Plenty of people are familiar enough with the term web hosting, but from my time working in the industry there are not many people who understand everything that web hosting entails. In it’s most basic definition, web hosting is providing storage space and internet access for websites. A web hosting company provides the services needed in order to have a website on the internet.

A server is basically a very powerful computer with much more reliability and an infrastructure that is designed for very specific web hosting needs. The server provides all of the hardware (hard drives, cpu, memory, etc.) that you need in order to store your website files. It also provides the ability for people to access these files over the internet.

There are three common types of web hosting, shared, VPS (virtual private server), and dedicated hosting. The way I try to describe it is this – shared hosting is like an apartment, VPS hosting is like a condo/townhouse, and dedicated hosting is like a single family home.

With shared hosting you will be on the same server as hundreds of other customers. You will share the same server resources, have a limitation as far as server space and power, but it will be the cheapest of the bunch.

On a VPS you will be sharing a server with anywhere between 5-20 people, depending on the service. While you are technically sharing a server, it is partitioned in such a way that it acts as a mini-dedicated server. You get your own allocated resources, are completely separate from the other customers, and don’t have to worry about them. The price is middle of the road.

Dedicated hosting is the most expensive, and it means you have a server all to yourself. They are pretty much completely customizable to your needs and will allow you to host anything you can imagine.