Hosting Types: The Most Popular and Their Differences

Hosting, from English to host , is a service that allows individuals and organizations to place content on the web to make it accessible via the internet. Not only hosting for websites, there are also hosting dedicated to more specific services, such as hosting images, videos, music, texts (like the popular Pastebin ) and many others.

We can find hosting for anything.

In this article we will discuss hosting for websites , but the fact remains that they could be used to host other types of files and services.

Who do we rely on if we want to use a hosting? To a web host. That is a service provider whose business is to sell web space to those who want to make content visible online . The files will be uploaded to the web host servers thus becoming available through the IP and the attached domain, the latter if appropriately purchased and configured.

Let’s see below the most common types of hosting.

The most popular types of hosting

Free hosting

If we don’t have the necessary funds to buy paid hosting or what we want to publish doesn’t need a professional infrastructure, there are free hosting that can do for us .

The advantage is not having to pay absolutely anything, the disadvantages are many, but if we consider the set of features, we can safely postpone. The most popular free hosts are Netsons , Altervista and Wix, the latter with the possibility of using its own editor to quickly and easily create small sites.


  • No cost
  • Ease of use


  • Limited storage space, from a few MB up to a few GB
  • Limited traffic, therefore unsuitable in case the idea is to make files available for download, high resolution images and videos
  • Generally the site will be reached via a subdomain, eg sitename.hostingname.tld
  • Little or no support, if there is any problem, you will probably have to see it for yourself or wait for answers for several days or weeks
  • Reduced support for development technologies
  • If the site does not receive visits in a certain period of time, it could be deleted with all the contents, generally after one year from the last visit
  • Few or none at all, without any automated systems
  • Among the sources of income of free hosting is the sale of data obtained from the traffic of the hosted websites, as well as the information of the owners
Performance Cost Safety Technical knowledge required
1/5 0/5 1/5 1/5

Shared hosting

In this case, the hoster provides a fraction of a server upon payment , to which we can also add one or more domains. It is the type of hosting that is the most popular, as despite the low cost it is able to meet the needs of small and medium-sized websites, not too heavy and with a limited number of visits.

Shared hosting is often also customized ad hoc for certain contents, eg hosting for the popular WordPress CMS or small ecommerce managers.
Among our favorites in this category, we certainly find Siteground and Serverplan .


  • Low cost
  • Professional service
  • Support for emails answered within a certain amount of time, usually within 48 hours
  • Higher performance than free hosting
  • Often a domain is included in the price


  • It may happen that on the same server there are more resource-hungry websites that will slow down the other websites
  • Storage, traffic and database size are restricted
  • Little or no configuration possibilities, you can’t get your hands on the server configuration
Performance Cost Safety Technical knowledge required
2/5 1/5 2/5 2/5

Semi-dedicated hosting

Semi-dedicated is a good compromise between shared hosting and dedicated hosting . The main reason for opting for a semi-dedicated hosting is the need to have substantial resources available at a lower cost than purchasing a completely dedicated hosting.

Against a cost that is certainly higher than the shared one, we will have part of the resources of a server available which will be shared with a very small number of other users . This way the performance will not fluctuate due to server overcrowding and the cost still remains affordable.

The operation is very similar to that of dedicated hosting. By accessing a special web portal made available by the hosting company we will be able to configure everything, such as the databases and the configuration of the individual virtual hosts in case we want to take advantage of the possibility of hosting several websites within a single shared hosting, each with your own domain or subdomain.


  • Configurability and management that borders on the capillarity of a dedicated hosting
  • Higher quality support than shared hosting
  • Performance not affected by overcrowding, a typical problem of shared hosting
  • Lower cost than dedicated hosting, modulated according to the resources we need
  • Several hosting companies provide their customers with semi-dedicated hosting already configured for the most popular CMS, such as WordPress and Prestashop


  • It still remains a shared machine
  • Often we cannot ask to use more resources than those made available to us, in the event that what we host needs more storage or computational power, it will be necessary to change the hosting plan and switch to a more powerful semi-dedicated or a dedicated one.
  • If you are a beginner, it may take some time to learn how to manage semi-dedicated hosting, having the possibility to configure the service in depth
Performance Cost Safety Technical knowledge required
3/5 2/5 3/5 3/5

Dedicated hosting

A server entirely dedicated to a single customer is the best you can have, with a cost proportionate to the resources and performance of the server you intend to use.

This is usually a solution suitable for large websites or websites with high traffic volumes.


  • Server single user
  • Dedicated IP address, with the possibility of adding additional IPs
  • Security, you have total access to the data and what is present on the server
  • No compromise on performance
  • High-level assistance, often even by telephone
  • Possibility to physically access the server if desired


  • The highest cost among the various types of hosting
  • Being in complete autonomy, it is necessary to have some experience for proper hosting management
Performance Cost Safety Technical knowledge required
5/5 4/5 4/5 5/5

Reseller hosting

The type of hosting called reseller is a form of web hosting in which the owner of the account signs an agreement with the hosting company to be able to resell their services to end customers. Generally hosting of this type have storage space, bandwidth, data traffic limits and hardware resources far superior to other types.

The hosting company also provides the customer with a feature-rich web panel dedicated to the management of all resources.

Contrary to what one might easily think, hosting resale alone is not the only business model for which this type of hosting is addressed. Design studios, website and app development studios, as well as small and medium-sized IT companies, often using reseller hosting to be able to independently manage sites and products sold to customers, without relying on intermediaries.

Choose your hosting well

The choice of hosting is of fundamental importance and should not be underestimated . From it derive factors such as speed of the website and related services, reliability, availability of the site, as well as the safety of the same. Before choosing the hosting we need to think about the current and future prospects of the website, at least in the short term.

We do not want to have paid several thousand euros for the creation of a website and then put it on a slow and unreliable hosting, as well as the opposite: buying a semi-dedicated for a website that receives a few hundred visits a month would be an unjustified cost.

Furthermore, the performance of a website also affects the rating assigned by search engines. A slow website, which is not always online and takes time to send data (article on TTFB) would have great difficulty in scaling the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and therefore would not reach the desired visibility.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment