You have a business, or you have an idea for a website that you want to get online, now what?
There are many types of web hosting options out there, and when you do a google search you get 127,000,000 results! Eeek what are you supposed to do, how do you know what to choose and which provider to go with? I hope after you read this blog post you have a better understanding of what options are available to you, and which one works best for your needs. This will help you choose which provider you want to go with, and it will save you money instead of overspending for something you don’t necessarily need at this point in time of your website.
Let’s break this down into three categories.
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server
- Dedicated Server
We’re going to dive into each of these categories and discuss what types of websites or applications you should use with each of them.
Shared hosting is the most common type of web hosting service that’s available. It’s like living in your parent’s house, or a dorm. You share the space with everyone else that’s in the home or dorm. This service covers 90% of the websites out there. Shared hosting is very similar to what it sounds like. You are essentially sharing space on a server with hundreds maybe thousands of other websites. A server is a computer that runs in a data center facility connected to the internet, and in theory, it should remain on 24×7 without downtime. Shared hosting is typically the most cost-effective and simplest way to get your site online.
Pros: This type of hosting service is cheaper, it’s also the easiest for a novice user to get started with. You’ll find that about 90% of websites on the internet can work just fine using a shared hosting service.
Cons: If your website starts to receive a lot of visitors at once, you may experience connection issues accessing your website, and potentially cause issues for other websites on the same server. Since you’re on a shared hosting server, this same problem can cause your website to have issues if other sites on the server your sharing receives a lot of visitors at once, it may cause your website to slow down or go offline.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Virtual Private Servers are sort of a middle man from shared hosting and dedicated servers. You’ll want to move up to a VPS when your site outgrows it’s resource limitations of a shared hosting service. Think of VPS as the apartment you rent after college, it’s not quite your parent’s house or dorm, but it’s not yet your own home either. With a VPS you get more options and customization ability that you wouldn’t have received with shared hosting. Things like “which version of PHP do I want to run” or “I need to host on CentOS 6.5 and not CentOS 7” so you chose a VPS and you can customize it to your exact needs. You are still sharing the dedicated server that your VPS is on with other VPS customers, but you’re not quite in the same “building” like you were in your dorms.
Pros: You’ll receive a massive amount of customization ability, practically the same you’ll get from a dedicated server. This sort of service is not recommended for novice users, you’d want to know a lot about servers, operating systems, and the hosting software available. Or at least have someone that you work closely with that knows all about it. Your site can receive a larger amount of visitors at once compared to shared hosting websites could.
Cons: A VPS requires more tech knowledge, it does cost more than shared hosting, and you’re still limited to resources that you purchase. Other VPS customers on the same server could potentially cause your VPS conflict.
Dedicated servers are like owning your own home, on your own piece of land. You dictate who comes and goes, you get you customize it as much as you want. You’ll want to choose this option if your site starts gaining momentum, earning you money, and receiving a large amount of traffic 100K+ visitors a month sort of thing. When you go to websites like Google and Facebook, those big names operate on dedicated servers, but not just one server, they have to use thousands of servers since they receive millions of visitors a day.
Pros: Your own home, you can customize it as much or as little as you want. It’s 100% in your control, no other websites or users access this server.
Cons: It does cost quite a bit more than VPS or Shared. You have to be very knowledgeable or have someone who works for you that can be your server administrator. Updates need to be done regularly to the server to keep in secure compliance for vulnerabilities. If it’s a managed dedicated server, you don’t have to worry about replacement of parts that go bad, but if it is your own dedicated server, parts, and labor will be on your dime to replace.
Now that I filled your head with all this useless knowledge, stuff that you never thought you’d need to know about web hosting. I hope it gives you what you need to know when it comes to making a decision on what type of web hosting does your website need. At PEAK Internet we offer all of these options to our customers if you don’t see what you need on our website call in and speak with one of our friendly customer service agents. The next big step after dedicated servers is the colocation of your own equipment in our data center facility.