Hosting plans come in an array of different types designed to cater for varying user requirements. Such requirements include available budgets to run a site; expected traffic volumes, resources required and more. Determining which type of plan is most suitable is made easier by knowing the differences between plans.
Shared Server Hosting - This is the most commonly used - and most affordable - type of hosting plans. Multiple Websites belonging to different users are hosted on a single server and share available resources.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting - A single server is divided into several virtual partitions using virtualisation software. These 'partitions' are each allocated to a single user account, complete with resources used only by this account. In essence, a single server allows hosting of multiple accounts - each running independently as though running on a separate server - without users having to share resources.
Dedicated Server Hosting - Here, a complete server is - as the name suggests - dedicated to a single account. In other words, all of the resources available are used by a single user. More powerful and customisable than the two previous options, this type of plan is also more expensive.
Colocation Hosting - In this case, the user purchases his/ her own server hardware and has it installed in the hosting company's data centre. This has the advantage of providing the user with total control over server configuration, all hardware, software, and so on.
Cloud Hosting - Rather than using a single server on which to host accounts, cloud hosting involves a whole network of servers. This ensures sites are kept running even if a single server goes down for whatever reason, as well as allowing for resources to be allocated on an 'as needed' basis, with far fewer - if any - restrictions.
Naturally, which type of plan is most suitable for any given Website depends not only on cost and available resources, but also on how much control is required and whether the needs of the Website to be created can be adequately met by the plan.
A huge company expecting to have high volumes of traffic, requiring large amounts of resources and wishing to have control over what happens to their server at any given time would obviously be served best with a dedicated, colocation or cloud hosting plan, while an individual wishing to run a small personal site would be served adequately with the resources available through shared hosting plans.