Starting a website can be difficult for most businesses simply because you are dealt with dozens of choices every step of the way. Now that you have decided you want to host your website yourself, you need to decide which type of web hosting is best for you.
Most businesses start with Shared Web Hosting, which may be okay in a lot of cases but it can be a bad choice for most businesses. In this article, I will guide you through different types of web hosting services and what they offer. By the end of this article, you will know which web hosting service is perfect for your business.
Shared Web Hosting is where most businesses start. It is the cheapest type of web hosting available on the market. On a shared web hosting service, your website is hosted on a shared web server. Your website gets a very small share of resources available on the server. These resources include RAM, Disk Space, CPU Usage, and Bandwidth among other things.
Web hosts divide their shared web servers into dozens of smaller pieces called nodes. Think of these as small pieces of a pie. When you host your website on a shared web host, you get a tiny piece of that small piece of the pie.
The best part about shared web hosting is that it’s cheap, easy to set up, and doesn’t require any technical knowledge in most cases. Most web hosts offer enticing shared web hosting plans that come with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited visitors, unlimited disk space, etc.
Although plans like these sound perfect, they come with dozens of hidden limits. For example, although web hosts say you get unlimited bandwidth, they limit the number of visitors you can get. If you get more visitors than the certain invisible limit your web host has decided, they might suspend your website for a day or two.
You also have limited control over how your website behaves. Other types of web hosting such as VPS and Dedicated hosting let you control all aspects of the server and how your website works.
Although most shared web hosts aren’t worth your time, it isn’t to say that all shared web hosts are bad or that you should dismiss shared web hosting altogether.
There are some web hosts such as Siteground and Bluehost that offer amazing service at affordable prices. We recommend Siteground and Bluehost to almost all beginners. They offer great customer service and their plans are affordable. Their shared web hosting plans are scalable and created for growing businesses. You can easily scale your website to thousands of visitors on their shared hosting plans.
The biggest reason we recommend Siteground and Bluehost to beginners is their customer support. Both web hosts offer industry-leading customer service. If you face a technical problem or have a question any step of the way to launching your website, you can hit them up and they will respond within a minute or two.
Shared web hosting is relatively cheap compared to other types of web hosting.
Bloggers, and Small Businesses. Great for small and basic websites.
Most businesses move their website over to a VPS once it starts gaining some traction. A VPS can give your website a huge boost in speed and offer a lot more control than shared web hosting.
A server can be divided into multiple virtual servers that act as a normal server would. This is called virtualization. If you don’t want to pay for a complete server, which can cost thousands, you can get yourself a virtual server that is a part of a bigger server. But unlike shared web hosting, you get complete access to this small, virtual server, and only your website is hosted on it.
Although some VPS providers offer plans that are almost as cheap as shared web hosting, the biggest difference is the amount of technical knowledge you need. We don’t recommend using a VPS unless you know how servers work. There are some services such as Cloudways that manage VPS servers for you for a small fee.
A VPS is a virtual server, so we don’t recommend going for a VPS if you are a beginner, but as your website grows you will want to move it over to a VPS. When that is the case, you can hire a web developer and have them move it for a small fee. Once a VPS is correctly set up, it doesn’t require much maintenance.
The best part about a VPS is its scalability. You can add more RAM, more disk space, more virtual CPU units, or more bandwidth to it with just a click whenever you want.
VPS Hosting plans start at $5 per month if you go with an unmanaged VPS provider such as Digital Ocean or Vultr.
Growing businesses and businesses that require scalability.
Dedicated Web Hosting gives you access to an entire server and as such costs are a lot more than any other type of web hosting service available on the market. If you want complete control over your data and the server your website is hosted on, you need a Dedicated Server.
A Dedicated Server is what it sounds like. Web hosting companies build big server farms with thousands of servers. A dedicated server is a server dedicated to just you. Most businesses and companies choose dedicated web hosting when they have a lot of customer data on the servers and don’t want to risk it on a shared server.
The best part about going with a dedicated server is the amount of control you get over the server. You can install whatever operating system you desire or whatever software you want on your server. You can even lease your dedicated server to other businesses if you want and start your own web hosting company. That’s how much control you get.
On a shared server, there’s always a risk of hackers sharing the same server getting access to your data. Although it’s rare, it can happen and has happened before to many businesses. On a dedicated server though, the only way someone can access your data is if they have physical access to it.
If you are just starting out, you should definitely stay away from a dedicated server as they cost a lot and are very difficult to use if you aren’t an experienced web developer.
There may come a time when hosting your website outgrows a VPS, but that will be a long time from when you start, so we don’t recommend starting with a dedicated server. A Dedicated Server comes with way more resources than you need when you first launch your website.
Bluehost’s dedicated hosting starts at $79 per month. Other web hosts charge upwards of $100 per month.
Businesses and websites that get thousands of visitors or have a lot of customer data.
If you are a small business or someone just starting out, we recommend going with Shared Web Hosting. Web hosts such as Siteground and Bluehost offer affordable plans that come with everything you need to get started. Once your website starts growing, you can move to a VPS or a Dedicated server to get better performance and more control.
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