One of the most expensive options when it comes to hosting a small site. Basically the hosting provider is using your content to add pages to the web from which they can earn money. Doing this is cheaper for them than if they had to pay someone to write the web page content for them. Having your web pages on the web doesn't cost you anything but it makes big money for the hosting provider.
The cheapest form of web hosting and the most suitable for most small web sites. Basically you will be provided with certain facilities on a web server that is shared with a number of other similar accounts. Exactly how many accounts will vary between providers with cheaper providers placing more accounts on the same server. Provided that they keep the server capacity below 90% it shouldn't matter how many other accounts there are.
With this type of account (and any of the other types of account except 'free' you can use your site to earn money. In most cases a minimal amount of advertising added to your site should make cover the cost of the hosting.
This sort of hosting is similar to shared hosting but has two main differences. The first difference is that it is a lot more expensive for a similar sized account. The second is that it provides the additional tools that are required to allow you to sub-divide your account and provide sub-accounts to other people with their own copy of the control panel to allow them to control their sub-account (shared hosting only has the one control panel for the account).
With a reseller account you can even sell hosting to others where you provide them with their own shared hosting account that looks no different from any other shared hosting account.
A virtual private server gives you what looks like a complete server to yourself. You can decide for yourself what services you want installed to run your hosting (with the above types you have to take what the hosting provider makes available). You are still sharing the real server with perhaps half a dozen other accounts but with VPS each is running within its own virtual server environment and so has no knowledge or impact on the other accounts except for sharing the resources of the server (such as the CPU).
Here you get the complete server to yourself. There is no sharing of anything on the server with anyone else.
This is basically the same as a dedicated server except that instead of the hosting provider setting up all the servers and allowing you to purchase the use of one of them, with colocation you provide the server which is set up in the hosting provider's data centre. In this instance what you are paying the hosting provider for is the fast connection to the internet and 24/7 monitoring of your server to make sure that it keeps running.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.