Web hosting is a service that permits individuals and organizations to post web pages or websites onto the internet. A web hosting provider or a web host is a business that provides the services and technologies needed for the webpage or website to be perceived on the internet. These websites are stored or hosted on servers (specialized computers). Below are the three major types of web hosting services and how they differ from each other.
1. SHARED HOSTING
Shared hosting refers to the most basic form of web hosting. In this type of plan, your business and other businesses or websites are housed under the same web server. Shared web hosting entails sharing the software applications and the physical server within the server. Generally, it works correctly as most of the web pages stored on the server are relatively small, and they can be easily supported with less risk of interfering with the site speed.
Advantages of Shared Web Hosting
• Affordable: Since the disk space, bandwidth, and other resources are efficiently split or shared among many, maintenance and web hosting server costs can be easily discounted and distributed among users. This helps by allowing your business to come up with an excellent quality website on a small budget. Despite the service being cheap, you will still get a lot of well-maintained storage.
• User-Friendly: Generally, all your needs, including how to set up, will be available on the shared hosting plan; this gives you the freedom to focus and concentrate on web design and development aspects of the webpage instead of how to set up the program. Control panel that is easy to use helps you save on time during uploading photos, updating your files, and many more features. A web host can also provide visitor statistics, email accounts, and marketing tools to understand, better design, and attract new customers to your website.
• Efficiency: The bandwidth and the amount of the disk space provided by the server is the most crucial thing of web hosting. This bandwidth assists the business owners to run their businesses and websites efficiently and shared web hosting provides adequate bandwidth, allowing you to put on more resources on your website.
Disadvantages of Shared Web Hosting
• One of the most significant drawbacks of shared hosting is the security issues that the server faces. Most shared servers are prone to any malicious activities and hacking attacks.
• Due to the security policy, some available connections and ports might be limited.
• Customer support is not as good as those provided by dedicated hosting
• The server may be overloaded or swamped by the requests, which may cause it to stop.
• The hosting plan maybe has fewer features as compared to the dedicated hosting.
• You do not have the choice over the application or the software that you want to use, as it is impossible to use any other software apart from the one provided by the hosting provider.
• Your website might often experience sluggishness anytime you need to share the resources of a single server which is brought when other sites requests for resources.
• It’s possible to experience resource limitations as everybody in the network uses the same memory, CPU, and hard drive.
When Should You Choose Shared Hosting?
A user should or is expected to choose shared hosting when the resources of the server are to be shared among multiple hosting accounts, as it is more significant on cost-saving.
2. VPS HOSTING
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, which is a virtualized server. A Virtual Private Server hosting environment imitates a dedicated server that is within a shared host environment. Technically, it’s both shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
You can choose VPS hosting from different types of web hosting accounts to host your website on the internet. For you to own a site on the internet, you should have your files, that is, the website files stored on the webserver.
Managing and setting up a server is not only expensive but also challenging. For you to purchase a web host, you need to rent a space on the web server, which makes it easy for middle-class persons to own a host website online. Only they require to do is to upload their site files as no server setup is needed on their end.
VPS hosting works by allowing you to run several operating systems (virtualized OS) on the same machine. For instance, your computer may be using windows 7, but you can be able to run another OS, for example, Linux or Windows XP, without the need to restart your desktop.
Advantages of VPS Hosting
• Privacy: since you don’t share your operating system with anyone, there are no websites on the server that can have access to your files.
• Control: In case you want to install a server application that might require you to restart the system, it will be possible at any time. Despite you technically sharing a server with another VPS server, you can reset your server. without you affecting anyone else.
• Reliability: VPS reduces the total number of websites per server, hence lowering the demand on the server. The resources are shared evenly between the websites, and no site is supposed to exceed its share.
• Flexibility: VPS server provides the ability to edit or customize your environment as you are portioned virtually from the rest of the websites on the same server.
• Scalability: it is easy and simple to increase the amount that is available to you since there is a given portion of the resources.
Disadvantages of VPS Hosting
• They are more expensive than shared hosting. Even though users use the server, you will have to pay more, and this is considered the biggest disadvantage in terms of finances.
• The configuration of the server requires excellent technical experience. VPS requires fewer users as compared to the dedicated hosting, but it will still demand more skills and expertise to control the server.
• You have zero control over your server. VPS hosting users lack full control of the server as compared to the dedicated hosting.
• Lack of allocating resources appropriately, this is due to the web host may be overselling the resource space. This may lead to server issues, which will affect the other sites on the server; thus, you should have an idea of how many accounts are hosted virtually on your server at a given time.
When Should You Choose VPS Hosting?
Keep in mind, VPS hosting is vital in different ways. In particular, it is essential for websites that have come up far off the shared hosting. Mainly, high traffic volume is the main key reason for having this upgrade. You should choose VPS hosting when the following holds;
• When you have two or more sites, and you require additional resources to tackle them.
• Anytime you need to raise the site’s security and privacy.
• When you are running an e-commerce site or business, and you require to meet specific requirements.
• When you want to get more control over the server and hosting customization, or when you develop sites for customers.
• Anytime you want to experience flexibility and more power than the one shared by the shared hosting, you should consider an upgrade to have VPS hosting.
3. DEDICATED HOSTING
Dedicated hosting is described as a term that explains web hosting packages, which provides a dedicated server with dedicated resources to one client.
Dedicated hosting is highly recommended for huge companies with significant needs and websites. Every time you choose dedicated hosting, you will have a server that is strictly dedicated to run your website and its advantages. For instance, in shared hosting, a customer shares a desktop with other clients. For the VPS hosting, the customers are sharing a computer only and not resources with other users on the same machine.
However, in dedicated hosting, a user hires a whole server, including all the resources. Web hosting firms give different packages of dedicated hosting—the price of the plans usually based on the user’s choice of resource allocation and hardware.
Dedicated hosting is suitable for huge websites or organizations with more traffic. The customers get the full control of the server that allows them to create them to meet the required standards and needs. The plans also come in unmanaged and managed ways where the hosting area can control the server for the customers in case of any problems.
A dedicated, managed server is usually more expensive. The high price is due to all the resources needed, for example, storage space, bandwidth, and RAM. Some additional expenses comprise the software packages which are necessary to run the server. This software may include Cpanel, windows licensing, and other software. There are some free alternatives to the software packages available, but they not usually preferred because of the stability of the software. The exception between the free and the paid software is the spread and more use of Linux over Microsoft software and other paid operating systems on servers.
Advantages of Dedicated Hosting
• The benefits acquired through having a dedicated server are significant and unique as compared to the shared and VPS hosting.
• Reduced security risk- there are far fewer risks based on security issues without the neighbors or other websites on the same server.
• Total flexibility- in most hosting organizations, they allow extensive customization through the use of a dedicated hosting plan. With this, you have full control to choose your preferred amount of memory, operating system, and some other hardware features.
• Zero bad neighbors- since the server is strictly dedicated to you, there are no neighbors in the server.
• Customer service- there is more customer attention as the big companies use a lot of money for web hosting services.
• No sharing of server resources- anytime you choose a dedicated hosting plan, you acquire the complete resources of one server. You have nothing to worry about on other websites dragging down the servers RAM and CPU. With this server, you can ensure that wrong scripts on different sites will not pull your server down.
• Enhanced performance- by choosing dedicated hosting, you get a guarantee for maximum uptime for your website. The Shared Hosting plan is the best with less or medium traffic.
• Unique IP address- each server has a unique IP address. On the shared hosting, it means you will also be sharing your IP address with many other clients. And if any of the neighboring websites is an adult site or spam, it could result in your websites ranked down. With the dedicated hosting, you have one dedicated server, which implies having a unique IP address.
• Dedicated servers provide better access control.
• Most of the dedicated hosting providers often provide you with options to choose from your preferred operating systems.
Disadvantages of Dedicated Hosting
• Expensive- since the entire server is fully dedicated to one site, and you don’t share the resources with another website, the dedicated hosting plan becomes costly and is not suitable for beginners.
• Requires technical knowledge- to operate the dedicated server, you are required to have high-level skills and technical expertise to run, set up, administer, and install; this is not usually the case in shared hosting as the service provider controls all these issues.
• Unmanaged services- several services require you to control your server entirely by yourself. For such cases, you will need someone who knows how to:
Install malware removal
Install your OS (operating system)
Provision of security scanning
When Should You Choose Dedicated Hosting?
You should consider using the dedicated host if the following applies:
• When the size of the company is large.
• If the type of information to be stored in the website is highly sensitive.
• Availability of resources to manage the plan.
While there are a few variations about the hosting the solutions, which most of them are generally built around the models explained above. You should choose correctly the right type of hosting for your business idea by considering the cost of hosting, the sensitivity of the information to be stored on the website and the performance of the type of hosting.