Anyone having any stake in an online business, website, blog, even just in talking about the internet, must have heard about web hosting. Most of us also think that we know what that is, but do we really?
Those who manage a website had to learn at least the basics about hosting but maybe there are a few more things you should know and you’re simply not aware of it. This is why we decided to tackle the subject and tell our readers key facts about web hosting without going into too many unnecessary technical details.
What does web hosting mean
Plainly put, hosting means housing and maintaining the files behind a website. Basically to have a website, you need to put together files and these files need to be stored. This is where web hosting services come in.
Companies who offer web hosting services share or lease servers used to house files and provide a fast internet connection in order to serve those files (your website) back to you.
What about the types of web hosting?
There are different types of web hosting services which may confuse you at first. The type of hosting to choose depends on the needs of a client.
To make it more easier for you to understand the differences among the 6 main types of web hosting, we made a list that rounds up the benefits of each type and the kind of business client it is good for.
Free web hosting: you may think why even bother reading the rest of the list if there’s free web hosting available out there. Hold your horses, as good as it sounds, this options does have limited benefits and a few downfalls.
The benefits obviously include the fact that it is free and you may get free email too in some cases.
The downfalls? No domain name, few or no software options, very limited security, very limited database support and little technical support. Moreover, some free web hosting providers will require for you to advertise their stuff on your website.
Shared hosting: this is a very cost-effective solution where you get to have your own web domain and your website is hosted on a powerful server with up to 100 more websites. This means that you split the service cost among each other and that allows you to have great hosting at a small price. Shared hosting grants you multiple software options and good support too.
The downfalls include less security as you have many sites on one server, traffic volume is restricted and so is database and software support.
Shared hosting is a good option for small businesses operating in niche marketplaces and with average traffic to their website.
Dedicated hosting: this option grants you administrative access in full and unlimited software and application use. However, security and maintenance is not included and it is up to you to assure both.
We would recommend dedicated hosting to larger businesses as it is good for websites with high volume of traffic and it provides multiple domain names, a powerful email solution, database support and software support. It can be quite expensive but it allows you to manage the website in full.
Collocated hosting: if you have your own server, you may want to consider collocated hosting which enables you to put your server in a place where it will feel more at home. Basically it will be somewhere where there are dedicated resources to make your server run as smoothly as possible.
It grants the same benefits as dedicated hosting but the server is yours.
Cloud hosting: this is probably the most fashionable solution as it is fairly new and everything that is new tends to be on the lips of lay people more frequently than it should. Long story short, cloud hosting means multiple connected servers which create a virtual cloud you, as a client, are connected to. In terms of benefits it certainly is affordable, it reduces chances of server downtime and allows to manage easily peak loads.
However, the disadvantages of using cloud hosting include security, no real support, and sometimes less options are offered than you would be getting when paying the same price to a regular hosting provider. Cloud hosting may be a viable solution to smaller businesses active in a fast-paced marketplace and that need to adapt very quickly to changing market trends.
Clustered hosting: now this is a very interesting one for large businesses operating on an international scale and with high traffic volume. Clustered hosting offers replacement servers when one goes down for any reason, even just for maintenance. The cluster can be made of dedicated servers, cloud servers, a mix of both and it assures a smooth, fast and reliable website functioning at all times. However, it is a costly solution that requires advanced managing and monitoring work on your part.
You get what you paid for
When it comes to choosing a web hosting provider, you really do get what you paid for and there is no around it. Depending on the scale of your business, security requirements, traffic volumes and scalability, you need to decide how much you are willing to pay for a service that gets you the support you want.
We urge you to take into consideration the following features when choosing a hosting provider:
- free domain
- bandwidth and storage unlimited hosting
- good malware protection
- secure site certification
- online store tools
- 24/7 support
- multiple servers
- money back guarantee
Finally, if you are not tech savvy but would like to have some control over your website’s functioning, you may want to rely on a provider that offers control panel options so you can easily update and modify your website’s content and design when needed.
If you have any questions regarding the different types of hosting providers or you have any concern related to your current provider, send us a quick email and our team of professionals will be more than glad to help you out.