A website is a critical tool in creating your presence online. Web hosting is where you store the files that help run your website on a server which is more powerful and capable than your computer. According to the Netcraft January 2018 Web Server Survey, there were over 1.8 billion websites as of January 2018. If you are one of the 1.8 billion website owners, you need web hosting that will help you stand out from the pack and deliver an exceptional user experience to your visitors. Here’s a primer on the different types of hosting to help you pick the most suitable one.
1. Shared Web Hosting
This is where your website is located on a server alongside several other sites. For many people looking for web hosting services, this is typically their first option. The affordability of shared web hosting is the reason it has grown to be an appealing option for small business, individual or even church website hosting.
The service provider spreads the operating cost over several clients who use the same server hence its affordable nature. Aside from the price, this hosting typically features setup done by the provider as well meaning that you don’t need to be a technical whiz to sign up. Once you do, you get to focus on your core business.
It is worth noting that with shared web hosting you run the risk of the ‘bad neighbour effect.’ What this means is that in case your website happens to share a server with another party experiencing heavy traffic, you may have some downtime since they consume a significant part of the available and finite resources. The service ranges from $2-$20 per month.
2. VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is where your website shares a physical server with others (typically 10-15 users), but unlike shared web hosting, this server houses several virtual servers. The implication here is that while your website is on a shared physical server, it is in effect acting as a standalone server since the provider allocates a part of the computing resources to each virtual server.
As a result, you bypass the ‘bad neighbour effect’ leading to no downtime in case of another website hogging up server resources. You avoid the higher cost of running a dedicated server which delivers a win-win. You can customize your setup without affecting others. Lastly, you can scale as your organization grows. The service ranges from $10-$200 a month.
3. Reseller Web Hosting
Reseller web hosting is where you sell different shared hosting plans thanks to extra features you receive for this purpose. These include free website templates, private name servers, and white label technical support. You control the storage, billing, RAM, etc. through a Web Host Manager (WHM) control panel. It is most suitable for an organization or individual intent on selling web hosting services. The service ranges from $15-$99 a month.
4. Dedicated Web Hosting
As the name suggests dedicated hosting is where you use a physical server without sharing with anyone else. Since you’re the only user, you don’t experience issues related to a ‘bad neighbour effect’ as the resources are only being used up by your website. While the costs are higher than other types of hosting plans, you most likely will be an organization with high traffic and can, therefore, afford the server space due to its mission-critical nature to your workflow.
If you aren’t technically savvy to manage running a server by yourself, you will need to hire a server administrator who can add to the costs. Dedicated hosting gives you ultimate flexibility as you can execute any customization you please. The service begins at $60 per month.
5. Cloud-Based Hosting
Cloud-based hosting is where individual servers work together to form a network. Considered the future of web hosting, cloud hosting offers scalability through the network it creates. If your server is a 32GB and your website needs 64GB, you’re not restricted to your server capacity. You can pull resources from the network to gain more storage.
It offers security against DDoS attacks since parallel requests aimed at paralyzing your server are spread among the other computers on the network. Your website becomes resilient to attacks compared to if it were on a single-server system.
Providers of this hosting type combine pay-as-you-go and fixed charges to come up with a price. As a result, the cost can be slightly unpredictable at times for example when your traffic spikes. The upside to this is that you only pay for what you use which is cost-effective than paying a fixed price for a server whose capacity you may never maximize on.
6. Colocation Web Hosting
With this hosting, you rent space (‘rack space’ or ‘cabinet space’ in industry parlance) in a colocation centre — the service providers avail power, IP address, bandwidth, and cooling systems. You bring your server, take care of its software, and provide the hard drive and backup system. In case of any hardware failure, you are liable for its repair or replacement.
Colocation is only favourable for organizations or individuals with technical skill, time and money necessary. It is a cost-effective way for an office to access higher bandwidth than what it has in-house. The price depends on the colocation centre’s charges.
7. Self Service Web Hosting
Self-service hosting, as the name implies, is where you do all the work. You purchase the servers, configure them, find space for them, provide adequate cooling and create a backup system for redundancy’s sake. Costs vary depending on the prices of the necessary components.
8. Managed WordPress Hosting
In this type of web hosting you don’t do any technical tasks but instead, access the settings via the WordPress dashboard. It is only available to WordPress users, and the host updates the plugins and themes. The service ranges from $20-$1,000 a month.
A website is a core online commerce tool that communicates your existence to the world. You need to choose an exceptional web hosting plan to leave a lasting impression on visitors to your website for your organization or business to grow.