Your web host is where your website is stored. Think of it as the place where all the images, HTML, etc, are stored in one place so that people can access them on the internet. Websites are stored on servers, and these servers are kept in physical locations.
But there are many types of web hosting plans to choose from, and they differ in many factors including speed, reliability, control, etc.
Which one is right for you? Let’s look at the four main options to help you decide.
This is the most common type of hosting, especially for small websites and personal websites that don’t receive high levels of traffic. This is where your website is stored on a server along with other sites. This could be just a few websites or it could be thousands. The websites usually share resources like the CPU and RAM.
Very little technical knowledge required for this option, and this makes shared hosting attractive for beginners. It’s also typically the least expensive option.
But there is no root access, and there is little ability to handle spikes in traffic. Your website’s performance can also be affected by the other sites that share the server.
Dedicated hosting is where your website is stored on its own server. You typically rent the whole server for you, and this provides you with complete control. It also usually means you can handle large spikes in traffic better, and it may lead to a faster website.
However, it’s more expensive. It’s only really necessary if you require a lot of control and the best server performance.
Cloud hosting is where a network of servers, which is called a cloud, all host a selection of websites together. This means there are multiple computers working together, which gives it more ability to handle high levels of traffic should one of the websites suddenly see a spike. A host may also provide good backup and disaster recovery options.
Root access is often not provided, so this typically has less control than dedicated hosting, and the cost is often high.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A VPS is where a single server is divided into various virtual servers, and each website is hosting on a virtual server. So it is like the website is hosted on its own dedicated server, but it is actually sharing a server.
It may provide root access to your virtual server, and it can also provide a more secure environment. It can be a useful option in between shared and dedicated hosting.
Choose the Hosting Solution that Makes Sense to You
These are the four main types of hosting that you can choose from when you decide to launch a website. However, there are many hosting companies to choose from, and even though they may offer these types of hosting, the service will vary, so choose your host with care.
They will provide different prices and features, and they will have reputations ranging from excellent to very bad. So do your research and make sure you choose not only the right type of hosting, but also the right web host.
Lily Miller is a business software and website specialist. She enjoys consulting businesses about their website and software needs and she also enjoys sharing her insights online.