Whether you’re just starting out or planning to expand your business, the online sphere is the place to do it. But before you establish your online presence, you need to set up a few things. Web hosting is one of them.
Hosting your own website(s) is never a good idea, some of the many pitfalls of self-hosting being power outages, a slow connection and hardware maintenance that is entirely up to you. There’s a reason why the global market for web hosting is flourishing at the moment: the problems that may arise from web hosting need to be handled properly and fast by trained professionals, while you focus, headache-free, on developing your business. Besides professional support, web hosts offer rich power supplies and ultra-fast connections, able to withstand the most challenging situations.
That being said, you are left with three main options, depending on the kind of resources you need: shared hosting, dedicated hosting and VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting. These three options combine to cover everything from small websites, to medium and very large ones (the number of monthly visitors is usually the one that determines the size of your website).
Shared hosting is by far the most common and the most affordable hosting option out of the three. As the name suggests, this type of hosting refers to one single server hosting multiple website. The shared resources is what makes this option so affordable. Shared hosts can support more than you imagine. For example, they can handle websites that run WordPress or Joomla and the process is very easy to set up.
value and performance
If you’re just getting started, this is the best option for you, in terms of value and performance. Only when your website grows, say over 30,000 visitors per month, should you look for other types of hosting that offer more resources. Otherwise, shared hosting is the proper solution for a very large percentage of active websites on the internet right now.
Sure enough, sharing server space has its disadvantages. Apart from the limited resources, other problems may arise when using shared hosting. For instance, if any of the other websites hosted on the same server as yours uses a lot of traffic, or experiences any other kind of technical difficulty that leads to using up more resources, your website’s performance will be gravely affected as well.
Another downside to shared hosting is not being able to install your own programs and modules, as most shared hosting servers are set up as to satisfy the needs of the majority of users. So if you need to install any extra scripts or modules to improve your website(s) performances, you might find this option rather restrictive.
The second option, dedicated hosting, is usually significantly more expensive but it also has a lot more resources to offer. This type of hosting is meant for larger websites, applications or databases. Generally, successful online businesses opt for dedicated servers because they provide better accessibility and uptime and can handle a large amount of traffic.
Dedicated server hosting is the proper solution for you if you want full control over the data that is stored and accessed on your website. You have full access to your server, where you can install your own applications and modules and which you can upgrade anytime. With dedicated servers, you also enjoy a higher level of security and round-the-clock technical support. Because system resources such as CPU power, disk space or memory are not shared, as is the case with shared hosting, your websites are much less likely to be slowed down or have any downtime at all.
Particularly if you are running an online store or other type of e-commerce website, dedicated hosting is the best solution for you, because it guarantees that your visitors will have a pleasant experience, as they are able to log-in, browse and access all pages without difficulty.
The main downside to dedicated server hosting is its price. Dedicated servers are more expensive, which is why most businesses use shared or virtual private server hosting first before switching to dedicated hosting (if they ever do). Besides the cost, the other disadvantage of dedicated hosting is maintenance. There is a reason why most web hosting companies provide round-the-clock technical support: setting up, maintaining and repairing a server is no easy task for those who do not possess extensive networking knowledge and skills. A dedicated server rarely crashes, but when it does, it has to be fixed quickly and properly as to avert loss of data and of course, revenue.
Finally, there is VPS hosting. This is the newest form of web hosting and it’s gaining popularity very fast. Individuals and businesses alike are often confused by this type of web hosting, so let’s figure out what exactly is VPS. As mentioned before, VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, and this type of hosting is a hybrid of shared hosting and dedicated server hosting, and it usually serves as a bridge between the two.
acts just like a dedicated server
Basically, a VPS has a large amount of computing resources that you can buy a portion of, for a price, of course. For that fee, you can reserve as much of those resources as you consider necessary. As to how exactly that works, a VPS is partitioned into various virtual spaces that have their own environment: operating system, disc space, and bandwidth. The space that the user buys acts just like a dedicated server but it is in actuality a part of one physical server.
The main advantage for those who opt for this kind of hosting is its scalability. You can start off with the minimum amount of resources you consider necessary and then as your website grows gradually increase your hosting plan to accommodate your needs. From a financial standpoint, VPS hosting is less affordable than shared hosting but more than dedicated server hosting. Besides that, other issue may arise such as web hosts overselling their space, relying on the probability that each account on the physical server might not use its allocated set of resources. If this happens, every website on the server will be affected.