There’s no shortage of challenges you’re going to face once you decide to create a website (opens in new tab). Whether you want to boost your business with a beautiful site or kick off that blog you’ve always wanted to create - one is sure. You’re going to need a solid web hosting (opens in new tab) service - it’ll be your site’s forever home, hopefully.
The good news is that there’s a perfect web hosting solution somewhere out there, regardless of your level of technical know-how and available budget. However, finding the right one for you and your business can take some time and careful consideration.
It’s not all about the cost, you know? A solution fit for a fabulous WordPress blog (opens in new tab) probably won’t fulfil the needs of an online store with an ever-growing number of visitors.
Before being able to pick out the perfect solution for your online project, you should make sure that it provides the right amount of resources, as well as an ability to scale up/down. A seemingly small thing like this can set your site for success right at the start.
So, to make things simpler for you, we’ll go through the three most common types of web hosting and tell you everything you should know before opting for any of them.
The three common types of web hosting
Whether you’re starting out or wish to switch your web hosting solution for a superior one, you’ll want to catch wind of the most common web hosting types and tackle their meaning. After that, you can be sure you’ve made the best decision for the future of your website.
Most people start their journey into cyberspace with shared hosting (opens in new tab). It’s not only simple to start with but also considerably cheaper than other solutions out there. Consequently, it’s also the least powerful one. This is because with this type of solution a single server is shared among several users. Thereby, the resources are also shared - storage space, bandwidth, CPUs, and RAM included.
Once your site begins to grow and outgrow your shared hosting solution, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS (opens in new tab)) hosting solution. Without breaking the bank, it will let you get rid of the primary drawback of shared hosting - shared resources. So, with a VPS solution, you’ll still share a physical server with other sites, but you will get a set of resources that are dedicated to your site, and your site only.
If you want to step up your game from a VPS solution and don't mind paying a pretty penny for it - you should consider dedicated server hosting (opens in new tab). As the name suggests, you’ll get your dedicated physical server with your dedicated resources and you won’t have to share them with anyone else.
Apart from these three, other popular web hosting solutions include cloud hosting (opens in new tab), WordPress hosting (opens in new tab), reseller hosting (opens in new tab), and colocation (opens in new tab) hosting.
Why are these three the most common types?
It’s no secret that shared hosting is popular for its cost-effectiveness and ease of use. It’s the cheapest out of these three options, so if you can spare a mere $5 per month - you can afford it. Also, shared hosting is exceedingly easy to use, so even if you’ve never made or managed a site before, you’ll catch up with everything in no time. So, there’s no need for technical know-how - the technical team will walk you through every step of the journey.
Acting as a bridge between shared hosting and dedicated server hosting, VPS offers powerful performance, high uptime, superb long-term scalability, enhanced security, customizability, and control over your server space. However, the ease of use will vary depending on whether you’re using a managed or unmanaged service.
While dedicated server hosting will cost you a big buck, it can get you everything a VPS provides plus complete control over your solution. With full root access, you can perform direct server customizations without any restrictions - alter your hardware specifications, add advanced security tools, install applications across your server, and much more. Also, a dedicated solution comes with a dedicated, round-the-clock support staff.
Who should use each type of web hosting?
Being the simplest solution out of the three, shared hosting is the best choice for small sites and blogs that don’t get too many visitors. It’s also a solid solution for young entrepreneurs that lack a big budget and technical know-how but don’t mind starting small.
A VPS solution offers a fine balance between resources and budget, and it’s aimed at those who have outgrown shared hosting. It’s perfect for those running high-traffic sites for small to mid-sized businesses including ecommerce platforms (opens in new tab), SaaS providers, software engineers, and so forth.
Dedicated servers are “state-of-the-art” web hosting solutions geared towards mid-sized to big businesses that employ over 500 people that are processing massive amounts of data every day. For instance, if you’re running a booming ecommerce store with hundreds of transactions per hour, you’ll want to consider this type of solution.
The benefits of each type of web hosting
The three primary advantages of choosing a shared hosting solution are its budget-friendliness (the pricing starts at $5 per month), a beginner-friendly approach (simple setup, built-in control panel, and site-building tools), and solid customer support (expect to get live chat support and access to well-supplied knowledgebase).
In comparison with shared hosting, VPS will get you more powerful performance, higher reliability, and the ability to scale up/down your server with ease. It also gives you more control over your server and a superb level of customizability.
The main benefit of utilizing a dedicated server solution is having dedicated resources that can keep up and promote the growth of your business. Also, your business site/sites should benefit from increased speed, improved SEO, and superior security.
While fully managed dedicated servers are pretty popular with large enterprises, you can also opt for a partially managed or unmanaged server and save up some money.
Things to avoid when choosing a web hosting service
Since we’ve already shared our tips and trick on how to choose a web hosting service (opens in new tab), now we’re going to uncover what mistakes you should avoid making when searching for your solution.
If you want to go with shared hosting, don’t settle for a free hosting service just to save up some money at the start. It will cripple your site with seriously slow speed, unreliable uptime, and non-existent customer support. Before you know it, most of your potential customers will lose trust in your brand and your business will go bust.
Likewise, don’t purchase a shared or VPS hosting solution before trying it out with a free trial - if one is provided. If not, check whether there is a money-back guarantee. Plus, don’t forget to see what the small print says - this is true for all three types of hosting.
If you thinking about purchasing a self-managed VPS solution even if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy - don’t do it. It’s harder than you think and it’ll take plenty of time before you get the hang of it.
Also, don’t fail to check the company behind the solution including their track record and history of security incidents - if there are any. Take some time to read out reviews about your potential web hosting provider, professional reviews and customer testimonials alike. And if a provider has a bad track record, avoid it like the plague.
This is particularly important when picking out a dedicated server solution as with this type of hosting one should never make compromises in terms of security.
On the end note, don’t forget to consider the needs of your online project before picking out a web hosting package for it. What type of site do you wish to create? Will you be creating a single site or more of them? How do you plan to build your site? What amount of traffic do you expect to receive each month? What additional features do you want to receive? And how much money are you willing to give up each month?
Once you’ve answered all these questions, you’ll be a couple of steps closer to choosing the best web hosting solution for your business.
- Here's a list of the best website builder (opens in new tab) services on the market