All sites and blogs on the Internet start with hosting. Choosing the right web hosting plan can seem a bit daunting, especially if you aren’t a techie In this article I’ll clear up the differences between the most common hosting types.
- What is Web Hosting ?
- Types of Hosting Services
A. What is Web Hosting ?
Web hosting is a service that allows organisations and individuals to post a website or web page on the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet. Websites are hosted or stored, on special computers called servers. Until 1991, the Internet was restricted to use only …for research and education in the sciences and engineering and was used for email, telnet, FTP and USENET traffic – but only a tiny number of web pages.
To host a website on the internet, an individual or company would need their own computer or server. As the number of users on the World Wide Web grew, the pressure for companies, both large and small to have an online presence grew.
B. Types Of Web Hosting
Web Hosting Runs On web Servers. The scope of web hosting services varies greatly.What caused me some confusion when I started out was differentiating between “host” and “hosting package”, they are used somewhat interchangeably. Most hosts offer multiple packages which may be wildly different. For example: GoDaddy offers all four hosting types mentioned in our title. The best way to to differentiate between hosting packages, hosting .you should look at the additional services on offer. Some additional services would be: backups, level of support, malware scanning and cleaning, SSL certificates, free CDN bandwidth, platform specific services (e.g: WordPress) and staging site creation, etc
The five basic categories are listed below-
- Free Hosting
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
Well look no further, this handy guide will explain the most common types of hosting available.
If you’re just starting out with a small blog or site, then free hosting might be right for you. As the name suggests, there is no cost for this hosting. Free web hosting can be a good choice when you just want to build a non-critical website for fun.
Be careful as you will not be able to transfer these free subdomains . In addition you don’t get no control over your hosting, apart from, perhaps, superficial display options. If you need to install extra software or modules, then you’re out of look. You’re pretty much stuck with it the way it is.
If you’re just starting out with your own website, a shared hosting plan is usually fine. Shared hosting is usually much cheaper than other hosting plans.Shared hosting is the budget option. It is extremely cheap, but also not very good –See the explanation given below in the article to understand how it works?
- Shared hosting refers to when your website is hosted on a server along with many other customers’ websites. Don’t worry, your users won’t know this – your website is still configured as a separate website on the server and can still have its own domain name etc. It is simply sharing the server with other websites.The big benefit of shared hosting is the price. Shared hosting can be very cheap.
- Remember how a server is a computer with resources like hard drive space, CPU speed and RAM? In a shared hosting environment, the host puts a large number of users on a single server. By large number, I mean that it can be over 1,000 users. Each user may have a number of sites so that one single server houses somewhere around 3,000 sites. If one website has some faulty code or simply gets a lot of visitors it could use 75% of a server’s memory. It means that the other 2,999 sites are left with 25% of the total RAM. This is called the “bad neighbour” effect and is one of the main reasons shared hosting is not the best idea.
- Generally you do not have much control over the server in this kind of hosting. You sometimes can get restricted shell command line access with shared hosting, but often this is not provided.
- So This type of Webhosting is not recommended for serious businesses.
- Virtual private servers share one physical server but acts like multiple, separate servers. Even though each VPS instance shares hardware resources, they are allocated a dedicated slice of the computing resources. It Is probably the most popular service to upgrade to and it can be the most well-balanced one as well.
- First of all, a VPS server is usually limited to 10-20. A VPS server is literally split into as many parts as there are users. If there are 10 users, 10GB of RAM and 200GB of hard drive space on the server, each user will be able to expend 1GB of RAM and 20GB of space. Once you hit the RAM limit your site may go down, but the others will remain stable.The hypervisor is the one responsible for managing the virtual machines that create this separation within the server.This simple addition removes almost all of the bad neighbour effect.
- VPS packages can come as low as $10/month but most of them would clock in at around $25 with the average service being $50 a month. As you scale up you can get into the $120 – $150 range but don’t worry too much, if you actually need that much RAM and bandwidth you are probably making enough money to easily cover the cost.
- VPS hosting is often offered in managed or unmanaged. If you go with managed hosting, then the web hosting company will look after all the technical maintenance and security of the server. With unmanaged hosting, you are responsible for the technical maintenance and security updates, so if you aren’t technical, or don’t have somebody to look after these things for you.
Dedicated hosting is a step above VPS hosting, and is more expensive too. With dedicated hosting, you get to host your website and services on a computer dedicated solely to you, without having to share the computer with anyone else. This makes it more secure, and faster. This is the hosting service that negates all bad neighbour issues because you are all alone on a server. This provides a host of benefits-
- Since this is your dedicated machine, you are free to set it up whatever way you like, and install whatever programs and software you need whenever you want. You may be able to choose the amount and type of memory, the OS to install, and other hardware elements that make up a computer. This gives you a lot of flexibility which may be needed for some specialised software. You can run a bunch of tools that serve only one purpose: making your website faster.
- You don’t have to worry about other websites on a shared server taking up your resources. With dedicated servers, you will have full command line or shell access, which allow you to log in. This gives you full control of the machine. The downside here requires technical knowledge like a bit knowledge about computers and server technology.
- Dedicated servers are priced from $100 and up. But if you are considering a dedicated server, you should also consider the costs of hiring a system administrator to take care of the technical details.
Cloud hosting is the daddy of hosting. It is essentially the same as VPS hosting. Some companies don’t even call their service VPS anymore, the say Cloud or Cloud VPS. Let’s look at what cloud computing is first, and get back to what this has to do with hosting. Cloud based hosting allows you to use the resources of multiple servers in a network. This makes it even more scalable, in addition to providing a host of additional benefits, mainly based on security.
Instead of being hosted on a single dedicated machine, sites are hosted on virtual hosting spaces, that can use resources such as disk space and CPU from an effectively unlimited pool of underlying physical computers. This means that cloud hosting offers unrivalled reliability and scalability: because the hosted services don’t depend on any one physical machine, the underlying hardware can be swapped out and upgraded as it gets older, without interrupting the services sitting on top.
Cloud systems are great if you want to be able to scale your website a lot further than traditional systems. That said, at this point, it doesn’t make a huge difference to most people shopping around for VPS. Many companies are switching to cloud-based systems to replace their regular VPS systems simply because of the benefits it offers to them as well. Actually, many hosts base their whole infrastructure on the giant cloud-based architectures of Amazon and Google.
Choosing a hosting package can be pretty difficult. The first step is understanding the type of hosting you need: shared, VPS, dedicated or cloud. Hopefully, this article has given you the background to figure that out. At the end of the process, you should have 2-3 favourites at which point it will boil down to personal preference. Perhaps a short talk with support – to gauge their helpfulness – will go a long way.
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