Types of web hosting service - Shared, dedicated and VPS

This is a brief explanation of different types of web hosting service.

1) Shared Web hosting :

In this type of hosting, a single web server host many sites. All the sites share the CPU, memory harddrive etc of the same web server. For each websites hosted, a separate folder is assigned. All the websites even share the same IP address also (separate IP may be available for a fee). When a shared web server receives a web page request, It look the web site address(domain name part) and serves files from the folder alloted for that domain. (Is there a way to find all the websites hosted in a shared web server ? See Reverse IP )

Advantages of Shared web hosting

  • Cheap compare to other type of hosting
  • Less maintenance. Hosting provider takes care of all hosting related hardware and software requirments.
  • Easy to sign up and start

Disadvantages of Shared web hosting

  • Performace of sites hosted depends on server load. If any one site uses lot of resources, it can effect other sites.
  • Less flexiblility. Hosting provider can put some restriction to prevent over using of resources. For example, most shared hosts put some limit on maximum time a server script can run. So if you have a script where user can upload files and this exceed this limit then it will not work.
  • Nowadays, most shared hosting providers engage in over selling, which means they over state the limits allotted per site ( like very high bandwidth or diskspace) for getting customers. And then even before the site reaches anywhere near this limit they suspend the site stating over usage of resources and other sites are effected. They will have some Terms & condition clause to support them

2) Dedicated web hosting

In this type of hosting a single webserver hosts only one website. In managed dedicated hosting web hosting provider provides technical assistance in managing the server, like installing server OS etc. In colocation hosting, web hosting provider only provides the datacenter and infrastructure and the webserver has to be provided by customer.

3) VPS or Virtual Private Server

This type of hosting is a middle way between Shared hosting and dedicated hosting. Like shared hosting, in VPS also a server host multiple sites but the minimum resources(like processor power, memory etc) allotted for each website is fixed between them. So no matter how high the load on one website, unlike sharehosting, no other website is effected.