Web Hosting 101: How To Choose The Right Hosting Service

Web hosting is a service that provides a space on a server to store the files and content of a website, making it accessible to anyone on the Internet.

When searching for a hosting provider, you will find that there are different types of web hosting options available, each with its own unique pricing, features, and technical specifications.

This article explores the most commonly used types of hosting and assists you in determining which one is best suited for your website. Let's dig in!


  • Factors to consider when choosing a hosting service
    • Meet your website's requirements
    • Provide sufficient bandwidth and storage space
    • Maximize uptime and reliability
    • Don't neglect server security and backups
    • Prioritize technical support
    • Make Prices Affordable
  • Different types of web hosting services
    • Shared hosting
    • Dedicated hosting
    • VPS hosting
    • Managed WordPress hosting
    • Earth Girl Hosting managed hosting
    • Cloud hosting
    • Colocation (Colo) hosting
  • Wrap up


Key Elements for Selecting the Right Web Hosting

Selecting a web hosting service for your website is an important decision that greatly impacts the success of your business.

The web hosting plan or service you choose can enhance or hinder your website's performance, resulting in unwanted expenses and technical headaches.

So, it is crucial to understand the different types of web hosting services and consider fundamental factors to:

  • Avoid potential downtime and data loss.
  • Verify your website has safeguards to defend against online attacks and unauthorized access.
  • Find a service provider that offers flexible pricing and payment options to fit your budget.
  • Make sure your web hosting service comes with a scalable solution to accommodate business growth and handle high traffic volumes.
  • Assure your website loads quickly and efficiently to improve your Google PageSpeed Insights and SEO rankings.
  • Resolve probable issues promptly.

In this section I have provided a checklist to choose the right web hosting service. Next, we will explore all types of web hosting.


Meet your website's requirements

When choosing a web hosting service, it's important to consider the website's purpose, budget, expected traffic volume, and type of content that will be stored on your host.

This will enable you to choose a service that offers adequate disk space, bandwidth, and performance to support your website's needs among different types of web hosting plans.

For example, an ecommerce website that sells goods online will require a hosting service that meets certain specific requirements, such as PCI Compliance, high uptime, robust security features like hosting firewalls, regular backups, and capacity to handle simultaneous traffic. However, a personal blog may not require such advanced hosting features.

You might be tempted to sign up for the plan that offers the most disk space for a low price. Bear in mind that no one can really offer unlimited disk space since disk space requires actual disks and those are physical and have a limit. Unlimited disk space means that you can add as many files as you'd like, within the fair usage policy of the company. But, there's a caveat, those types of plans usually include lower quality servers, slower speeds, less resources so your website may go down more frequently as you hit those limits, and lower traffic-handling capacity. It is important to take into consideration the above for your website's requirements.


Provide sufficient bandwidth and storage space

The bandwidth of a web hosting plan determines the total volume of data that can be sent and received between your website and its users. If your website has high traffic volume or hosts large files, such as videos or high-resolution images, it will require more bandwidth.

On the other hand, storage space refers to the amount of data that your website can store on the web host's server and includes all website files.

Earth Girl Hosting offers a range of hosting plans suitable for websites of all sizes, from small personal websites to agency businesses. Most plans come with unmetered bandwidth and flexible disk space. It allows your website(s) to handle traffic spikes without incurring additional fees or experiencing slowdowns due to exceeded bandwidth limits.

Also, in the case that you reach the allocated amount of disk space, you can pay for additional resources on an automated per-gigabyte basis, when under certain plans. This will let your website remain operational and never experience downtime. To learn more about managing hosting quotas at Earth Girl, read the "Manage hosting account quotas and overage" article.


Maximize uptime and reliability

Uptime refers to the amount of time that a website is available and accessible to visitors, while reliability refers to the stability and consistency of the hosting service. Choosing a hosting provider with high uptime guarantees and reliable infrastructure is essential to ensure that your website stays online, performs well, and provides a positive user experience.

Earth Girl web hosting provides reliable and secure web hosting services with high-quality servers located in highly secure areas in the USA. We guarantee near 100% uptime, ensuring that your website remains accessible to visitors at all times.


Don't neglect server security and backups

With the increasing number of cyber threats and attacks, it's essential to ensure that your hosting provider has implemented security measures to protect your website and its data.

In my experience, without a firewall on your server, security plugins will not be effective against DDoS attacks and other potential threats.

It can be said that none of the WordPress plugins can perform the role of a server-side firewall like Imunify360, BitNinja, or CSF. Therefore, if your server has good security, you might not need to install all these plugins (apart from an admin brute force protection plugin like Loginizer).

In addition to security, regular backups provide a safety net in the event of any server-related issues, such as hardware failures, software malfunctions, or cyberattacks. Backups allow you to restore your website to a previous state and minimize any potential data loss.

Earth Girl Hosting provides immediate threat detection and remediation by offering the highest security levels using server-side firewalls and essential equipment. Free monthly malware scanning is included. It also offers free daily off-site backups, so your website is always safe regardless of what happens to the server.


Prioritize technical support

When choosing a web hosting provider, make sure you pick one that offers strong technical support. Look for 24/7 support options, multiple channels to get assistance (phone, email, chat, ticket systems), and reasonable response times for common questions.

A good technical support team can make the difference between a smooth hosting experience and constant headaches, so don't underestimate the importance of this when comparing web hosts.

Earth Girl Hosting's technical support team is available 24/7/365 to resolve any technical or billing issues and answer your pre-sale inquiries using multiple channels including tickets, Facebook, phone calls, and email.


Make prices affordable

With the right hosting plan, you can build a website that maximizes performance and reliability even on a budget.

Finding the sweet spot between covering costs and generating profit on one hand, and keeping prices within reach for most buyers on the other, is an art. That's why Earth Girl web hosting plans come with affordable pricing and high quality starting from just $5 per month (or $51 yearly). All plans can be paid monthly or yearly, with flexible options to fit your budget.


Different types of web hosting services

Now that we know the key criteria for choosing the right web hosting plan, let's clarify the different types of hosting services to avoid any confusion.

When you hear terms like VPS hosting, shared hosting, or managed WordPress hosting, it can get overwhelming.

There are different types of web hosting we're going to explain in this section.


Shared hosting

As its name represents, with shared hosting multiple websites are hosted on the same server. Each website, or account, utilizes a portion of the server's resources - like CPU, RAM, and storage space. Pricing is lower than non-shared hosting.

Shared web hosting


  • Cost effective - Shared hosting offers excellent value for those on a tight budget, with plans starting at very low prices.
  • Meeting the needs of blogs and small business - For bloggers and owners of smaller, less resource-intensive sites, shared hosting provides ample power and storage space to meet their needs.
  • An easy option for the non-technical - With server security and maintenance handled by the hosting provider, shared hosting is useful for those without much back-end technical expertise.
  • Comes Ready to Go - The inclusion of essential tools and interfaces like cPanel makes shared hosting an out-of-the-box solution requiring no setup work.


  • Security risks - Security risks exist due to proximity to unknown websites on the server who may not be taking precautions. A compromised site could lead to data theft or malware spreading across shared infrastructure. Lack of a dedicated IP also leaves you vulnerable to blacklisting. But, if the hosting company separates the accounts properly on the server, and uses the correct isolation method, the above issues will only affect the infected account and will not spread.
  • Settings limitations - Access limitations like lack of root access and hidden files mean less control over settings adjustments to resolve issues. Some plugins or apps may be restricted as well.
  • Shared Resources - Resource bottlenecks can occur when sharing bandwidth and other server resources with multitudes of other sites. Traffic spikes on the server create performance instability and potential downtime for your site.


Dedicated hosting

Unlike shared hosting, clients lease an entire server that is not shared with anyone else. Your site(s) has exclusive access to all of the server's resources including RAM, storage, bandwidth, and processing power, and you can choose to separate resources as you see fit.

Dedicated-web-hosting Most WordPress users do not require dedicated hosting, as it is an overkill solution better suited for large businesses with specific technical or compliance needs.


  • Full control over server configuration - There is unrestricted access and control over all aspects of your server configuration. You access root privileges to modify and customize settings to suit your needs.
  • Maximum performance - No resource sharing means you get the fastest speeds and lowest latency. Ideal for resource-intensive sites.
  • Heightened security - Without unpredictable websites on a shared server, you don't have to worry about external risks beyond your control compromising your site.


  • Very expensive - For most, the benefits of a dedicated server do not outweigh the high ongoing costs. The pricing puts dedicated hosting out of reach for the majority of users and may be a good fit only for large businesses.
  • Technical expertise required - You bear full responsibility for monitoring, updates, backups and controlling the entire server, unless you have fully managed hosting.
  • Single point of failure - Issues with your server hardware take down your entire website until resolved.


VPS hosting

VPS hosting stands for Virtual Private Server hosting. It involves using virtualization software to divide a physical server into multiple isolated virtual servers.

VPS hosting provides many dedicated hosting benefits like better performance and more flexibility at a lower cost. The virtualized environment enables each VPS account to operate like a dedicated server in isolation, yet the cost is significantly less because the underlying physical server is shared between multiple clients.


  • More flexibility - VPS hosting allows you to better customize and configure your server to suit your specific needs. You get admin-level access.
  • Enhanced performance - Resources like CPU, RAM, and bandwidth are guaranteed, so you don't have neighbors competing for resources. This results in better speed and uptime.
  • Increased scalability - Scaling up your VPS plan is easier than with shared hosting because you don't need to migrate to a new server. You can simply pay for additional resources.
  • Better security - VPS isolates your site from other accounts on the network for less risk of security breaches spreading. Additionally, you receive a unique IP address for your site.


  • More expensive - VPS hosting is more costly than shared hosting plans because it requires more advanced hardware and software.
  • Technical expertise needed - You are responsible for software updates and security management, unless you have fully managed hosting.
  • Not suitable for extremely high levels of traffic - VPS hosting can struggle with extremely high traffic websites due to the limited shared resources of CPU, RAM, and bandwidth. The capped allotments get easily maxed out during traffic spikes, which can hamper performance.


Managed WordPress Hosting

The hosting company handles the technical management and maintenance of the WordPress site, such as software patches, security measures, data backups, and performance optimization.

A key characteristic of managed WordPress hosting is the suite of premium WordPress-specific features included, which go beyond what is typically offered in shared or VPS hosting.


  • Automatic server maintenance and updates - The hosting provider takes care of critical backend tasks like system updates, security patching, and configuration.
  • Scalability - You can readily scale server resources up or down as your resource needs change.
  • Enhanced security - The hosting provider implements security best practices and protections for your website(s).
  • Round-the-clock technical support - You don't have to worry about tackling technical challenges on your own or experiencing long periods of disruption if problems arise. The provider's support staff monitors systems closely and is available at all hours to diagnose issues and implement quick fixes.


  • Increased cost compared to shared hosting or VPS - Managed WordPress plans are more expensive due to the specialized features and support.
  • Limited technical control - The provider manages the technical aspects, so you have less server access and fewer customization options.
  • Potential plugin restrictions - Some hosts restrict or ban certain plugins to optimize performance and security.
  • WordPress-only - It is designed for WordPress sites only, not for other platforms like Magento or custom codebases.


Earth Girl managed hosting

Earth Girl Hosting offers a variety of managed web hosting plans, including options optimized for WordPress, OpenCart, and other CMS (content management system) platforms. You have the flexibility to choose plans for blogs, small businesses, ecommerce sites, and high-traffic websites.

Managed hosting means that the staff of the hosting company takes care of migrations, DNS changes, email account management, malware/virus removal, FTP account creation, and more. They take care of your hosting, while you take care of building your website. They're there to help when you need them to, often times even doing little changes for you in WordPress or other well known systems.

Unmanaged hosting means that you're on your own.

Key perks of Earth Girl Hosting's managed hosting plans:

  • Daily automated off-site backups
  • 24/7 support
  • Affordable pricing plans to fit different budgets
  • Free, optional SiteLock account to enhance your website's security
  • DDoS protection
  • Free Let's Encrypt SSL
  • Optional premium SSL certificates
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Unlimited websites hosted
  • Unlimited parked domains
  • Optional pre-installed WordPress and WooCommerce
  • One-click CMS installation (OpenCart, WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, PrestaShop, etc.)
  • Generous storage, bandwidth, and email sending quota/hr

Lots of companies may offer the above, but what sets Earth Girl apart is its service. It is personable and friendly. An example goes like this: If you need a break from website work or you need to only develop a website, Earth Girl's support team can lower your monthly price until you're ready to pick it back up. With an understanding team and courteous service, you'll relate better and feel right at home.


Cloud hosting

With cloud hosting, files and data are stored across many distributed servers that make up the "cloud."

The key advantage of cloud hosting is its built-in redundancy and failover, so if one server goes down, the site still stays up.

Compared to other forms of web hosting, cloud hosting tends to have a higher overall cost. The pricing model for cloud hosting also differs from traditional hosting. Rather than a flat monthly fee, cloud hosting utilizes a pay-as-you-go approach based on actual resource usage.

Leading cloud hosting providers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure offer self-service dashboards to deploy and manage sites easily.

Many large enterprises and organizations like Netflix, Dropbox, and Spotify utilize cloud hosting to power their massive web presence.


  • High reliability - Other servers can take over if one fails.
  • Highly scalable - It is easy to increase resources and bandwidth as needed.
  • Redundancy and fast deployment - Sites load faster across multiple servers.


  • Cost - It is more expensive than other types of web hosting options.
  • Security is not guaranteed - Like shared hosting, your website's security may be impacted by the activities of other sites that share the same resources.
  • Difficult to set up - Setting up cloud hosting can be a challenging task, even for developers who possess technical expertise.


Colocation (Colo) Hosting

Colocation hosting, also known as colo hosting, is a data center service in which a company rents physical space for servers and other computing hardware.

It allows companies to locate their servers in a dedicated off-site facility rather than on business premises. In fact, it is an alternative to hosting servers in a home or office environment.

A key advantage of colocation hosting is that you retain full control over your own server hardware and software configuration, enabling you to customize security and deployed applications as needed.


Wrap up

With so many web hosting options to choose from, it can feel overwhelming trying to select the right one for your needs. By understanding core factors like reliability, security, scalability, and technical support, you can narrow your search to providers that meet your must-have criteria.

Review the different types of web hosting such as shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed WordPress to identify which model aligns best with your site's goals, budget, and technical abilities.

I personally recommend that users of any CMS consider managed hosting plans like Earth Girl Hosting's for heightened security, fair pricing, optimization, and friendly, expert support.

About Navid Nekouee

I'm Navid, a happiness ninja and the digital marketing manager at Earth Girl Hosting with years of experience in e-commerce. I am passionate about creating digital marketing strategies integrated with cutting-edge web solutions and enjoy blogging about practical problem-solving approaches in this area.

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