Quick introduction to the different kinds of web hosting

If you’re new to being a webmaster or a blogger, it might be confusing to figure out what kind of web hosting you should purchase for your website. Here’s a quick introduction to the most used types of web hosting you are likely to encounter in your search for the perfect web host.

Linux Hosting

This is usually the cheapest option and in many cases just what you need when you’re starting out. Linux web hosting plans come as little as a few dollars every month. You need to study your potential web host though, read some reviews etc. You’ll be sharing a web server with possibly hundreds of other websites and if the web host is only about making money by stuffing as many websites into as few servers as possible, you’re going to experience poor performance.

When your site outgrows the shared Linux server, ie. many visitors, you’ll have to upgrade to a different server and move all your stuff over. Some web hosts offers an easier way of doing this rather than having you move your files, database etc. manually, so be sure to check that first if you expect your site to grow into having thousands of visitors per day.

Windows Hosting

Basically the same as Linux hosting above, but might be slightly more expensive as some web hosts, due to Windows licenses and such, I imagine. The same warning applies here, as you’re still sharing a server with many other customers.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting is what the web hosts calls the packages that are slightly more advanced than the standard Linux and Windows hosting plans. With reseller hosting, you’re basically also able to “resell” hosting space, ie. you can host websites for your own clients on the server as well.

VPS Hosting

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and is almost the same as having one full dedicated server to you, yourself, except that you’re still sharing the actual physical server with multiple users, but each of you have a dedicated amount of ressources such as CPU cycles and memory assigned. This means, no matter how many visitors other websites on the web server are having, they’re never going to use any of your ressources (CPU and memory) and the performance of your web site is not going to be affected.

VPS hosting are more expensive but also offers greater performance and often you can upgrade, and downgrade, as you need. So when your site grows, you can just purchase more CPU cycles and memory – and you’re all set.

Dedicated Server

Finally, the dedicated server plans. Here you’re buying (renting) a physical server which is yours to use and nobody else. You’ll often get Remote Desktop access as well, so you can use it just like any other computer, more or less. This plan is also expensive but if your whole business depends on server uptime, you might want to spend the few thousand dollars a year it costs to rent a dedicated server and get the best performance possible. Keep in mind though, in case you’re not tech savvy enough to maintain it yourself, you’ll need to find a web host that offers managed dedicated servers, either included in the price or so you can pay them to do whatever stuff you cannot figure out yourself.

Dedicated servers usually also comes with a control panel, like the other hosting plans, so most of the web related stuff is just as easy to do as all the other web hosting plans.

There’s much more to web hosting than explained above, but at least now you have a little knowledge about what’s what and you can continue your search from here.

15 thoughts on “Quick introduction to the different kinds of web hosting”

  1. Do you think it is more beneficial SEO wise to run a dedicated server for more control? Or would it be better to stick with company hosting? Thank you for laying out some choices.

    • Google did say last year that they take website speed into consideration when determining the rank of your website, but it’s just one factor out of sooo many. I wouldn’t go ahead and buy a dedicated server right from the start unless you need a lot of space to grow or you need to be sure you have unique IP addresses only for your website, with no other websites hosted on them.

  2. Great summary!

    I think I used pretty much every variation in few years I’ve been online except for Windowz. Quite frankly compatibility issues it creates for systems I always choose to use make it irrelevant.

  3. Great run down.

    Don’t forget the last type: ALWAYS SLOW

    That’s what mine is. A $6/mo shared Linux/apache solution with about 300 other sites on my same IP.

    I need to get onto a VPS and utilize a CDN but I have so many other projects and priorities.

  4. Hey Klaus,

    Thank you so much for posting this on up. I noticed though that most people making money online (or at least online marketers) either use Linux of Dedicated servers. I haven’t heard many people use Windows of VPS. It just as far as I observed

  5. Pingback: Follow-up: Intro to Web hosting – so, how’s TechPatio hosted? — TechPatio
  6. Some businesses start out with a beefy dedicated box before their website is even live. To me, it seems like a website’s hosting environment should match the kind of traffic and functionality that it will be used for. I’ve had a number of ideas for websites that I just wanted to try out before going full throttle. A couple of the ideas bombed, so I’m glad I didn’t invest much into hosting. What are your thoughts on startup websites and hosting?

  7. I am planing moving my blog to and dedicated server but they are to expensive for my monthy earning. Some one know the cheapest one?

  8. Linux is the way to go! I’m not entirely familiar with everything, but when you live in a Linux-only household for so long, you tend to pick up a few things. A dedicated server is another big plus, but then you have to have someone around who knows how to maintain it, keep the hackers out, and keep everything functional and smooth. If this isn’t something you can do yourself, then I would suggest going with Windows. They have support for the people without the know-how.

  9. Hi Klaus,

    Thanks for defining all the web hosting options. To me though, if one is aspiring to become a web master then there is no reason to why not go for dedicated servers.


  10. Thank you so much for explaining everything very clearly. I’ve never understood really in details about the different web hosting types.


  11. Hosting firms supply their customers to sell hosting to others. In simple terms does reseller internet hosting you resell to other lodging in the event you own a internet hosting company. Since you do not own the company, you need not fear as a result of the entire bandwidth, hardware and IT points are handled by the webhosting company.


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