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Types of Web Hosting                                                

Summaries of the most common types of web hosting along with featured hosting plans are available on this page.

Type Featured Hosting Plan

Linux Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where  many web hosting accounts reside on the same web server, ranging from a few to hundreds or even thousands. Each account sits on its own partition of the server to keep it separate from other accounts.

 

This is the most affordable option for web hosting, since many customers share the overall cost for the server maintenance. Because of the low cost of Unix/Linux open source software, most web servers are based on the Unix/Linux operating systems, and many web hosting providers offer Unix/Linux shared hosting plans for less money than Windows hosting plans.

 

There are many effective and very efficient technologies included under Unix/Linux shared hosting, such as PHP (a popular server-side scripting language), and MySQL (a commonly used open source database).

 

Though the low cost of shared hosting makes it attractive, there is a possibility of security problems, server downtime and speed issues, especially if a host does not have good infrastructure in place.

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Windows Shared Hosting

The major difference between Unix/Linux shared hosting and Windows shared hosting is that the Windows hosting server is based on a Windows operating system.

 

A common misconception regarding Windows web hosting is that if a computer's operating system is Windows-based, a Windows hosting service must be used to host a website. This is not the case.

 

However, Windows hosting is required if a website needs to support MS SQL database; if .NET script is used to compose a website; if Active Server Pages (ASP) scripts for server-side programming are used; or if Windows Streaming Media is required on a website. Also, Windows hosting is very useful when support for other Microsoft products is required.

 

For more information, please read our article "Decisions, Decisions - Windows or Linux Hosting?."

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Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

Virtual private server hosting is the bridge between shared and dedicated hosting. It provides the flexibility of a dedicated server at a more affordable price.

 

A virtual private server is one of the servers residing on the partitioned dedicated server. Based on the capabilities and appearance of the VPS, customers feel that they have their own dedicated server.

 

Each virtual private server can run its own operating system, and each server can be independently rebooted.

 

Some web hosting providers refer to Virtual Private Server (VPS) as Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS).

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Dedicated Server Hosting

With dedicated server hosting, a customer rents a complete web server. It is a good option for a customer that wants more flexibility than shared hosting, but less responsibility than colocation hosting.

 

Dedicated hosting can be either unmanaged or managed, with unmanaged dedicated hosting being the least expensive of the two.

 

If using unmanaged hosting, the customer has full control over the server including administrative access and responsibility for security and maintenance.

 

For managed hosting, the customer doesn't have full control over the server, but manages data via FTP or other remote access tools. Without complete control, a customer can't create a configuration problem or modify the server settings, allowing the web hosting provider to guarantee quality of service.

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Reseller Hosting

This type of web hosting allows customers to provide web hosting themselves by literally reselling the services of web hosting providers, or by renting a dedicated server from a hosting company.

 

They can offer any of the hosting types listed above, depending on who they are affiliated with. In most cases, resellers provide shared hosting packages, since they're the most affordable.

 

 Resellers may vary significantly in the size of their account. They may have their own dedicated servers or even colo servers and usually set up their own web hosting packages and pricing models.

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Colocation Hosting

Colocation hosting is very similar to unmanaged dedicated hosting except the customer owns the colo server.

 

In most cases, the customer would make regular visits to the data center to do any upgrades or hardware changes, so IT knowledge, time, and proximity to the facility are vital.

 

The web hosting provider may provide little to no support directly to the server, perhaps only offering physical space for the server, the electrical connections, and Internet access.

 

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