Every website requires web hosting to be seen online, but with so many available types of web hosting plans, how do you know which is right for your small business website? The answer will depend on a variety of factors, such as whether you accept online payments, your need for fast load times, and your budget. We’ll break down the most common types of web hosting plans and help you find which is best for you.
Top 5 Types of Web Hosting Compared
The average small business website
SMBs that need added security and flexibility, such as ecommerce and legal services sites
Businesses that want to outsource WordPress management to the pros
Large companies looking to configure and manage their server in-house and those with high traffic volumes
Varies by provider
Those selling web hosting plans to others, such as web design businesses
Shared Web Hosting
Who it’s right for: The average small business looking for a simple and affordable way to host a website
Average price range: $3 to $15 per month
Shared web hosting is when several websites share one server. This allows server costs to be divided among multiple sites, making it the most affordable type of web hosting, but that comes at the expense of reduced security and speed as other sites on your server can affect your site. It’s best for budget-conscious businesses with an informational website.
VPS Web Hosting
Who it’s right for: Small businesses that need added security and flexibility
Average price range: $20 to $100 per month
A virtual private server (VPS) is a type of web hosting where multiple sites share one server (like shared hosting), but with a major difference: it houses multiple virtual machines that act like separate servers. In other words, it’s a well-balanced type of web hosting that combines the affordability of shared hosting and the security of dedicated hosting. It’s best for websites that collect or house sensitive information, such as online stores, legal, and medical services.
Managed Web Hosting
Who it’s right for: Businesses that want to outsource WordPress management to the pros
Average price range: $20 to $150 per month
Managed web hosting, or “managed WordPress hosting,” is a type of web hosting that includes WordPress management. This includes things such as website monitoring and plugin updates. It also generally includes all initial setup of web hosting, making it easy for those who want to switch plans. It’s best for those who would rather pay extra than to have to worry about their site.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Who it’s right for: Large companies looking to manage servers with in-house IT
Average price range: $80 to $100 per month
Dedicated web hosting is a type of web hosting that gives websites their own private server. Those with dedicated hosting have complete control over their server. This means businesses have the most flexibility and security, but full control also means it’s expensive and businesses need to have in-house experts to professionally manage its server. That said, it’s best for large corporations that want full control of their server and have the resources to manage it.
Reseller Web Hosting
Who it’s right for: Businesses selling web hosting to others
Average price range: Varies by the provider
Reseller hosting enables businesses to sell web hosting to others. It’s commonly used by web design and development companies that want to offer clients in-house website management, including web hosting, but without requiring in-house servers. Many of the leading web hosting providers offer reseller hosting plans and pricing models that vary by provider.
Check out our guide to the best reseller hosting platforms.
How Do I Choose a Web Hosting Plan?
With so many web hosting providers offering a variety of web hosting plans, it’s not easy to know which one is right for you. To help you decide, consider factors such as reliability, average speed, security, available contract lengths, features and plan inclusions, customer support, and customer reviews.
Here are eight things to consider when choosing a web hosting plan:
- Type of web hosting plans
- Reliability and uptimes
- Available contract lengths
- Features and inclusions
- Availability of customer support
- Customer reviews
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right web hosting plan. It’s not only the type of web hosting you need but also which provider gives you the best value through high uptimes and load speed, contract length, features, and extras such as a free domain name and one-click WordPress installation, the modes of customer support available, and what others have to say via customer reviews.
Which Web Hosting Provider Is Right for Me?
The top web hosting providers offer nearly identical plans with such slight variations that it is difficult to determine which is right for you. Start with choosing from the best and most trusted web hosting companies, such as InMotion, Bluehost, DreamHost, HostGator, and GoDaddy. Decide which type of web hosting plan you need, how much storage and bandwidth is sufficient for your site, how long of a contract you want to purchase, your budget, and which extras matter to you.
If you need help deciding which provider is best for your business needs, take the quiz below. It will offer you a customized recommendation based on your responses.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is a type of hosting that utilizes several clusters of servers. It’s more powerful and flexible than traditional web hosting alternatives. However, cloud hosting has become commonplace; many of the top web hosting providers utilize cloud hosting and offer it through shared hosting plans. Learn about the six best cloud hosting providers.
What is cPanel hosting?
First, cPanel is a web hosting control panel. Second, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find a web hosting plan these days that doesn’t include cPanel. In other words, it’s not that it’s a type of web hosting, but rather a feature of web hosting (regardless of the plan type).
What is the difference between WordPress hosting & shared hosting?
WordPress hosting and shared hosting are two different types of web hosting. Those with a site built on WordPress can use either type of hosting. The difference is that shared hosting will generally be a bit more affordable and WordPress hosting will come with more features specific to WordPress websites.
Bottom Line: Types of Web Hosting Explained
The top types of available web hosting plans are shared, VPS, managed, dedicated, and reseller hosting. Most small businesses with an informational website will find shared plans to provide the highest value plans at the lowest cost. Businesses that handle sensitive information (e.g., credit card details or personal information) should consider VPS hosting for added security.
Regardless of which type of web hosting you choose, you still need to choose a plan from a dependable web hosting company. We recommend Bluehost as it’s a leading web hosting provider that offers a range of feature-packed plans starting at $2.95 per month.