Essential Website Hosting Terms You Should Know

If you’re new to the realm of website hosting, then you may find yourself at a loss. While this topic may seem relatively easy to understand, as soon as you begin to delve into the various options and service levels, your perceived understanding can quickly go out the window. Perhaps one of the most confusing elements of dealing with hosting providers is their terminology. While there are literally hundreds of various terms floating around the Web, the following are considered the most essential to fully grasp this dynamic and ever-evolving industry. According to Web Hosting Professor, the following are the main categories of web hosting to consider as you build your online presence.

Linux Hosting

Generally, this is the type of hosting level your website will demand as the majority of CMS tools, such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, are all designed to be built upon Linux hosting. If your website utilizes various programming codes, such as PHP and Pearl, Linux hosting is essential. However, don’t be afraid of having to hard code as the bulk of Linux hosting providers feature easy-to-use tools.

If you’re unsure if Linux hosting is right for you, see GoDaddy’s post, Should I choose a Windows or Linux hosting account?

Shared Hosting

Just as its name suggests, a shared hosting account means you are sharing a single server with multiple customers. In fact, a standard hosting server can handle thousands of websites. Because you’re sharing a server, the monthly fees are relatively inexpensive. In general, you can expect to pay significantly less than compared to dedicated or VPS nodes.

Dedicated Hosting

When you sign up with a dedicated hosting server, you are the only website within a server. This is ideal if you have a huge website or wish to diminish the possibility of other websites on a shared server from crashing your own site, which can happen if one website receives significant traffic/visitors. The cost of this hosting level is significantly more than most other hosting services, which means it really only makes sense for large, profitable, websites.

VPS Hosting

VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is specifically designed for websites that experience a large amount of traffic. This hosting level offers a virtual server that only runs your website. The main benefit of such a design is that you can directly manage your site without altering others (and vice-versa).


While this level of hosting is quite similar to dedicated hosting, it calls upon software and hardware that you completely control. In fact, the hosting company doesn’t touch or manipulate the server at all, except to ensure its operational. Every other aspect of the hosting and website management is up to you and your IT department. Because of this, colocation is by far the most complex and expensive way to operate a website.

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