What is Hosting?
Web hosting is when you have your website stored on a server and it is assigned a unique DNS ("Domain Name Server"). The DNS serves as the address that allows people around the world to find and view your website. This unique address is required in order for people to view your site.
You're basically buying space on a server, similar to the space on a computer’s hard drive, but the server allows your website’s files to be accessed from anywhere.
Different Types of Web Hosting
While all types of servers will act as a storage center for your website, they differ in the amount of storage capacity, control, technical knowledge requirement, server speed, and reliability. There are four different types of hosting servers:
In shared hosting, one’s web site is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU.
Advantages - Cost is extremely low and requires minimum technical knowledge, most websites with moderate traffic levels running standard software are hosted on this type of server. Shared hosting is also widely accepted as the entry level hosting option as it requires minimum technical knowledge.
Disadvantages – No root access, limited ability to handle high traffic levels or spikes, site performance can be affected by other sites on the same server.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
A virtual private server divides a server into virtual servers, where it is like each website is hosted on their own dedicated server, but they’re actually sharing a server with a few users.
Advantages - The users may have root access to their own virtual space and better secured hosting environment with this type of hosting.
Disadvantages- Limited ability to handle high traffic levels or spikes, your site performance can still be somewhat affected by other sites on the server.
Dedicated Server Hosting
You exclusively rent an entire server so your website is the only one stored on the server.
Advantages - A dedicated server offers the maximum control over the web server your website is stored on.
Disadvantages – Dedicated servers are very expensive.
A team of servers (called a cloud) work together to host a group of websites.
Advantages - Cloud hosting offers unlimited ability to handle high traffic or traffic spikes.
Disadvantages – Many cloud hosting setup do not offer root access for changes and has a higher cost.