Web hosting is the engine that drives a website’s performance. Without reliable hosting, a website would load slowly, have performance issues, or face frequent downtimes.

If you sell products or services via your website, these issues could cost you lost revenue and leads.

That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of web hosting solutions and choose the right one for your website. Of course, choosing a good hosting service provider also plays an important role.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the various types of web hosting you can choose from and will also help you understand how to make the right choice.

So buckle up, and let’s get started.

Different Types of Web Hosting: Quick Comparison

Given the types of web hosting options available in the market, choosing the right one can be challenging.

That’s why we have created this detailed guide to help you make the right choice.

Before we discuss each type of hosting in detail, here’s a quick overview of the various options and their key characteristics.

Have a look to get an idea of which hosting plan might be best for you.

Server Sharing Performance Cost Best For
Shared Hosting Shared Low Low Bloggers and small businesses
VPS Hosting Shared Medium Medium Growing websites
Dedicated No sharing High High High-traffic sites, large businesses
Cloud Hosting Sharing, but with a network of servers High Medium High-traffic sites
Managed Hosting Could be both Medium Medium-High Small and medium sites
Co-Located Hosting No sharing Medium High Enterprises with their servers
Reseller Hosting Could be both Medium Low-Medium Web design agencies

Now that you have a brief idea of the various types of web hosting options available let’s delve into the specifics.

7 Popular Types of Web Hosting

Traditionally, there were three major categorizations of web hosting solutions based on server and resource sharing: shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting.

However, nowadays, many types of web hosting solutions are available to website owners, depending on their requirements. Here, we’ve covered some of the most popular ones so you can make an informed choice.

Irrespective of the type and size of your website, you will find the perfect hosting solution for your website from this list. So, look at the features, benefits, and challenges of each type to find the perfect option for your website.

Here you go!

1. Shared Hosting

This is often the first hosting service type that new website owners choose. On a shared hosting plan, 2 or more websites are hosted on a single web server.

Here’s a visual illustration of shared hosting and how it works.

Shared hostingSource

All the websites hosted on the server can access the server’s resources, such as RAM (Random Access Memory). Though all websites share a server, they don’t have access to each other’s data or files, so you don’t need to worry about data security.

Since hosting companies divide the costs of server upkeep among various websites, the plans for each website are affordable. Therefore, the pricing for shared hosting plans costs as low as $2 per month. Bigrock’s Linux shared hosting plans, for instance, cost even lower.


  • Affordable pricing as server upkeep costs are shared
  • The hosting provider manages data security, which is usually good
  • Shared hosting plans typically include all basic services and features
  • For low-traffic websites, the performance is generally good
  • An easy option for beginners, as it’s simple to set up and doesn’t require technical knowledge


  • Resource sharing makes one website use more resources than the others, resulting in bandwidth limit exceeded error
  • Inconsistent website speed, depending on the resource utilization by other websites on the server
  • Poor website performance as the site traffic increases
  • May have shared web hosting security risks in some cases


  • It is ideal for bloggers or small businesses, owing to the affordable plans and fairly decent site performance.
  • Websites with low monthly traffic can also benefit from shared hosting, as they don’t need many resources.
  • Many website owners start with a shared hosting plan and then move to other types of web hosting plans.

2. VPS Hosting

Virtual Private Servers, or VPS hosting, is a type of shared web hosting that addresses some of its drawbacks. Its features and services are somewhere between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.

So, how does it work?

Similar to shared hosting, multiple websites share a server. However, the server resources are allocated equally to each site, and each site can only use its quota.

This ensures that websites on a server are isolated from each other, and no website can affect another’s performance by overconsuming resources. This setup also ensures better data security and privacy.

Here’s a simple illustration of how VPS hosting works by creating virtual servers with allocated resources for each website on the main server.

VPS HostingSource

With a good hosting service provider, you can customize your plan according to your requirements.


  • Equally distributed resources among websites, ensuring no site uses more than its allocated share
  • Providing more storage space and customization options than shared hosting
  • Relatively affordable while offering good website speed and performance


  • VPS configuration requires some technical knowledge
  • Not easy to calculate the estimated resources as per your website’s requirements
  • Costly upgrades once the limit exceeds


  • Used by businesses who want affordable hosting but with enough flexibility and customization options
  • Perfect for those with technical knowledge who want to make custom configurations

3. Dedicated Hosting

As the name suggests, this type of web hosting allows a website to be hosted on a dedicated server. Only one website is allowed per server, and the resources are not shared with any other website.

Dedicated hosting allows users to customize the configuration as per their requirements completely. With this type of hosting, the user has complete root and admin access, which gives them control over everything.

This is great for websites that get a large volume of traffic as it can support that. However, it is also one of the most expensive types of web hosting.


  • Offers complete control over a website’s configuration, with unlimited customization options
  • Can handle large volumes of traffic and traffic fluctuations as all server resources are dedicated to one site
  • Provides admin access to the user over the server
  • Delivers the best site performance as resources are not shared among websites


  • One of the most expensive types of web hosting
  • Demands technical know-how to utilize all that it offers fully
  • Weak server leading to website downtime


  • Best suited for large businesses or websites with a high volume of monthly traffic
  • Perfect for those who want complete control over the server and website configuration and have the required technical knowledge

4. Cloud Hosting

This is one of the new types of web hosting solutions, one that has revolutionized the industry.


Instead of hosting a website on a server, it hosts websites on the cloud, which involves a whole network of servers. This involves several computers working together and running applications using the same computing resources via a network.

Each website hosted on a cloud network can consume resources on an as-needed basis and pay for what it consumes.

As shown in the image below, your website can get resources from multiple servers as needed.

Cloud HostingSource

The chances of downtime are much lower, as even if one server fails, many others will be working to keep the websites running.


  • A scalable option demanding payment for what you use as per your needs
  • One of the most affordable types of web hosting in terms of per-unit costs and not the overall plan costs
  • Offers more flexibility and customization options than most types of web hosting solutions


  • Demands technical knowledge as this type of web hosting was designed keeping developers in mind
  • Unpredictable traffic spikes increase the cost unexpectedly


  • Ideal for advanced users possessing technical know-how to utilize the benefits of cloud hosting
  • Suitable for growing websites required to scale over time, offering great flexibility and scalability

5. Managed Hosting

You can also categorize hosting plans based on whether they’re self-managed or managed by the hosting service provider.

For most of the hosting types mentioned above, you’ll get one or both options, depending on the hosting provider.

So, what is managed hosting?

Well, it’s a type of hosting where the service provider will set up software and hardware on your behalf and offer other technical services as well. This relieves you of the burden of managing these technicalities and makes the process easier for you.


  • One of the most convenient options as the hosting service provider does everything for you
  • Does not call for need any technical knowledge to host your website


  • Typically costlier than most of the self-hosting plans


  • Perfect for those who don’t have the technical knowledge to manage the day-to-day maintenance required for web hosting

6. Co-Located Hosting

This is similar to dedicated hosting, as a website has its own dedicated server. The difference is that instead of keeping the server in-house or at a private data centre, you relocate it within the premises of a hosting service provider.

Here’s an image that further explains the difference between dedicated hosting and co-located hosting.

Dedicated vs colocated hostingSource

This way, you don’t need to worry about server or hardware maintenance, as the service provider will do that on your behalf. However, you will still get the benefit of a dedicated server and your website will get all its resources.

This ensures the same level of website performance as dedicated hosting but without all the hassle of maintaining the server.


  • Offers more bandwidth and uptime than you can as maintained by a professional who maintains the server
  • Improves security and provides you with more software options as it works with a hosting provider


  • An expensive option compared to high-performing options available at much lower prices
  • Demands technical skills to configure and debug, as these services are not provided by hosting providers


  • For website owners who have their dedicated server but want to place the hardware in a more secure and reliable environment
  • A cost-effective solution for new hosting service providers without an infrastructure to support this

7. Reseller Hosting

Last on our list of different types of web hosting solutions is reseller hosting. In this type of hosting, you buy hosting from a service provider and resell it to someone else.

Here’s an image that explains the concept.


It’s mostly used by website design and development agencies that need to manage hosting for multiple clients but don’t have the in-house infrastructure to do so.

In this scenario, you’ll be responsible for managing web hosting for various clients, which may not be worth it in the long run. Sure, you may sell to them at a higher cost than at which you bought a plan, but the hassle of managing things makes it a bad deal overall.

However, if you have the required in-house capabilities, you may end up making a profit from reselling hosting services.


  • Allows buying at a low cost and selling at a higher cost to make a profit
  • Ensures better client experiences by taking over complete control of things instead of relying on a third-party provider


  • Does not provide support and maintenance
  • Difficult to manage and thus not worth the profit you make


  • Suitable for agencies that serve multiple clients and would like to manage hosting for them

How to Choose the Best Hosting Service Provider

Your choice of web host will determine how smoothly and efficiently your website will perform. Here are a few aspects to determine to make an informed decision:

1. Website Performance

When choosing a hosting plan, check the performance of your website. Of course, this should be in the context of the average monthly traffic your website receives.

For instance, a site with low traffic volume will perform well even on shared hosting and doesn’t need dedicated hosting or other top-performing hosting solutions. A large website with a high average monthly traffic, however, can’t even try shared or VPS hosting and should opt for better options.

As such, it’s best to estimate your monthly traffic before you evaluate which hosting plan will work best for you.

Also, consider the uptime and downtime for various plans. Even expensive hosting options like dedicated hosting, which provide optimal website performance, may face issues if the server goes down.

Cloud hosting, on the other hand, relies on not one but multiple servers and may be a better option if you can’t afford to have any downtime for your website.

Once you’ve decided which type of hosting you want, the next step is to choose a service provider. To assess the kind of performance they deliver, don’t rely on their claims. Instead, check customer reviews on trusted review platforms.

Trustpilot is one such platform that reviews various service providers. Check out the excellent reviews and ratings for BigRock on the platform.

BigRock Trustpilot reviewsSource

Even when you choose a provider, regularly test website speed and frequency of downtime to see if it’s delivering on the claims or if you need to switch.

2. Cost

Sometimes, budget can be a big limitation, especially for small businesses and bootstrapped startups just launching their websites. Many small businesses start with shared hosting plans and upgrade to better options as their business grows.

When choosing a hosting service provider, compare the prices for similar plans offered by other service providers. Also, consider the services offered within each plan to make a fair pricing comparison between any two service providers.

Another important thing to consider is how much a service provider charges if you exceed your quota or need to upgrade to a higher-tier plan. Don’t just consider the starting price of the basic plan offered by a company, but show foresight by panning for future needs as well.

3. Scalability

Choose a hosting service that will seamlessly scale with your business without causing any disruptions. As mentioned earlier, many sites start with shared hosting and later upgrade to VPS, dedicated, or other types of web hosting solutions.

Keeping that in mind, choose a service provider that offers easy and hassle-free upgrades to higher-tier plans and will manage the transition process for you. If upgrading to another type of hosting or a higher-tier plan is expensive and complex, then avoid choosing that host.

4. Security

Choosing a host that keeps your website data secure is of utmost importance.

If you capture and store customer data, data security becomes even more of a priority. This is especially important for e-commerce websites that handle customers’ payment information.

As such, choosing a reliable hosting provider that takes strict data security and safety measures can avoid any security issues and deal with external threats like website hacking.

When comparing hosting services, check their data security claims and certifications. Most providers mention the regulatory standards they comply with on their websites.

BigRock, for instance, takes the following security measures to protect its clients’ website data.

BigRock security measures


5. Technical Support

Once you choose a hosting provider, you will likely work with them for a long time. During this relationship, you will likely encounter many technical issues for which you’ll need prompt support.

If the host doesn’t offer prompt support, your website may experience long downtimes, which can cost you many business opportunities.

That’s why it’s important to assess the customer support options provided by a hosting service provider before you choose to work with them.

First, check the various contact options available to customers and give preference to those who provide priority phone support, not just email and chat support.

Next, ensure that the company provides 24/7 support. Otherwise, if a problem arises over the weekend, you will have to wait for a couple of days.

6. Customer Reviews

Read customer reviews on trusted review sites to see what existing customers say about a company’s support services. Assess whether the support team has the technical knowledge to deal with various issues that arise with hosting solutions.

Even if everything else is the same between any two hosting service providers, choose the one that offers better technical support.

Wrap Up

Reliable web hosting is the pillar on which any website stands. Without it, your website performance will be inconsistent and your website may face downtimes.

Choosing a good hosting service can ensure your website runs smoothly and has minimal or no downtime.

If you want a no-brainer option, try BigRock. It offers various web hosting services and plans to suit diverse client needs. Check it out!