To make a website available to the world you’ll need both a domain and hosting for your site. When choosing a hosting package however, you’ll be presented with all the different types of website hosting available which can be confusing and even a little intimidating if you’re doing it for the first time.
In this article we’ll explain some of the options and types of hosting available to help you make an informed decision that will accommodate your needs.
Types of Hosting
What is Web Hosting
All websites need a place where data can be stored and made available online. Website hosting companies provide the essentials for making a website live on the internet.
Visitors can access your hosted website by typing your web address (domain name) in their browser. Their computer then connects to the server that hosts your website. The server in turn sends the files necessary (code, images etc.) to display your website in their browser. Read more on registering a domain.
With shared hosting, multiple websites share the resources of a large server. Shared hosting is the most affordable type of hosting available and is a good starting point for most small business websites and blogs.
Most shared hosting plans come with some free features and services. These include free domain registration, free SSL certificate and a basic website builder.
Having many sites on the same server does have its drawbacks though. Because all the sites on a shared server use the common resources like memory, bandwidth and CPU power, a surge of traffic on one site can cause others to slow down. To even things out, hosting providers usually cap the amount of traffic a site can have.
Managed WordPress Hosting
When you install WordPress on a normal hosting plan, you will be responsible for the day-today management of your website. If you choose a managed WordPress hosting plan, your hosting provider will deal with the technical side of running your site.
Managed WordPress hosting servers are also configured for WordPress so your website loads faster and is more secure.
Managed WordPress hosting costs a bit more than normal hosting plans, but you won’t have to worry about the day-today running of your website. You will however be responsible for adding new content, monitoring statistics and moderating comments.
Read more on How to Create a Small Business Website with WordPress.
The main difference between cloud hosting and shared hosting is that cloud hosting makes use of multiple interconnected servers while shared hosting uses only one. The advantage of this is that if there’s an issue on one server your website switches to another, eliminating downtime.
Cloud hosting is more reliable than normal shared hosting plans, making it a good option for business websites and sites with higher traffic volumes.
Cloud hosting costs a bit more than shared hosting. So if you don’t need the extra features, a normal shared hosting plan might be better for you.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Although a VPS hosting account still shares server space with other websites, it is separated from them by virtual portioning. This allows you to have more control of your site’s setup and maintenance.
With VPS hosting, you’ll have less competition for the resources of a single web server.
VPS hosting costs more than shared hosting but it provides more flexibility and storage space for websites that attract more traffic.
Dedicated Server Hosting
With a dedicated server, you lease an entire web server for your site or network of related sites. The hosting provider will take care of things like space, power, security and maintenance of the server hardware but everything else will be up to you. You will have to install software, set up the site architecture and perform routine maintenance. This requires a bit of technical expertise. If you don’t have the time or technical ability to do it yourself you’ll need to employ a professional.
The price of dedicated hosting is based on your choice of hardware and resource allocation. Dedicated hosting is more expensive but is suitable for more complex sites with a lot of traffic or sensitive data that needs high security.
Dedicated Managed Hosting
Most hosting companies also offer dedicated managed plans. Here the hosting provider manages the server for you – in case there are any problems. Pricing for dedicated managed servers is determined by the resources needed such as bandwidth, storage space and the amount of RAM.
Shared hosting is perfect when you’re getting started and for small business sites and blogs. Cloud hosting offers more reliability while VPS gives flexibility and storage space. When your business outgrows the other options you can consider dedicated hosting.
I hope this article helps to explain a little about the different types of website hosting available. If you need help or advice with hosting your website, please feel free to contact us. Visit our home and services pages for more about us and what we do.