It can be a challenge to find the proper web host for your site. In order to help you, this post is going to give you a basic overview of what web hosting is and the types of web hosting that are available. Then, we are going to focus on each type of web hosting in detail. We are going to talk about how they work, the pros and cons of different types of hosting, and who each type of hosting is best suited for.
Let’s get started with the basics.
What Types of Web Hosting Exist?
Web hosting is not a one-size-fits-all thing. Most providers will offer a variety of packages that vary in price and in the services they provide. However, the first decision you will need to make is deciding which type of hosting you want.
The best way to do this is look at the basic technology that’s used for the server. Once the basic technology is determined, than other features, such as performance, security, and scalability, become easier to understand.
There are four common types of hosting. They are:
- Cloud Hosting
Shared hosting is usually the best option for beginners. With shared hosting, the name says it all. Your hosting account is on the same server with hundreds or thousands of other sites.
One benefit of shared hosting is that you share the cost of the server with a number of people. That’s why most shared hosting packages are relatively affordable. There are some that cost as little as two dollars a month. On average, expect to spend between five and $10 a month. This makes shared hosting the perfect option for beginners. Additionally, in most cases, there’s very little for you to configure. The provider takes care of almost everything.
The downside of shared hosting is that you are sharing your server with a number of other people. A server is a computer. It has a finite amount of resources, including CPU speed and RAM. In the same way that running too many programs on your computer at one time can slow things down, having websites on the same server as yours that hog up all the processing power can lead to downtimes or reduced loading speeds.
Shared hosting is great for sites that don’t get a lot of traffic. Shared hosting is great for individuals on a tight budget. Some good options in this regard include Bluehost, SiteGround, and InMotion Hosting.
VPS means virtual private server. This is a balanced type of web hosting. The server is still shared, but it set up differently than shared hosting.
The benefits of VPS include reliability and stability. There’s usually no more than 20 websites on the server. This means that the demands of the server are drastically reduced and the server resources are evenly split. No one website is able to monopolize resources.
VPS provides flexibility, allowing you to customize your environment. Additionally, since you’re using a virtual machine, only a small percentage of the server’s resources are used. This means that the amount of space allotted to you can be increased easily. This is great for businesses that will grow in the future.
There aren’t a lot of downsides for this type of hosting. It’s going cost you a little bit more money than shared hosting. If you are on a tight budget, it might not work. VPS usually costs around $50 per month, but it can cost up to $200 a month.
If you have the money, it is recommended that you upgrade to VPS. It’s more expensive, but it’s a better hosting solution. When you start getting a lot of traffic on your site, you should definitely make the move. Check the fine print to know what you’re getting to make sure it matches what you need. Good options for VPS solutions include inMotion Hosting and Dreamhost.
Dedicated hosting is the big leagues. You have the server to yourself.
Since you have the server to yourself, you don’t have to worry about what other sites are hosted on the server because there are none. Security risks diminish. Since you have a computer all to yourself, a lot of companies let you customize it, including the operating system, hardware, and other elements.
A dedicated server does not come cheap. You should expect to pay between $60 a month and $350 or more a month. However, if your business needs a dedicated server, you should be making enough money where these costs are negligible. With a dedicated server, you’re putting your whole entire site on one computer. If it fails, your site is done. There are some arrangements where other modules can take over if there is a failure.
Thanks to high-end VPS’s, there are very few people who need a dedicated server. You should only look at a dedicated server if you have highly specialized needs or you want tight control over the privacy of your data.
Cloud hosting is very similar to VPS hosting in that your site is on a virtual machine. However, it’s not on just one physical server. Your site is on a network of computers from which you can pull power as needed.
The biggest benefit is scalability. Cloud hosting allows you to provide your site resources on an as-needed basis. Since you are pulling resources from a network of computers, you have access to all the resources your site needs. And you only get billed for the resources you use. A cloud server provides better protection against DDoS attacks.
The biggest downside is that there is no fixed pricing. You pay as you go. If you have a traffic spike, your costs can go up considerably.
Cloud hosting is recommended for individuals who are looking to scale their website a lot in the future. It’s likely that in the near future cloud hosting will replace dedicated hosting options. Some reputable services to look into for cloud hosting include Dreamhost, Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, and Linode.