Overview of Different Types of Web Hosting
There is a general misconception that the web hosting industry offers services that are largely homogeneous. That is, many people mistakenly believe that every website host and the products they offer are the same. In fact, the opposite is true. There are several kinds of hosting packages and each package is designed to cater to a certain type of customer.
Unfortunately, many business owners choose a plan that is inappropriate for their needs because they do not fully understand the product. Below, we’ll provide a brief description of the most common types of hosting solutions.
A shared plan places your site onto a server that hosts the sites of other customers. In some cases, there may be ten websites besides your own. In other cases, there may be hundreds or thousands. Many people select shared hosting because it is less costly than other solutions. However, it is also far less flexible. The provider may not allow you to install certain types of software or scripts if there is a concern that doing so will consume too many resources.
A dedicated plan offers complete flexibility. You can control the type of software, scripts, and operating system installed on the box. There are no other customers on your server, so there is no concern of consuming a disproportionate amount of processing resources.
This type of solution is appropriate for websites that attract high levels of traffic or have heavy processing needs. It is also well-suited for businesses that want to avoid the vulnerability of unplanned outages due to the misdeeds of other hosting clients. The drawback is that the monthly cost is high.
A virtual private server (VPS) offers the flexibility of a dedicated solution without the high cost. The box is partitioned in such a way that your website shares processing resources with the sites of other customers. However, the server is organized to provide an equal allocation of those resources for each client. As a result, the processing needs of other customers’ sites will not affect your own.
A reseller solution is geared toward customers who would like to resell a provider’s hosting service under their own name. They pay a monthly fee to a provider who allocates space on a server. The reseller is then able to sell that space in smaller slices to his or her own customers. This type of package will not be appropriate for most businesses outside the reseller industry.
The most important factors to consider when looking for a website host are flexibility, reliability, and support. A common mistake is to choose the lowest-priced solution. That is unwise, especially if your site receives a high level of traffic or serves as a support hub for your clients. You’ll find that having responsive support from your provider pays long-term benefits, even if it comes at a premium.