Sunday, August 13, 2017

Types of web hosting, and which one to choose for your blog?

There are a number of web hosting plans available as of 2017 based on the cost involved. Let's look at them:


  • Free blog hosting

Free hosting of blogs is available from major blogging platforms such as Wordpress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr and Medium, as well as on Quora, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Blogger is the most versatile of them, and gives you free hosting even when you buy the domain name from another service provider (That means, if you have a blog and you map it to a domain name, Blogger won't charge you for that!). Blogger allows advertisements on your blog while Wordpress does not allow that in free version (You can always upgrade it and get more facilities.). Blogs on other free platforms allow you to just post your stuff; no ads, no monetization, no or limited customization.

The beauty of the biggest of these free blogging platforms (Wordpress, Blogger) is that not only they host your blog, they also have a powerful yet simple content management system that allows you to format your posts, put photos, and customize the blog in many ways. They also give your blog a very robust security.

  • Free website hosting

Here, we have differentiated between blogs and other websites. There are many free web hosting providers, but they have many limitations of bandwidth, total space, up-time etc and may run their own advertisements on your site. We'd talk about free website (non-blog) hosting services later.


Paid plans can be fitted in these major categories:

  • Shared web hosting

This is the most common hosting plan, and can have many sub-plans and add-ons. In this type, a web server is shared by many clients (bloggers and website owners) and therefore the cost to individual client is a fraction of the total cost of maintaining that server.

  • Re-seller web hosting

In this type of web hosting, a big hosting company sells its space to techies or small companies and they are allowed to sell the space to small users. Often, the re-sellers add their own personalized services on top of those given by the big host. This is getting popular among small bloggers but has its own risks. We have talked more about it here: Re-seller web hosting can be risky
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting

This web hosting utilizes 'virtualization' to create virtual machines which are then given exclusively to clients. Since the server belongs to you and dedicated resources such as space and bandwidth are allocated to you, you do not run the risk of the blog opening slow or becoming unavailable because of other clients' activities.

A small or medium-level website owner or blogger does not need to go beyond this type of hosting. The hosting types ones given below are more for general knowledge of web hosting.   

web hosting is a highly technical job

  • Colocated (=collocated) web hosting

You purchase a server and locate it in the network of a web host. This needs specialized technical knowledge of running web servers and networks. Big companies and governments usually have this type of web hosting arrangement.

  • Managed server hosting

When you need lots of web space and resources but do not have a full-fledged technical team to do every aspect of web server management, you ask the web hosting company to provide you resources and full technical support. In this case, you pay for exclusive support in addition to the collocated / VPS hosting charges.

  • Dedicated hosting

This is very expensive (and of course highly reliable and with the best resources) type of web hosting. This suits big companies with huge websites/ portals and enormous amount of traffic. The servers and services belong to the hosting company (unlike collocation) but the client uses them exclusively. For such high-end server management, though the hosting company gives support, the client must also have a dedicated team for taking care of web server management, which is a highly technical job.

  • Cloud hosting

It is nothing but the hosting company having servers across a very large area (even across the globe), which share resources among themselves and thus remove the risk of service deficiencies that come from one or a few servers physically located together. Your website on cloud servers will have its mirror images on many servers so that in case of any issue in one, the other ones take over. These are also very useful when one needs less or more resources 'on demand' or needs to provide for sudden escalation of demand.

  • Hybrid hosting solutions

Since the top rung of services can have a mix of leasing, management, placing the servers and services on the cloud, we can call them as hybrid solutions. Top companies have the muscle and different levels of in-house resources to negotiate terms with web hosting companies, and the resultant plans can range from just leasing data-center hardware to complete web hosting solutions.