What is the difference between a web server and web hosting?

The servers allow content to be hosted that is then distributed in multiple ways, the most common today being web pages, although content distributed through Apps is gaining more and more prominence.

The most notable difference between web server and web hosting lies in the available budget and the knowledge to manage or not a service of this nature with what that entails and properly manage the available resources.

Based on this, the appropriate question would be: what are you going to use the web hosting service for? and based on that and your budget and knowledge in systems administration, you can opt for hiring web hosting or a web server.

Types of servers and web hosting

Web servers and Web Hosting are two different concepts that should not confuse you, on the one hand there are VPS, Cloud or Shared Hosting, to name the best known, but there are other services associated with web servers that are not necessarily final products that an end user contract.

Web server types:

  • Proxy servers.
  • Mail servers.
  • DHCP servers.
  • DNS servers.
  • Application servers.
  • Real-time communication servers.
  • File servers.
  • Print servers.
  • Database servers.
  • Other…

Types of web hosting:

  • Free hosting (you assume advertising and very limited resources).
  • Shared hosting (the most common in web hosting).
  • Dedicated hosting.
  • Reseller Hosting (It does not become a VPS but enjoys its own partitioning).

The VPS could be considered as a private virtual server but it is important to know that in the end it can be several VPS hosted on a partitioned physical server, which is why it is usually considered a type of Hosting and not a Server.

Web server

In addition to other tasks, web servers can handle the delivery of web applications by responding to HTTPS requests made by users normally from a web browser.

Web servers oriented to the management of web applications allow you to host one (or few) sites on a server where you enjoy all the CPU, memory, disk and bandwidth resources without having to share them with other Hosting accounts.

As a general rule, their contracting is cheaper than that of a traditional shared Hosting, but they have a higher cost in the implementation and securitization part, and also require high knowledge in system administration.

  • 100% server administration
  • Immediate scalability on demand.
  • Choice of machine hardware and operating system.
  • Cheap and competitive prices.
  • Full availability of the bandwidth assigned to the server.
  • Full access to all system files.
  • Full control of the processes running on the machine.
  • Unique fixed or dedicated IP.
  • System Administration knowledge required.
  • It does not have Administration-focused Support (as a general rule).
  • Requires high knowledge in security (hardening) of servers.
  • Support must be contracted separately.
  • Requires purchase of software, licenses and updates.
  • Security is the responsibility of the provider.

Web hosting

It is the right solution for those who just want to focus on building their Blog, Online Product Store, Services Page, etc., and don’t have the time or knowledge to deal with web server setup and security.

In these cases, a web hosting allows you to contract a specific Hosting Plan, limited as a general rule in available disk size, memory resources, processes and others, but in exchange you ignore its security and operation.

If your web hosting provider such as Webempresa will have resources assigned that are somehow limited but in return prevent other websites hosted on the same Hosting disturb the peace of your webs.

  • Delegated administration on behalf of the provider.
  • 24/7/365 support in everything related to Hosting.
  • Many Shared Hosting providers offer CMS support.
  • Daily Backups.
  • Higher prices.
  • The hardware and operating system are imposed in the contract.
  • Bandwidth adjusted to the type of Hosting contracted.
  • Limitation of access to server files.
  • Limitation of the processes to be executed based on the contracted Hosting.
  • Shared IP (usually geolocated).


If server administration is not your thing and you don’t feel comfortable managing WePanel, Plesk or any other Web Hosting panel solution, Hosting is undoubtedly the right solution compared to dedicated and necessarily self-managing web servers.

It is true that there are hybrid solutions for web servers, in which you can have hourly support that allows you to clarify doubts or implement some solutions, such as server security, by the System Administrators of the Hosting service that you hire, but that supposes an extra economic disbursement.

Both types of accommodation, Hosting or Web Server, are rented services, where you pay a monthly/quarterly or annual fee, and in the usual cases you are not the owner of the hardware that you use to host websites or web applications.

The main difference between one service and the other is that while in Hosting you share the resources of the physical server with hundreds of other users, in a web server all the resources of the machine are exclusively for your website.

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