There are a total of four kinds of web hosting: shared web hosting, dedicated server web hosting, private web hosting, and own web hosting. For the first three, you are buying hosting service from other companies with or without a private server, called virtual hosting. You have not real place to host your site while the fourth uses your own server and it is you who manage the server.
For most companie/sites, it is wise to purchase outside web hosting service. You don’t need to arrange a specific person to manage your server all the time. Rather, you just create your site and upload your web pages. That is why most small to medium companies always buy web hosting. Some large and internet companies also choose virtual hosting because they find it more reliable and economy.
There seems to be an increasing competition in web hosting industry. This is really a good news for webmasters. One day, when you open your emails, you may be amazed to find you are getting a free web hosting account which is as reliable as the one you bought. If you don’t believe, just check out the top web hosting companies. You may be surprised how cheap their hosting is – unlimited subdomains, 10G transfer per DAY, and 30G web space just cost $8 a month and the uptime rate is 99.99%.
In the near future, the factors that influence webmasters’ decisions will not be how much web space, traffic or uptime rate there are, but technical support or person to person service. In the past, some people choose web hosting companies based on the operating system. Unix and Linux support PHP while the Windows system supports ASP. In the U.S., PHP is much more popular, so UNIX and LINUX are main system used by web hosting. As Microsoft takes more market shares, ASP will be used by more and more webmasters.