Shared hosting is one of the more common methods for website hosting. It is also the cheapest, and least reliable. This is when several website owners are sharing a single server including all resources such as CPU, memory and drive space. This is the most cost efficient as all of the different website owners share in the operational expenses of the single server. However, you can suffer from “bad neighbour syndrome”: if another website is sharing the same webhost as your site, and if it is very busy, then it will hog the CPU and RAM and network bandwidth of the web host, resulting in poor performance for all the other websites on the host. The result of this will be that all sites will load very slowly.
There are also security risks with this kind of hosting. If one of the other websites gets hacked, or infected with malware, then it is very likely that the other websites on the same webhost will also be infected since the all run on the same computer. And if there is a DDOS attack on one of the sites, then, again, they are all affected because they share the same resource.
This type of hosting should only be used for small sites that are not expecting much traffic.
For those that rely on maximum performance and an ultimately secured platform, dedicated hosting provides that functionality. In this environment, a single person leases an entire server eliminating resource use by other website owners. This means that 100 percent of the system is operating for your purposes alone. This also gives you full control of the machine, so that it can be configured any way you like, with whatver software, or modules and as little or as much security as you want. Dedicated servers are also one of the most expensive hosting options.
A Virtual Private Servers, or VPS, is a virtual machine running on top of a real machine. Several VPS servers may run on a single real server machine. A VPS runs its own separate copy of the operating system on its own separate space on the host server, and so can be treated as if it is really a separate computer. This means it has the advantages of a dedicated server in terms of having full control over the machine, but not the cost. The drawback is that performance will not be as good as a dedicated server, but it is far better than shared hosting. The main difference between VPS and shared hosting is that each VPS runs an entirely separate operating system instance inside its own virtual machine, whereas on a shared host, only one single operating system runs which is shared by all the websites.
Instead of relying on a single server to host a website, the Cloud alternative utilizes a network of machines to provide the content. A single account could be spread out across many different servers which could include those in other cities or even countries. This provides reliability, scaling of size and faster recovery times in the event of a disaster.