web hosting plan
- Requires technical expertise for server installation and resource management
- Regular server maintenance and upkeep is your responsibility
Monthly cost varies from $90 to $150
E-commerce websites, web applications that handle sensitive customer data, and high-traffic websites.
4. Managed Hosting
Managed hosting servers are the ones that are managed by technical experts. Hosting companies offering managed hosting plans typically provide technical services, like software and hardware setup and configuration, hardware replacement, updating, maintenance, patching, technical support, and monitoring. When you opt for managed hosting, your service provider will look after the daily management of the operating systems, software, hardware, and standardized applications.
You can take your pick from different managed hosting packages, such as:
- Managed shared hosting (including Managed WordPress hosting)
- Managed VPS hosting
- Managed cloud hosting
Usually, large businesses choose managed hosting for:
- Standardized setups for all hosted web applications
- Expansion of an existing, on-site data center
- Enabling data backups
- Strengthening legacy server resources
- Expansion of data storage
- Establishment of disaster recovery plans
- Separate storage of sensitive data
- Decreased latency in particular areas
- Having a 24/7 customer support
Managed hosting can also prove beneficial for smaller websites, especially when they don’t have adequate in-house IT resources in the fields of:
- Regular maintenance
- Software/hardware setup
- Hardware replacement
- Security monitoring
- Patching and updates
- Technical support
- Data backups
- Flexible and fast (e.g., with scalability solutions)
- Time-saving as server maintenance and management is taken care of by the provider
- Cost-effective as no expensive hardware upgrade or IT staff needed to maintain and run the server
- Updated technology and reduced risk as highly specialized technical support is always available
- Server storage and network isn’t your own
- Hosting provider has the control, which means failing to choose a reliable provider could be risky and costly
Monthly cost varies from $15 to $60 for managed WordPress hosting and $30 to $80 for managed VPS servers, while the smallest managed cloud server you can get will start from $10-$12/month.
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and beginners can benefit from managed WordPress hosting, while growing online businesses with limited or no in-house IT staff can benefit from managed VPS and cloud hosting plans.
Important Note: If you want to use cPanel as your control panel, you can opt for cPanel server or cPanel hosting. It’s basically Linux-based web hosting that consists of the installation of a cPanel. It’s a good choice for beginners who need a simple control panel solution. You can use cPanel servers in various types of hosting, including shared, managed WordPress, and dedicated hosting.
5. Cloud hosting
Unlike traditional hosting, cloud hosting doesn’t have a single server to deploy your resources. Instead, it uses a network of linked physical and virtual cloud servers to host websites and applications using cloud resources, thus making them accessible and enhancing scalability and flexibility. In other words, you can use computing resources as a utility with cloud hosting where you either pay a fixed price for storage and computing resources you utilize or choose the pay-as-you-go model. For growing businesses, the pay-as-you-go model offers unmatched scalability and savings as you just need to pay for the resources you use with the flexibility of scaling up anytime you need to.
With cloud hosting, you can employ as many resources as you require without constructing and maintaining your own computing infrastructure. Since the resources used are spread across numerous servers, the possibility of any downtime triggered by a server malfunction is greatly reduced.
- Resources are available on demand
- Limited downtime
- Pay-per-use pricing
- Lower latency
- Customization options
- Shared security responsibilities
- Limited customization (which depends on your cloud service provider and the type of cloud you choose – public, private, or hybrid)
- Cloud expertise is necessary
- Costs dearly in case resource usage isn’t optimal
Depends on usage.
Enterprise websites, high-growth websites, e-commerce stores, and web applications.
Instead of keeping your servers at a private data center or in-house, you could ‘co-locate’ them by choosing a colocation center and renting space in it, which is usually available in the form of racks and cabinets. Such a center will provide you with the bandwidth, power, cooling systems, and IP address required by your server.
Compared to standard office server rooms, colocation gives you access to higher bandwidth levels. Additionally, the colocation provider will take care of everything, including the software, hardware, and services.
- Costs less than on-premise data centers
- Higher compliance
- Complete control over equipment
- Great choice as a disaster recovery site
- Needs IT expertise
- Pricey for smaller businesses
- Involves long-term commitment
- Additional travel costs associated with on-site visits
Monthly prices vary from $45 to $300.
Enterprises in regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services, etc.
An extensive range of choices is available when you look for hosting servers, from shared and VPS servers to dedicated servers and more. Even when you decide on a specific type, say shared hosting server, you may still need to choose from different types of hosting servers, such as cPanel server, managed or unmanaged WordPress hosting, etc. Thus, the final choice ultimately rests with you. You should decide carefully after taking stock of your requirements, budget, and website growth plans to ensure the hosting server you choose aligns with them well.