How to compare different Web Hosting Types? Shared | Cloud | Dedicated [2022]

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a computer where people store their websites. Think of it as a house where you store all your stuff; but instead of storing your clothes and furniture, you store computer files (HTML, documents, images, videos, etc) in a web host.

Much like there are many different categories of cars, website hosting also comes in various flavors. For example, shared hosting is the cheapest and easiest to manage – they are akin to the compact cars of the world.

As the type of web hosting scales up, so too does the cost involved and often the complexity of managing the hosting account. For example, in VPS hosting you would need to manage not just the hosting details but also the environment that it is being hosted.

Three types of web host

In a nutshell, the most common types of hosting are

  • Shared Hosting
  • VPS/Cloud hosting
  • Dedicated Server Hosting

Shared vs Virtual Private / Cloud vs Dedicated Server Hosting

In terms of performance and management, each web hosting type also has their own pros and cons so choose yours accordingly.

Shared Web Hosting
Shared Hosting is often cheap and easy to manage but does not come with advanced controls and is not able to handle high volumes of traffic. You can get shared hosting services from A2 Hosting, Hostinger, GreenGeeks
VPS Web Hosting
VPS / Cloud Hosting is more expensive and very versatile. Users can install almost anything they will need on these accounts and be able to cope with varying volumes of traffic depending on how much resources are paid for. You can get VPS or Cloud hosting services from Digital OceanInterserverInMotion Hosting.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated Servers are the most complex to manage and cost the most. They are very powerful and can be managed right down to the hardware level by administrators. AltusHost, InMotion Hosting, and TMD Hosting provide dedicated hosting services.

What is WordPress Hosting? Or Prestashop / Magento / WooCommerce Hosting?

It’s important to know that web applications and web hosting are not the same things.

Some web hosts offer plans such as WordPress Hosting, PrestaShop Hosting, WooCommerce Hosting, and so on. These are not really hosting types, but intended to attract laymen who may not be familiar with real web hosting terms. These hosting offers merely entice users with the names of popular web applications.

For example, not many people might know the difference between hosting types, but many will recognize the term ‘WordPress’.

The type of web hosting you will need is typically defined by:

  1. The volume of traffic you expect on your website, or
  2. Any specific needs your website might have.

Most websites that are just starting out will typically have low traffic volume (i.e. few visitors) and shared hosting accounts will be fine for those. Most shared accounts will also come with application installers (such as Softaculous), but to ensure that your needs are met, ask the host if the application you want can be installed on the account you’re looking at.