For many small and medium companies, having an in-house computing infrastructure is not a viable option to run their websites. 
 
Choosing one from the web hosting companies is the right answer because web hosting offers fast and reliable performance coupled with adequate security.

But web masters, more often than not, are overwhelmed by the plethora of hosting packages in the market. 

The decision which one to choose is a common predicament among company managers. 

Web hosting companies typically offer three platforms. 

- Shared web hosting
- VPS or Virtual private server hosting
- Dedicated server hosting 

Let us analyze each option one by one. 

Shared Web Hosting 

In a shared environment, the service provider from a single web server serves up pages for multiple websites, each with its own domain name. In other words, the hosting company with one physical server with allocated resources shares the server between multiple users.

They key features of such an environment are:

- Limited  monthly traffic, disk space , and email and FTP accounts
- Cost effective model. 

VPS or Virtual private server hosting

VPS refers to a physical server that is partitioned into several virtual machines. It is a ground breaking approach to deliver power and functionality of a top-end dedicated server at a vastly lower price.

Some of the compelling advantages of VPS include,

- Complete control of individual virtual machine with root access
- And dedicated CPU, RAM and storage. 

Dedicated server hosting 

In a dedicated server environment the user has control of the entire resources and capability of the server. 

This is the top end of the hosting upgrade that businesses choose when they experience huge unmanageable traffic, which they cannot handle either by shared or VPS hosting. 

Some people feel shared web hosting being at the lowest end of the ladder is not a viable option for business. 

This is not necessarily true. 

Enterprises are finding that the shared platform is a very workable alternative because, although being an entry level service, it offers a complete range of features necessary to run an ecommerce website.  

Even with regard to support services, some web hosting providers, even on a shared platform provide adequate top quality service to their clients.

One IT manager rightly put it, “What is wrong if you are getting a shared portion with enough storage space, processing power and bandwidth to run your business?” 

A shared model is a good launching pad. It   makes sense to go for shared web hosting if you want to stay within your budget, and still build a professional quality website with the latest software. 

With shared hosting you can:

- experiment with coding and web design
- Get a feel of WordPress and other basic applications. 
- Construct a website for family or a personal blog.  

Before committing yourself to expensive hardware lease or arduous long term contracts, a shared web hosting plan is a prudent solution to test web hosting waters. 

You can maximize the performance of your shared hosting plan by using CDN or Content Delivery Network and by running your mails through third party applications like Google. 

For those web host who prefer Linux, even Linux shared hosting plans are available that offer adequate resources on the latest hardware, and with fast and reliable service all with affordable prices.