One of the most lucrative industries to be born alongside the internet is web hosting. With every company needing a website, and every second individual building one for good measure, online real estate has consistently been in high demand. Supply has remained plentiful and that has allowed web hosting companies to sell subscription services at a low price.
The best web hosting, however, does more than just provide space on a server to host your website. The most well-loved companies provide a range of plans, extensive customer support, and easy adaptability. Web hosting comes in different forms and the best hosting companies ensure that the appropriate choice is always available to meet the varying demands of businesses and individuals. Before you go looking for web hosting, it’s important to understand the different options.
Main Kinds of Hosting
There are five main types of web hosting that cater for everyone, from individual bloggers to massive eCommerce corporations.
Shared Web Hosting
The most popular kind of web hosting is shared hosting which requires sharing server space with other websites. Because your individual website doesn’t require heavy resources, a shared server can host many sites like yours. This makes web hosting cheap and accessible to just about anyone.
Unless you are expecting heavy traffic from the start, or are running resource-heavy scripts on your website, shared web hosting is right for you.
There are downsides in that an unexpected influx of traffic to your website or another website on the same server might affect your performance. Also, you don’t have much control over your hosting and have to rely on the provider’s security systems. For most individuals, however, that is actually ideal.
Managed WordPress Hosting
WordPress is one of the most popular website building platforms, and many hosting providers now offer managed WordPress hosting. This type of hosting is ideal for anyone using WordPress who needs nothing more than a shared server. Managed WordPress hosting is great, as your provider will keep everything up-to-date and troubleshoot common problems for you.
Cloud-Based Web Hosting
Cloud-based web hosting is, in hosting terms, relatively new. This technology makes it possible for hundreds of individual servers to work together in the cloud. Instead of having to rely on a very finite level of resources, you are accessing a vast network of servers that can always keep growing. As more websites are created, and visitors start pouring in, the hosting provider simply expands the grid.
Cloud-based web hosting is easy to use but you are still giving over most of the control to your hosting provider. It is slightly more expensive than regular shared hosting but the added expense may be worth it if you are expecting quick growth.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A virtual private server (VPS) falls somewhere in between shared hosting and having a dedicated server. Like shared hosting, your website shares a server with other websites but you are allocated a specific proportion of the resources available. Unlike shared hosting, another website’s surge in traffic will not affect you as they have no access to your resources.
Since a VPS provides a significant chunk of the resources, you are paying for what you get, no matter how much of it you use. Businesses generally need to know they have the resources for when they need them but it does end up being a lot more expensive for individuals.
When you pay for a dedicated server you get an entire server for yourself. Instead of sharing a server (or a range of servers) with other website owners, all the resources available are yours. This is obviously ideal for big companies with a significant online presence.
However, it is not just the breadth of resources available that makes a dedicated server worthwhile. Rather, having access to a dedicated server gives you a lot more control over your hosting than you could ever have on a shared server. If you have the technical skills, you can troubleshoot on your own and optimize your use of the server. Importantly, you can also have full control over security protocols. This is crucial for companies responsible for extremely sensitive data.
How To Choose The Most Appropriate Hosting For You
Choosing the right hosting should not be too difficult if you know what type of website you are building. With a clear understanding of your needs, you can decide how much dedicated space on a server is appropriate. If you think you might experience rapid growth, cloud-based web hosting might be the perfect fit.
Make sure to take a look at customer reviews before you settle on an option. They will be able to tell you if the hosting provider does not live up to its promises.