Whether you want to start you own blog, build a personal website or launch an eCommerce business, one of the first things you’ll have to decide on is web hosting. There are thousands of web hosting providers, they are also different types of web hosting to choose from. If you’re not particularly tech savvy or you’ve never had to deal with website development, you might get lost in all the information.
Your web hosting can affect your website’s performance as well as search engine rankings, choosing the right solution for yourself is pertaining to your success. Whenever your website is down you will lose visitors, if your website works slowly people won’t even bother browsing through it, getting hacked will hurt your reputation and search engine rankings. There are many other issues that come from choosing a poor web host or hosting plan. This article will introduce you to different types of web hosting and lay out what to look for when making your choice so that you get the best service for your money.
Shared hosting is considered to be the most basic type of hosting available as well as the most affordable. As its name suggests, choosing a shared hosting plan means that your website will be hosted on the same server with hundreds or even thousands of other websites. All the server resources are shared. A software is run on the server that divides the resources between accounts. So each website is allocated its own share. The hosting company will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the server but no further than to make sure everything is up and running smoothly. The low price of shared hosting makes it a viable option for both personal websites as well as small businesses.
However, shared hosting has its fair share of drawbacks. Since all the resources are common, hundreds of users are draining resources from the same place which can result in server downtimes, bandwidth spikes and overall poor performance. Shared hosting plans typically come with some level of data cap, only a set of gigabytes is assigned to a user for both storage and data transfer. Shared servers are also not good at handling sudden traffic spikes, for that reason if a website experiences a sudden onset of visitors it might face suspension. Sudden traffic spikes can cause the server to go down, which means if one website hoards too many resources it affects all the other websites hosted on that server.
While it’s not necessarily true for every hosting provider, some companies can run thousands of websites on a single machine, which results in the server being slow or even going down due to overloading.Yet there are several excellent hosting companies which put the clients as their first priority. They provide outstanding service and live up to all their guarantees. But if you can stretch your budget just a little bit, you are better off looking at other hosting options.
VPS hosting is somewhat similar to shared hosting in the way that multiple websites are hosted on a single server, however the major difference is in the virtualization software that is used for VPS servers. This software divides the server into equal sections called virtual private hosts, which act as independent from one another. So each website is hosted on one of those mini web servers, this insures your website against downtimes caused by sudden traffic spikes. Since virtual private hosts are isolated from one another this leaves more room for customization unlike shared hosting where you can only use the software that is already pre-installed on the server. VPS offers a certain degree of scalability, meaning that if you need additional resources such as storage you can request them. Keep in mind however, that said resources are still limited to the physical capabilities of the machine itself.
VPS hosting would be your next upgrade from a shared hosting plan. It offers more stability and better performance, while not being that much pricier than shared hosting. If you don’t have a large budget but your website receives tons of traffic, VPS will be ideal for you.
The idea behind cloud hosting is that you connect multiple server banks and computers and the data is spread out between them. In layman terms, instead of your website’s data such as scripts and media files being hosted in one single location, cloud hosting stores that data among multiple computers (which if visualized would create a “cloud”). Thus avoiding a number of complications that often come with more traditional hosting methods.
For instance, if your website needs more bandwidth or experiences sudden traffic spikes, instead of the server overloading with requests and crashing, cloud hosting will pull the resources from other servers. Scalability is not a problem for cloud hosting. Say your website experiences a sudden spike in media requests, all the cloud host has to do is increase the number of servers your data is available from. Same goes for storage, should your website require more disc space, the provider can add more locations for your data to be stored at. This is something a single server hosting simply isn’t capable of.
When cloud hosting providers promise near perfect uptime, you are not being lied to. Because a website is available at a multitude of servers, it’s unlikely your website will go down from an unexpected power failure or any other server-side issues. If a single server goes down, another will be added to the cloud network, ensuring your content is always available for users.
With cloud hosting you pay exactly for what you get, as in you only pay for the resources you need, it has the best performance to cost ratio. If you happen to require additional resources, it can be easily adjusted through a couple of clicks. Overall, cloud hosting is often recommended for medium to high traffic websites.
What is the best hosting for you?
The best advice that can be given about hosting is to know your needs. Shared hosting is great for personal websites or blogs that do not receive a lot of traffic. Small businesses can benefit from it as well. VPS is the best option if you have a larger website but a tight budget and cloud hosting is best suited for websites that consume a lot of resources and receive a lot of visitors each day. By determining your website’s needs, you can decide on what type of hosting to go for.
MariiaHepalova is a content writer at DesignContest.com. She has written for various online publications and blogs. With an equal passion for both technology and educating people, she strives to produce content that is informative yet easy to understand.