Do you have an idea for a website or maybe you already have a website that you want to move from a free account into your own control. Maybe you have a site on shared hosting that you are looking to take the next step with due to a traffic increase. The first question you should be asking is “which website hosting services will suit my needs”
There are many hosting companies out there, some good some bad but they all more or less offer the same products. This article will have a look at what shared hosting, dedicated hosting and cloud hosting are and what they offer you.
Shared hosting is also sometimes called shared services or virtual hosting. When you use shared hosting the server that stores and allows access to your website is usually shared with 100s sometimes 1000s or other websites.
Shared hosting tends to be significantly cheaper than any other types of website hosting services and you can pick up a monthly hosting package for only a few dollars or pounds per month.
Shared hosting usually comes with a good amount of disk space and a lot or unlimited email addresses you can create. The amount of bandwidth varies from provider to provider. If your site is low traffic or a personal site this will probably never matter to you. A server can handle hundreds of low traffic websites
Firstly problems can occur if a company oversells the hosting on a sever meaning there are more websites on a server than it can realistically handle. This means that all these websites fight for the same resources of the server in effect slowing all the websites down. This can make loading and response times slower and potentially put visitors off.
Another major downside is the security aspect of a shared host. As I have experienced myself a security breach affecting one site can affect all sites on the shared hosting as they are all on the same server.
Shared hosting will always be the more popular of the website hosting services simply because of the price and the availability to users. If your site is personal or small with a relatively low amount of traffic this may be the web hosting solution for you. If you have a large site which drives a lot of traffic or run an e-commerce site for example it may be best to look at other alternatives
Cloud hosting is a relatively player to new website hosting services. It is for those who need more than shared hosting but don’t want to pay the premium for dedicated hosting.
Cloud hosting gives you the ability to have full control as if you were using a dedicated server. Although multiple sites can be on the same server they are separated so there is less impact from other sites on your site and the server in general. Cloud hosting is much more scalable and you can pay for just what you need and increase it as demand grows.
The downsides to cloud hosting are that you still have relatively high cost and still have a degree of security concerns . The other downside is that although popular is still a relatively new technology.
Dedicated hosting is sometimes also referred to as a dedicated server or managed hosting A dedicated server is a server that is leased just by you and is not shared with any other person or website. You are renting the server and the connection.
There are 2 main types of dedicated servers. There is the standard dedicated server where you are fully responsible for all aspects of the server including setup and configuration or there is managed hosting. Managed hosting is where the hosting company takes control of some of the more technical parts such as setups and system management.
You do pay more for managed hosting but if you don’t have the technical skills it is worth going the managed server as it will save a lot of man hours in configuring and management.
Because of the fact that you are the only site on the server security is much less of a concern than it is on a shared hosting package. Resource usage is also entirely dedicated to you.
A dedicated server is also much more customisable. Most providers let you choose things like the memory, operating system, software installed and a host of other things.
If you are a large business or a site with high traffic then when looking at website hosting services a dedicated server should be given serious consideration due to the security and ability to customise the server to get exactly what you want.
The main downside to a dedicated server is the cost. Even a cheap dedicated server could cost 20 times per month what you pay for shared hosting and could reach hundreds per month for a more powerful server.
The only other real downside to dedicated hosting is that it does require a little more skill to be able to run the server, even more so if you choose not to go the managed server route.
Colocation is basically Dedicated server hosting but you provide and are responsible for the physical server. You are basically renting what is called rack space in a data centre and the connection to the internet.