One of the main problems people face while preparing for a website is the task of choosing the right web host and web hosting package which will suit their particular needs. Firstly it’s important you understand what web hosting is, what different types there are and which type will be best for you. Below is an outline of the four main web hosting types to help you make the right choices without being oversold a web hosting package and any features you may never need.
After you have created your website you now want it to be seen by visitors on the World Wide Web, to do this you need your website files to be uploaded on to a server. A server is basically a computer which is connected to the internet 24/7/365. You can either buy or rent different amounts of web space to store your website files on it. Hosting packages are typically different by the amount of web space allocated, the speed, amount of databases, amount of websites you can host, amount of email accounts.
Now you have a better understanding of what web hosting is, it’s now important to know the difference between the four main types of web hosting available to you.
A quite popular kind of web hosting especially with students and small personal sites is free web hosting, which means you don’t have to pay for it! but as we all know nothing comes completely free. Web hosting companies which offer free web hosting will generally require you to put some kind of advert on your website or link, this is a revenue stream for them which can actually make them a tidy profit. Having free hosting will limit the professionalism of your website and you also run the risk of a person browsing your site to leave by clicking on the advert. Other downsides of free hosting is that your site will probably be hosted on an older server, so you will undoubtably have more downtime issues. As always with free hosting you will have limited web space and bandwidth and will not get any technical support. Free hosting is a good option for small personal sites, students but if you are looking to build a professional and efficient web presence stay well clear.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is a paid hosting service where multiple sites are hosted on one server which is connected the internet. Each website has it’s own web space on the server to keep it separate from the other sites. Shared hosting is by far the most popular kind of hosting available and is most relevant to the majority of people who require web hosting. Shared hosting is the perfect choice for small to large business sites, personal sites, blogs and gallery sites.
Shared hosting is also the most economical way to host your website and is far better than free hosting. Shared hosting lets you have your own unique domain name attached to it and gives you access to many other services. You can expect features such as sending and receiving email, software installation such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc, databases, e-commerce features and fast, efficient technical support.
Virtual Private / Dedicated Servers
The have been many advancements over the last few years in both hardware and software technologies, especially in virtualization and have produced a very reliable type of web hosting known as virtual private / dedicated servers otherwise known as VPS or VDS. This kind of hosting refers to one physical server being partitioned off into separate, multiple virtual servers. Each of the virtual servers has the same appearance and features as having a dedicated server, it can run on it’s own operating system and also be independently rebooted. Virtual private / dedicated servers are a great choice for people who require more advanced features, without the cost of a full dedicated server.
Dedicated servers offer a completely dedicated solution solely for your website. You will have all the servers resources, processing power, web space, memory at your websites disposal. This is the recommended hosting option if you are expecting or experiencing high levels of traffic, need a higher level of reliability, more speed, enhanced security or require a specific software for your site. Dedicated servers are by far the best hosting solution available but are significantly more expensive.