Your website requires a place to store its contents and a way to make the contents accessible to its online visitors. That’s where a web server comes in. A web server hosts all the files of your site and serves them as HTML pages to your visitors. This process is called web hosting. So what type of hosting will work best for your site? Well it depends on the size, resources and complexity of your site. You will also need to consider the support quality, downtime, security options and overall reliability of your host.
I will here discuss about some of the most popular website hosting options so that you can figure out which option will best suit your needs.
Shared Website Hosting
Shared hosting is the type of hosting where files of a particular site are stored on a server along with the files of many other sites. The hosting provider usually accept orders from many different clients and allocate every client a little slice of the server. Shared hosting can be free or paid.
If you are new to website publication and just trying to gather some experience by starting a small blog or portfolio site, then you may want to have a look at free hosting options first. Free hosting plans generally don’t allow you to use your own domain name by default. However some popular free hosting providers like Blogger and WordPress will allow you to setup your own domain name with them. To use a custom domain name on Blogger, click here. To get rid of the .wordpress.com part on WordPress, click here. However, you should move to paid hosting service once your blog/website begins to grow since free hosting solutions have some limitations when it comes to control, utility, SEO and branding facilities.
Paid shared hosting is the most common and cheapest paid solution available out there. Though it best suits small websites, it works just fine for most websites on the web. However, shared hosting has its own demerits. As you share resources with other people, your site tends to be a bit slower especially If one site on the server gets a ton of traffic. Shared hosting is also called virtual hosting.
With dedicated hosting, you basically purchase an entire server so that you don’t need to share anything with anybody else. As you are the only user of the server, you get some unique facilities such as quicker website load time, more customization options, space, security and control. There are mainly two types of dedicated hosting there – managed and unmanaged dedicated hosting. Managed dedicated hosting include full technical support and upgrades while unmanaged dedicated hosting doesn’t include those facilities.
Virtual Private Server/VPS Hosting
With virtual private server hosting, the server is shared by multiple users but users are not generally affected by each other. In terms of benefits dedicated hosting can be considered as a cross between dedicated hosting and shared hosting.
Cloud hosting allows you to use multiple servers simultaneously to host a single website. This type of hosting is ideal for big business websites that never want to experience downtime.
Choosing the right hosting provider and making everything fit together can be a challenging task especially when you’re just starting out as a website publisher. There are different types of web hosting services out there and you have plenty of options to choose from. However, you need to pick the best option available as hosting is a highly important part of your overall business strategy.