Types Of Hosting Explained In Simple Words

2020-01-28 by George Fironov

When we enter a site address in a browser, we do not consider where the text, image, or design comes from. The page loads because there is a computer running somewhere that stores files of that website. Such a computer is called a server. The server saves the content files of the site and uploads them when users visit the site. The larger and more popular the site is, the more resources it will need. For example,Facebook uses more than 50,000 servers.

Of course, you would need to find a programmer and build a website first. Sometimes people take into account only the price of web development services, meanwhile hosting is also a paid service. It includes renting space on the server and its capacity. Hosting companies are called hosting providers or hosters. The goal of these companies is to make your site accessible to users around the clock. Hosting can also be done on a home computer, but then you have to keep it turned on for 24 hours and monitor the load and power outages yourself.

Hosting can be compared to an art gallery. The gallery stores art objects and hosting sites. To look at paintings or sculptures, you need to know the gallery address and opening hours. Websites should be available 24/7 but you need to know the correct domain name. You enter the domain in your browser and the desired page opens.

Why You Need Hosting

Hosting is required to store, manage, and modify the site files. For this purpose, hosting providers install special equipment - control panels. It’s hard to briefly describe all the possibilities of hosting but here are the main ones.

  • For emails.The hosting will store emails and mail settings: spam filter settings, automatic responses, forwarding rules, contacts.

  • For security certificates.If you are going to install an SSL certificate on your site, you will need a place to host it. The files and settings of that certificate will be stored there. The certificate encrypts the contact forms on the site so that the personal data of the users cannot be used by fraudsters.

  • For websites.Hosts store and manage the site files. An administrator downloads and deletes files, changes the appearance of the site, monitors its operation via the control panel.

  • For applications.Applications require hosting to save the files, work online and store user information.

Types of Hosting

Most often people buy hosting for websites. Each site requires a different amount of resources, so there are different types of hosting. They differ in memory, functionality, and software provided. There are five types of hosting.

Virtual Hosting

This is the type of hosting in which one server is divided into many parts that are leased separately. Several hundred users can host their sites on one server at a time. Virtual hosting can be compared to a building with many apartments where residents share heating and water, driveway and parking. Some residents have large apartments and lots of living space while others have small rooms with limited space.

All users use the resources of one server. That is, if someone uses too many resources, it will affect other sites. To prevent this and to ensure a level playing field, hosting providers impose restrictions. The usage of memory or disk recording speed may be limited. This does not mean that virtual hosting is the worst. It's just designed for small projects. Most sites do not need whole server resources, so they split it into portions. This type of hosting is suitable for a business card site, promotional page, portfolio, blog or even for small online stores.

Virtual Server

This is the type of hosting where the server is physically divided into several independent parts that are leased separately. There can be several dozen virtual servers on a single physical server. A virtual server can be compared to a townhouse or a complex of private homes. Such homes have neighbors, but each family has a separate entrance and garden.

The virtual server does not have such restrictions as the virtual hosting. It can be freely customized for your project. You can even install your own software. As with virtual hosting, multiple virtual servers are hosted on the same physical server. They are isolated from each other. If one virtual server uses a lot of resources, it will not affect other users.

This type of hosting is suitable for an online store, a forum with a large number of visitors, an application or a corporate site where clients and employees have accounts or personal mail.

Dedicated Server

This is the type of hosting where you only manage the entire server. In this case, you are not dependent on other clients of the hosting provider. Your capabilities will be limited only by the capabilities of the server itself. A dedicated server can be compared to a private home. Such a house has its own plot and garage. And it is not necessary to divide the territory with neighbors.

The Dedicated Server Administrator gets full access to the software and hardware. This means that you will control the operating system and the file system and even be able to buy additional space if necessary.

This type of hosting is suitable for a game server, social network, banking site, a large online store, or an application that requires a lot of resources.

Cloud Hosting

This is the type of hosting where you only pay for the amount of resources while the hosting provider distributes them between random servers. Imagine that your site is partially stored on three different servers. RAM, CPU power, and other resources are also taken from different servers. This helps the hosting provider to distribute the load on the equipment much more efficiently.

Imagine that the management of a residential complex decided to make a joke and give you a kitchen in one house, a bedroom in the second, a living room in the third, and a bathroom in the fourth. Living in such a house would be hell, but in the case of hosting, it actually makes sense.

This type of hosting is suitable for a media site, online store, application, or site that lacks virtual server resources.


This is the type of hosting where users place their servers on a hosting provider and pay for their maintenance. Typically, the cost includes a minimal set of services: renting and securing equipment, electricity and internet, cooling, and more. Additional services, such as data protection and backup, may be offered for a fee. Collocation is comparable to hotel accommodation.

This type of hosting is suitable if your site consumes more resources than a dedicated server. Paying for a few dedicated servers each month will be more expensive than buying your equipment and renting space for it.

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George Fironov

Talmatic George Fironov is the Founder and CEO of Talmatic, concierge-type service focused on helping tech companies to hire dedicated remote software engineers. I’m passionate about people, technology and innovation. I dedicated my career to building professional teams that empower our customers with the latest tech expertise they need to be successful. View George Fironov`s profile for more

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