There are many different types of website hosting. In this post, we will discuss the different options and what you get with each type. We will also explore whether email services should be a separate entity from your website or hosted on the same server.
Types of web hosting and their differences
Let’s get started with the types of hosting available:
Shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting. With this option, your website is hosted on a server with other websites. This is the least expensive option and is good for small websites.
With shared hosting, you typically do not get access to your own server. This means that you cannot install any software that you want on your website. You are also limited in the amount of storage space and bandwidth that you can use.
People used to worry about being associated with disreputable sites (gambling or adult content etc) on a shared hosting account. However, this is less of an issue now.
Shared hosting accounts are often badged as being “WordPress optimised”. This is pretty meaningless as the hosting requirements for WordPress are minimal and any decent hosting setup can cope.
VPS Hosting is a “Virtual Private Server”. It is a set of dedicated resources within a larger server. It’s a setup from shared hosting, although strictly speaking some of the resources are shared with other sites on the same cluster.
You get your own server environment with VPS hosting, which means you can install any software you want. This gives you much more flexibility than shared hosting.
VPS Hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but it is still relatively cheap. This type of hosting is good for larger or busier websites.
Dedicated Server Hosting is a type of hosting where you get your own server. This means that you can install any software you want on your website. You also have a lot of storage space and bandwidth. Dedicated Server Hosting is more expensive than other types of hosting, but it is good for very large or busier websites.
Cloud hosting is a type of hosting in which your website is hosted on a server that is shared with other websites. This type of hosting is ideal for small businesses or bloggers who are just starting out. You get access to a variety of features, such as unlimited storage space and bandwidth.
Unlike shared hosting, Cloud hosting websites are synced across multiple synced servers all sharing resources. Shared hosting uses just one server.
How website hosting is marketed.
The definitions above are written by me. They’re my understanding of the current marketplace. Not all hosting providers will agree on where a shared account becomes a cloud account, or precisely what resources a VPS account is sharing.
It’s very easy to move a WordPress site from one hosting account to another. This is why many providers will bundle additional services with the hosting to make switching difficult. Siteground when through this process recently when they switched to their management software after using cPanel for many years.
Email and Websites on the same hosting account.
I’m going to be bold and say categorically that it’s a bad idea to share email and web hosting on the same hosting account.
Primarily because if there is a problem you lose your website and your emails. TSO Hosing had significant problems with this a few years ago with their Gridhost system. Bad for them, and their customers.
Google and Microsoft are the main providers of email services which they both do very well. And typically at around £5 per month per user account, it represents good value for a reliable service.
Keeping web and email hosting separate means that you’re able to switch providers easily.