Web Hosting for Dummies

Without a doubt, web hosting is the single most neglected thing when it comes to running your business.  Most people don’t give a thought about the type of hosting and ultimately just buy the cheapest hosting they can find.  Of course, it’s not their fault as the true details of the type of hosting (Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Cloud), tend to be hidden.

The most common and cheapest type of hosting is Shared.  This is where a server is sliced into partitions and rented out to you.  The biggest catch, the system resources are shared by everyone on the server, typically thousands of accounts.  This means, all you need is one real populate site on that server, and your site can become really slow.  Shared hosting is not the place to be hosting the site for your business.  It is meant for hobbyists, those who write blogs or make sites for the fun of it, not to make money.

Shared hosting won’t exist for too much longer however, as a lot of web hosting companies are developing and moving to cloud hosting platforms.  Instead of relying on one server, your site will be hosted virtually by a network of connected servers called clusters.  Of course, you are still sharing the platform with other people, but slowdowns tend to occur less because each cluster is built from multiple servers, allowing the platform to deliver resources to your site when you need it.  There is a catch though, this type of hosting is new and can be difficult to run depending on who your host is, and is more expensive than Shared.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server.  It’s very similar to Shared Hosting in the idea that you share it with other people, but it’s significantly less.  The server is partitioned in such a way as to give you dedicated system resources as well.  Which means no account is going to steal those resources away from you.  Meaning the performance, you have during low-traffic time is going to be the performance you have during peak hours.  A Virtual Private Server is great for medium sized businesses as you can typically scale up and purchase additional resources or upgrade to better VPS packages as you grow.

The last server is a Dedicated Server. Of course, this is the most expensive server option, but it is also the most reliable.  When you purchase Dedicated Server Hosting you are getting an entire server to yourself.  Which means the server is typically very open to customization, so you’ll be able to install a myriad of different applications.  Sometimes you can even change the Operating System!

Knowing the type of hosting out there will help you decide what hosting is the best for you.  It’s important not to waste money and purchase hosting that goes above and beyond what you need.  But it’s also important not to just go for the cheapest option and make an honest investment to the stability and speed of your website.