Types of Hosting to Look Out For
Hosting is a complicated subject that confuses everyone, especially those without prior knowledge. The websites you view in a browser are codes written in different coding languages and displayed in a manner that the common person can understand. The code for a specific website is stored in a bunch of files, like the ones stored on your computer. The difference is that website files aren’t just stored on any hard drive. They are held in a server. This raises the question of what hosting is and how it differs from a server.
Simply put, companies that own servers on which you host your site are known as hosts. Additional services offered by such companies include malware scanning and server management just to name a few. In this post, we discuss the various types of hosting that website owners should consider.
Depending on the technology used, servers can be categorized into four types i.e. shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud hosting.
This refers to when a single physical server along with its available resources is shared among many users. Every customer on a shared hosting platform has their own limits when it comes to resources email accounts, monthly traffic, databases, disk space and FTP accounts just to name a few. Users however share performance resources including the CPU, RAM, MySQL, and APACHE. Because most expenditures are shared, this type of hosting is ideal for beginners.
Advantages of shared hosting
- All expenditures are shared among customers
- No need to perform routine maintenance when running programs
- Doesn’t require Linux administration skills
- Easy to use, web-based control panel makes it easy for one to upload their site
- Great choice for smaller websites or anyone on a tight budget
Disadvantages of shared hosting
- Limited resources at your disposal
- Inability to install programs and modules that you may need on the server
Otherwise known as a virtual private server, VPS refers to a server that runs its own copy of operating system and whose users have super-user level access to. You have the freedom to install any software and modules that you may need. The beauty of VPS is that it is easy to configure and functionally equivalent to a dedicated server. Virtual private servers are big on operating system virtualization, which basically means that several operating systems run on one physical server. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of a dedicated server at a lower cost. Many companies prefer VPS hosting because it offers more control over the environment as compared to shared hosting and is worth the added expense.
Advantages of VPS hosting
- No risk of other websites accessing your files since you don’t share the operating system with anyone
- You have the freedom to customize all server applications like APACHE, MySQL and PHP depending on your needs
- Even though you share the server with other customers, you have plenty of control and can restart it without affecting anyone else
- Dedicated amounts of RAM are available to you at any time
Disadvantages of VPS hosting
- It is more expensive than shared hosting
- Some brands that offer VPS hosting don’t allocate resources appropriately
This is a hosting configuration where the server is devoted to a single website or for a specific purpose. It is way more flexible than shared or VPS hosting because the customer has full control over the resources and how they are allocated. Due to the high level of control, dedicated hosting is best suited for websites that have more than 100,000 visitors per month. This hosting is further classified as managed hosting or self-managing.
Under managed hosting, the service provider is tasked with the responsibility of managing the server. As such, you don’t have full control over the server. Self-managed hosting, on the other hand, gives the customer full control of the server. Great control means that dedicated servers offer plenty of flexibility and you can run more applications in a streamlined manner.
Advantages of dedicated hosting
- It grants a certain level of control and freedom that you can’t get with VPS or shared hosting
- It allows for high stability and performance to ensure that all functions are operational 100% of the time
- Unlike shared hosting, server congestion isn’t an issue for organizations that invest in dedicated hosting
- Firms that use this service can deploy security measures such as firewall configurations
- It offers unlimited bandwidth
Disadvantages of dedicated hosting
- It is the most expensive type of hosting
- It can prove a problem for someone who isn’t good at managing a server
- Diagnosing and resolving problems is more difficult compared to shared and VPS hosting
Which type of hosting should I choose?
The question of which type of hosting you should choose is one only you can answer. Your decision should be influenced by factors like website traffic and type of website i.e. a dedicated server will prove handy for an ecommerce website while blogs can be hosted on a shared server. The key lies in identifying your needs as well as the amount of money you are willing to spend.