Web hosting can be a tricky world to navigate, and can be like deciding where to live.
While you can think of your web domain as your “address,” your website still needs an online “home.” This is known as hosting. Providers like Namecheap sell hosting space on a server (a computer with one or more large, state-of-the-art hard drives that stores all your website’s data, images, text, and other information), and make it available to the public via the Internet.
Essentially, hosting services differ by how these servers are set up and the type of access people have to them. To use a familiar analogy, you can think of the types of hosting as different types of “dwellings” (e.g. an apartment, home, or hotel).
Let’s take a tour of some common hosting options and you can decide which dwelling best suits you.
Shared Hosting (The New Renter)
Picture this: You’re self-employed and have a little bit of money set aside, so you decide to rent an apartment in a building with a number of other people.
Now, apply this scenario to hosting. You’re a small business owner or blogger with a moderate income, and you need a website to go with your business.
Your best bet? Shared Hosting.
Here, someone else (i.e., a hosting provider such as Namecheap) handles all your server maintenance much like an apartment management company handles the upkeep of your home.
Once your website is up and running, you’ll rarely need to access your Control Panel (cPanel), which makes it easy to upload your site, create email accounts, and add databases without knowing how to code.
In other words, you can think of Shared Hosting as your digital landlord who charges you very little a month to use their server space.
All of Namecheap’s Shared Hosting Plans feature an easy-to-use Website Builder, which lets you create your personal website, without any technical knowledge needed (bonus!). Learn more about how Website Builder works here.
Reseller Hosting (The Subletting Landlord)
When you sublet your apartment to someone else, you’re ultimately responsible for the monthly rent but you allow someone else to use your space.
Reseller Hosting is a similar model. While you create your account, as a reseller you essentially “rent” server space, then turn around and sell it to clients. Or put another way, Reseller Hosting consists of shared hosting accounts with extra tools in place that help you resell hosting space.
Here, you’re more in control and can think of yourself as the unofficial “owner” of your reseller package, granting client access to these resold accounts without giving them access to the main one. Billing software also comes included (Web Host Manager Complete Solution, aka WHMCS), letting you invoice your clients with ease.
Perfect for entrepreneurs, online marketers, and web developers that work with small businesses, Reseller Hosting is a much less expensive option than VPS Hosting (see below).
VPS Hosting (The Condo Owner)
Sure, you like having your neighbors and a shared communal space, but when it comes to everything else, you prefer to have a bit of independence. As a condo owner, someone else owns the complex you live in, and provides security and basic landscape maintenance, but you handle the upkeep of your actual home on your own.
Like a condo, a Virtual Private Server (aka VPS Hosting) is still technically a shared environment but differs in the way server resources are allocated. It’s the ideal choice for developers, webmasters, and resellers who want to maintain their servers.
Staying with the condo analogy, while you may share things on the physical property with your neighbors (parking lot, pool, party room), you are ultimately responsible for the maintenance of your own property and repairs inside your unit.
Although VPS acts as an independent server, it’s actually partitioned into multiple, separate servers that are highly configurable. (Meaning you can make a lot more changes without affecting others.) The result? Way more flexibility than Shared Hosting.
Dedicated Server Hosting (The Homeowner)
In this instance, you’re quite literally the master of your own domain.
With Dedicated Server Hosting, you hold all the power in your digital hands. Ideal for the most demanding, high-traffic websites, DSH has its very own server to itself (hence the word “dedicated”) and gives you sole access to every resource available. Like a real home, you won’t have “roommates” (other users on the server) with whom you’d have to share “closet space” (data storage).
With great power, however, comes great responsibility. Dedicated Server Hosting requires that you have some previous technical knowledge as you’ll be taking full responsibility for the setup and management of your website.
EasyWP Hosting (The 5-Star Hotel Guest)
Exclusive to Namecheap customers, Easy WordPress (EasyWP) is a little different from your typical hosting. Hosted on Namecheap’s dedicated cloud servers and providing managed WordPress hosting, it’s a way to set up your WordPress website in a snap and requires a minimal amount of tech-savvy skills.
You can think of EasyWP like snagging an awesome deal at a 5-star luxury hotel. Although you’re the one who decides to book (and ultimately pay for) your room, once you arrive, everything else is taken care of for you (fluffy bedding, fresh towels, bathroom amenities, 24-hour room service—you name it).
Managed through Namecheap’s intuitive dashboard, EasyWP is ideal for small business owners who want to get their WordPress site up and running. Since hosting and WP installation are handled for you, EasyWP means you don’t have to hassle with a cPanel.
Keep in mind that although there are many hosting options to choose from with Namecheap, it’s entirely up to you how you decide to furnish your website, aka your online “home.”
If you ever need assistance, our Customer Support Team is available 24/7 to answer all of your hosting questions.