Web hosting is a service that provides individuals and organizations with online systems for storing information, images, video, or any content accessible via the web.
That said, websites are hosted or stored on special computers called servers. When you create a website, you will need to choose a web host so your site can go live on the internet.
On the other hand, a web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet.
Now, there are different types of web hosting services available, and deciding which one is right for you will depend on your specific needs.
But the most common types of web hosting services are shared, virtual private server (VPS), dedicated server, cloud-based, and managed WordPress hosting.
Today, we are going to look at each in detail.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is one of the most popular types of web hosting services in Canada.
This type of hosting allows multiple websites to be hosted on a single server, with each website sharing the server’s resources (RAM, CPU, Storage, and bandwidth).
And that is why this type of hosting is ideal for small-to-medium sized websites that do not require a lot of resources.
For example, if you are just starting out or creating your first site in Canada, shared hosting is the perfect starting place.
Shared hosting is typically more affordable than other types of hosting, such as dedicated server hosting. This is because of the reason we’ve already talked about, the server’s resources are shared among all of the websites hosted on it, which reduces the overall cost.
Shared web hosting does have some advantages and disadvantages, however.
- It is usually very cheap to get started with shared web hosting.
- The resources are spread among many websites, so one website taking up too much space or bandwidth will not cause problems for the other websites on the same server.
- Shared hosting is one of the most popular types of hosting, so there are usually many options and add-ons available.
- With this type of hosting, you can usually get tech support from the hosting company included in your package (although some may offer limited support, for instance, only through their Knowledgebase and maybe email).
- You can often upgrade to a different type of hosting later if you need to without having to start from scratch with a new host.
- Because resources are shared among many websites, one website can slow down the performance of the other websites on the same server.
- The resources of your website may be limited by the number of other websites on your server.
- If another website on your server gets hacked, there is the risk of exposing other sites under the same server. To mitigate this, most hosting providers undertake additional security measures such as suspending suspicious sites pending investigation.
Then there is VPS hosting, which is a type of web hosting that uses virtual private servers to provide more privacy and resources than shared web hosting.
A VPS is actually a single server that is divided into multiple virtual servers (thanks to virtualization technology), each with its own operating system and resources.
And that is why hosting your site on a VPS offers many benefits over shared web hosting, including increased privacy, better performance, and more resources.
That said, VPS hosting in Canada is a great option for businesses or individuals who need more power and flexibility than shared web hosting can offer.
What’s more, there are two types of VPS hosting:
- Managed VPS hosting: This is a premium version of VPS hosting that gives you access to managed services. Managed services include technical support, maintenance, monitoring, and more. This is a premium version of VPS hosting that gives you access to managed services. Managed services include technical support, maintenance, monitoring, and more.
- Unmanaged VPS hosting: This type of VPS hosting does not offer any managed services. You’re responsible for managing everything on your server yourself.
In terms of pricing, the two are quite similar with only slight variations (mostly in the case of unmanaged VPS hosting). In most cases, it’s best to go with managed VPS hosting because you’ll get access to better support and more features.
- VPS hosting can provide your website with a higher level of security than shared hosting.
- This type of hosting can be more affordable than dedicated hosting.
- VPS hosting offers you the ability to scale your website as needed. All you have to do is upgrade available features like getting more RAM, and bandwidth, among others.
- VPS hosting can offer you better performance than shared hosting. Remember your site or application runs on its own OS.
- VPS hosting gives you more control over your server environment than shared hosting.
- With VPS hosting, you are still sharing a server with other websites.
- You will need some technical knowledge to manage a VPS server. And that is why some hosting providers here in Canada offer managed and unmanaged VPS hosting.
- If you don’t manage your VPS server correctly, it can become less secure than a shared hosting environment.
- VPS servers can be more expensive than shared hosts.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated server hosting is a type of hosting in which the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone else. This is more expensive than other types of web hosting in Canada but offers many benefits, such as improved performance, security, and control.
A dedicated server can be a physical or virtual machine that is used solely for your website or application. It generally offers more resources than shared hosting, such as CPU, memory, and storage.
Just like VPS, there are two types of dedicated hosting:
- Managed dedicated hosting: With managed dedicated hosting, you get all of the benefits of having your own server but with none of the hassle. The web hosting company will take care of everything from set up to maintenance for you. All you need to worry about is running your website.
- Unmanaged dedicated hosting: this gives you more control over your server but also comes with more responsibility. You will need to handle things like setup, maintenance, and security yourself. This can be a good option if you have the knowledge and expertise to do so.
There are several advantages and disadvantages to using dedicated server hosting, including:
- If you have a website that gets a lot of traffic, dedicated hosting can be a good option because it can handle more traffic than shared hosting.
- With dedicated servers, you have more control over security settings and can implement custom security measures. This can help protect your website or application from hackers and malware.
- Dedicated servers offer scalability and flexibility, allowing you to easily upgrade your server specs as your website grows and expands over time.
- Because you are the only user on the server, you will not have to share resources with other websites. This can lead to faster load times and better overall performance.
- The biggest downside of dedicated servers in Canada is the cost, as they are often much more expensive than shared hosting plans.
- Dedicated servers require a higher level of technical knowledge to manage and maintain, so if you’re not comfortable with server administration, you may want to consider another hosting option.
- If your website doesn’t receive a lot of traffic, you may not need the power and resources offered by a dedicated server, making it a wasted investment.
Either way, Dedicated hosting is recommended for large websites and those looking to run custom software.
The types of hosting we’ve looked at so far are the most common.
As technology evolves, new types of hosting care sprouting and one of them is Cloud hosting.
In a nutshell, Cloud hosting is a type of web hosting that uses cloud computing technology to provide online services. Cloud hosting can be used for a variety of purposes, including website and application hosting, storage, and backup.
To say the least, this is a relatively new type of hosting here in Canada, and it has many advantages over traditional web hosting.
For one, it is much more scalable and flexible. With cloud hosting, you only pay for the resources you use, so it can be very cost-effective. Additionally, cloud-based services are often more reliable and redundant than traditional web hosting services.
- Cost-effective – Pay only for what you use, no need to invest in expensive hardware
- Scalable – Can easily scale up or down as needed
- Flexible – Can be used for a variety of purposes
- Reliable – Cloud hosting providers offer uptime guarantees
- Secure – Cloud hosting providers offer high levels of security
- Can be more expensive than traditional hosting if not used wisely
- Requires internet access – if there is an outage, you will not be able to access your data
- Can be complex to set up and manage
- Not suitable for all applications – some apps work better on traditional hosting
- Security risks – although cloud providers offer security, it is still a shared environment
You must have heard of this type of hosting in Canada.
WordPress hosting is a type of web hosting that provides a site specifically for the content management system (CMS) WordPress.
While you can host a WordPress site on any type of web server, it is ideal to use a managed WordPress host to make the process easier.
There are two common types of WordPress hosting: managed and unmanaged WP hosting.
A managed WordPress host will take care of important security updates, performance optimizations, and software maintenance for you. This can free up valuable time so that you can focus on creating great content, growing your audience, and making money from your blog or website.
Unmanaged WordPress hosting is a good option for experienced users who are comfortable managing their own websites. This type of hosting can be more affordable than managed WordPress hosting in Canada, but it requires you to take care of your own website maintenance and security.
Not sure if WordPress hosting is right for you? Keep reading to learn more about this type of web hosting and how it can benefit your site.
WordPress Hosting Pros:
- WordPress hosting can be more reliable since the host focuses specifically on WordPress sites
- Hosts can offer WordPress-specific features and optimizations
- Support is often faster and more specialized since the staff is familiar with WordPress
- Security features may be better since WordPress hosts typically have experience dealing with common WordPress security risks
- Pricing is often transparent and straightforward
WordPress Hosting Cons:
- Can be more expensive than traditional web hosting
- Might not offer as much flexibility for non-WordPress websites
- Some hosts might not offer as many features as others
- The quality of support can vary from host to host
- You might have to manage updates yourself
And that’s not all for the types of web hosting in Canada, there are others:
This somehow follows the concepts of WordPress hosting. E-commerce hosting is a type of web hosting that allows businesses to conduct online transactions. This can include selling products and services, taking payments, and managing customer data.
E-commerce hosting typically includes features such as shopping cart software, payment gateway integration, and security measures to protect customer information.
For businesses that want to sell products or services online, e-commerce hosting can be a great solution. It offers a convenient way for customers to purchase items and can help streamline the process for businesses. E-commerce hosting can also provide peace of mind by offering security features to protect customer data.
For most hosts, you might find it under the name like WooCommerce hosting. WooCommerce is an online store platform suited for WordPress CMS.
In conclusion, there are many different types of web hosting available, each with its own advantages.
Shared hosting is ideal for small websites with low traffic, while VPS hosting is better for medium-sized websites with high traffic. Dedicated servers are best for large websites with very high traffic.
Cloud hosting is a newer option that is becoming increasingly popular due to its flexibility and scalability.
Types of Web Hosting FAQs
What are hosting platforms?
Hosting platforms are websites that allow users to upload and share files. These platforms typically provide storage space for users to upload their files, as well as tools for managing and sharing those files. Some popular hosting platforms include Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
What is web hosting vs domain?
Domain names are the unique addresses that identify a website on the Internet. A web host is a company that provides the servers and technology needed to make a website accessible on the Internet. Once you register a domain name, you need to point it to a web host in order for your website to be live on the Internet.
What is the purpose of web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that provides internet users with a place to store their website files and make them accessible to others on the internet. By storing these files on a web server, users can access their websites from anywhere in the world.