I'm running a forum and I enjoy managing the forum, but I don't enjoy researching web hosts. I just want it to be on a good host and be done with it. I spent hours researching and had to search in different places to find information. I don't know of a central place that talks aobut all the hosting options and their pluses and minuses. So in an effort to share knowledge, we should have a primer here on the different web hosting options. I'll start. Shared hosting: You get some space on a server. It is shared by a few or many other sites. You use whatever software and OS is already provided and it is shared by everyone on the server. Many times, it is oversold, meaning the host puts more sites than should be on one server and it slows things down for everyone. Good for smaller forums. Usually the cheapest plan. VPS: Virtual Private Server. Like shared hosting, but everything is partitioned, including disk space and memory. You run your own OS and software for your site. Multiple sites are still in one server. You have more control but also greater responsibility. Usually faster than shared server. Also more expensive. Dedicated server: This is essentially leasing or renting a server. You get full control over it and you can choose self-managed or host-managed, which is more expensive. Best for very active forums. Better speed than VPS or shared hosting but also usually a lot more expensive. Can run $100+ vs. $10 for shared hosting. Co-location: You provide the server, the host provides the pipes. You're basically renting space at a data center. This affords you the most control but also requires a lot of responsibility as you sometimes have to go to the location to fix the problems. Self hosting: The server is at your home and you're using your ISP to serve the data. This gives the most flexibility but also the most responsibility. Hosting cost is pretty much free, but you have to provide the hardware. Possibly violates your ISP TOS. Not good for active forums. Requires a permemenant IP address. Some of this may be somewhat inaccurate as I had to piecemeal information together. Perhaps people with more expertise can contribute. Are there other options? How do resellers fit into the picture? edit for correction.