As you look for a web host you might begin to see things like “Virtual Hosting Plans,” “Reseller Plans,” or “Dedicated Servers.” It can become confusing as more words are tagged on like: “Semi-dedicated Servers” or “Virtual Private Servers.” Here’s a quick explanation of what each one of those and other plans you might run in to mean.
These are the most common, and cheapest, type of web hosting plan. Usually you share the server with up to a couple hundred other websites. Occasionally a host may try to cram as many as a thousand websites on one server! Since you would share the server with MANY other websites ( if you choose this type of plan ), you would share the resources with the others on the server. If many of the websites on the server begin to take up too much of the server’s resources ( bandwidth, space, CPU power, RAM), then the server can slow down to a grinding halt. You don’t get ROOT access and cannot customize software very easily. This type of plan is best suited for blogs, personal websites, small-medium sized community websites, and other types of moderately popular sites.
If you plan on starting up a hosting biz or just need more space and bandwidth this is probably the best type of plan. You don’t get as much freedom as you would if you had a dedicated server or semi-dedicated server, but most reseller plans come with a lot of extras that you wouldn’t get with a virtual hosting plan. The extras include: more bandwidth, more space, IP adresses, the ability to resell space and bandwidth to others, and custom nameservers. Unless you’ve had experience as a webmaster for at least a few months you shouldn’t get a reseller plan to resell hosting and stuff.
A dedicated server is for established websites using upwards of 100 gbs of bandwidth. It’s also for people who are serious about making a hosting business. You can lease a dedicated server from several reputable datacenters like ServerBeach or EV-1. You can install and do almost anything you want on a dedicated server.
A virtual private server is a section of a dedicated server that’s all yours. A VPS is pretty much of like a mini-dedicated server. You have root access, meaning you can install almost any program, and the server is virtually split between yourself and a few others.