Shared hosting is a beginner-level hosting plan. The highly competitive shared hosting industry means consumers benefit from a low monthly price. Pricing generally ranges from $2.51 per month for entry-level to $4.62 for a midtier option. With shared hosting users share their web server with other websites. The number of other websites could range from a few hundred to thousands.
The advantage of shared hosting is the affordable pricing. The disadvantages are spotty service, no guarantee of uptime, possible security risks and limited resources making it difficult for websites to scale. This option is best for websites with low traffic, static pages and new websites.
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is the next level of hosting. On average, the cost of VPS plans is in between the cost of shared hosting and dedicated hosting. Users can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 per month. With VPS, users still share server space with other websites. However, there are fewer websites sharing the same space. This allows websites to manage higher volumes of traffic and increases the level of site security.
Users will also have more control over their hosting environment, which is better for privacy than shared hosting. This should be the lowest level of hosting for e-commerce websites. Disadvantages of VPS is an increase in costs and the possibility of an occasional slow uptime.
Dedicated hosting dedicates an entire server to the user. This gives users complete control over their server’s environment allowing them to customize the operating system, software and general configurations. Dedicated hosting prices generally start around $100 per month. Websites with their own dedicated servers run faster, can manage a high traffic volume and experience less downtime because of the large bandwidth, storage space and RAM. Dedicated servers are also more secure making them imperative for larger businesses with sensitive data.
Cloud hosting is a cluster of servers working together instead of relying on a single server like traditional hosting services. Its main advantage is the extreme infrequency in which the servers go down. Cloud hosting does a great job of balancing traffic to maintain website performance even when traffic is high. Instead of a flat rate monthly fee like traditional hosting, cloud hosting users generally use a pay-as-you-go model and only pay for what they use.