There are many options when it comes to servers to host your website. Here is your guide to the different types of web hosting.
So, you’re finally ready to get your business website or even your personal blog up and running.
You know what you want your domain name to be, you’ve planned what your homepage will look like, and you have some fabulous content ready to captivate your viewers.
The only major thing you have left to do?
Learn about the different types of web hosting, so you can make the right choice for your site.
In this post, we’ll break down the different types of web services you can use to get your site up and running.
What is a Host?
Before we get into the specific types of web hosting, let’s be certain you’re clear on what a web host actually is.
In a nutshell, your web host company is what ensures that your website is online, up and running, and available for people to visit.
Without a web hosting service (even a free one) you can’t get your website online. Your web host owns a network of physical servers — think of them as buildings in which your website lives.
Once you’ve selected your web host, an Internet user just has to type in your site’s domain name, and they’re on your site.
Now, let’s break down your options when it comes to web hosting types.
Shared Web Hosting
This is the cheapest and most basic form of web hosting, ideal for sites on a budget and who don’t get very much traffic.
Here, your website shares space on the server with lots of other websites. Often, you can get away with paying as little as $10 a month for a shared hosting plan.
However, there are a few drawbacks that come with this low cost.
If another site on the server suddenly goes viral, because your site uses the same bandwidth, it may end up getting kicked offline. Even if your site does stay online because of another site’s activity, its loading and performance speed will be slowed down.
This is a great hosting option to begin with. We just don’t suggest maintaining a shared hosting platform once your site begins to pick up speed.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
VPS hosting is the middle man between shared web hosting and a dedicated server.
You will still share your server with other websites, but your site won’t be impacted by any traffic surges or issues from the sites you share your server with.
Every website has its own special space on the server that no others can share. Think of it as having your own apartment within a large apartment complex. You all live in the building, but stick to your individual apartments — and no one can get in through your front door.
Cloud-Based Web Hosting
Cloud-based website hosting has become increasingly popular in recent years.
In a nutshell, it’s the idea of connecting hundreds of different servers so that they function as one within the cloud. This means it’s possible for these hosts to handle sudden surges in traffic to your website by expanding to another server.
So, your website won’t get kicked offline.
This is a smart move for those in a heavy growth phase.
If you’re interested in cloud-based web hosting, chances are good that you have a Mac. Check out this site for advice on the top web hosts for Mac users.
Dedicated Server Web Hosting
Once you’ve become a popular, established company (and you will!) you may find that shared hosting no longer fits your needs.
Your site may have so much traffic that it needs more server space and bandwidth. You may also have increased security concerns as you begin to store sensitive client and company information on your website.
Now is the time to consider making the switch to dedicated server web hosting.
This means you’ll have a server all to yourself. You’ll have total control over your hosting platform, traffic to other sites won’t impact your website’s loading speeds, and you’ll get peace of mind regarding security.
Of course, you should expect to pay a bit more — usually over $100 a month — for dedicated hosting. But for companies with a lot of traffic, it’s well worth it.
Can You Host Your Own Website?
Finally, let’s talk about hosting your own website.
Is it possible?
Yes, but it’s generally not a good idea.
If you act as your own web host, you’ll be responsible for buying your server, installing the software, monitoring site activity, handling security issues, bandwidth and backup power…the list goes on.
In a word?
Also, avoid those allegedly “free” web hosting companies. Read more about why on this page.
Which of These Types of Web Hosting Works for Your Site?
We hope this post has helped you to learn more about the available types of web hosting.
Remember that web hosting services are scalable, meaning that you can add on more services and features as your business grows. Additionally, it is possible (though a slight hassle sometimes) to switch web hosting companies if you become dissatisfied with the service.
Looking for more tips on how to improve your company’s website? Need a little help when it comes to understanding basic search engine optimization techniques? Want to learn more about website security?
Our blog is here to make sure you have all the information you need.
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