There is a lot of confusion regarding the many types of hosting that one could potentially purchase to host their website(s). Individuals and organizations alike find it difficult to navigate the vast array of options that exist, and it’s increasingly challenging to choose the right solution for your needs.
It’s for this reason we’ve put together a list of various types of hosting, and broken them down with a description to help you with your decisions.
Types of Hosting:
An entire physical server ‘dedicated’, to one single purpose. What that means is, you have an entire server dedicated to your website or application.
Dedicated hosting is often referred to as a dedicated server, and it can be set up in your home, office, or can be added to a rack at a local or remote data center.
There are many benefits to having dedicated hosting including:
Although, that’s a great list of benefits, you should also consider the disadvantages. For example, running a dedicated server is far more expensive than other options, and if you’re a layman, you will run into additional expenses having to deal with the set-up and regular maintenance of this piece of technology.
A Virtual Private Server(VPS) mimics a dedicated server, but is located within a shared hosting environment. They are very similar when it comes to server software, the main difference being that there is more than one VPS, on each physical server.
Some of the pros related to VPS Hosting are:
- It’s less expensive than running a dedicated server.
- A VPS technically functions as a dedicated server would.
- Setting up or creating a VPS hosting situation if far simpler.
- It is a solid mid point option between a dedicated hosting option, and a shared hosting situation.
Although VPS hosting is less expensive than a dedicated server, it is still more expensive than shared hosting. For this reason, a virtual private server might be out of reach for small business owners.
There are other issues with this specific hosting option. For example, some service providers might offer a VPS, but not allocate the right amount of resources to each of the virtual private servers. Unfortunately, that could lead to congestion, and slower performance of your website, if one of the other hosting clients on this physical server have a high traffic moment. All of this could result in harming the reputation of your business because clients can’t reach you.
Shared hosting, is really just what it sounds like. Many clients, share space on a single server (or VPS). There are so many advantages to shared hosting, and just as many disadvantages. Let’s go over some of the good things:
- Shared hosting is very affordable, the least expensive of all the options.
- Little or NO technical knowledge is required to get things going.
- Website platforms such as WordPress can often be installed via a very user friendly control panel and a simple “Click-To-Install”.
- Hosting companies, generally maintain the servers, and OS updates.
So, those are some great benefits right? The low cost of entry makes it most affordable for small business, but is that low cost worth it? There are a significant amount of disadvantages related to shared hosting solutions such as:
- Your site will be stored on the server with MULTIPLE (perhaps in the thousands), other websites.
- Everyone of the websites on that server share all the resources, including RAM, CPU and IPs.
- If others on this server have a surge in traffic, it could affect your website.
- You don’t know who your neighbours are, bad users who share the same IP as you could ruin your online reputation and make it hard to send email.
Do the benefits outweigh the the potential hazards? That’s for you to decide.
Managed hosting is a hosting option that can vary from hosting provider to hosting provider. For the most part they all agree to provide hardware setup, updates to the operating systems, backups, and regular maintenance. Additionally, you don’t own the server, the hosting company does. Hosting companies might list many different levels of managed hosting services (we offer 4 different levels to our clients). The costs associated with managed hosting are higher than shared hosting plans, but the benefits are worth it:
- Lowering your overall operating costs (you don’t have to spend additional funds on an IT person or additional staff to manage, update and make sure your server and website is secure).
- You don’t have to spend time figuring out how to use the control panel, deal with updates, and other issues that could arise from a shared hosting situation.
- You gain additional levels of security.
- There is likely 24 hour support that goes above just answering questions.
- Your website, and all the websites that are clients of the managed hosting company have all their data backed up regularly.
- Managed hosting service providers are likely to monitor their servers in order maintain high performance and little to no downtime.
Just like all the other types of hosting we’ve mentioned above, there are disadvantages related to this solution as well. Managed hosting, doesn’t allow you to have the same control as you might with shared hosting, and it is significantly more expensive. That said, the ease of use, future cost savings, and the sense of security that managed hosting provides might be worth it.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting is simply a subcategory of managed hosting that includes the management of the content management system you are using to display your website. This type of hosting makes life easy for individuals and businesses who are using WordPress.
Having managed hosting that is specific to WordPress makes it even easier for your business to keep their website up and running with updates and changes for you, so you don’t have to worry as much.
This type of hosting has come about as a result of the popularity of using WordPress as a content management system.
Cloud based hosting
When purchasing cloud based hosting, you’re purchasing a hosting solution that is located “in the cloud”. This is a scalable network of computers, and your website lives on that cloud across a network of computers.
This type of solution is best suited for larger organizations that are constantly growing and that require the ability to scale quickly and efficiently. With regards to costs, that is also scalable, if your traffic and bandwidth usage go up, so does the price. If your traffic and bandwidth drop, again… so does the price.
And there you have it, a simple list of the many types of hosting available. We hope that this blog post has helped you decide what hosting to choose, or change to depending on your needs.