If you’re a business owner, you need a website. It’s easy to make a website. With so many self-service website builders, you can create a website in minutes. You don’t even need to know how to code. Unfortunately, an attractive website is nothing without web hosting. Without a web host, a website is static, inaccessible, and unprofitable. In this article, we go over the different types of web hosting services available to you and how to choose the right one for your business.
What is a Web Host?
To choose the web host that’s right for you, it’s important to analyze a few aspects about yourself and your business. To save you time and money, let’s examine a few factors before you commit to the first web host you find.
How to Choose Between Different Types of Web Hosting
When it comes to web hosts, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Choosing between the different types of web hosting services depends on your money, time, effort, and feature constraints. Consider the following situations before selecting between different types of web hosting:
What is your budget? The prices for renting a web host range from a few dollars to hundreds or thousands of dollars each month.
How much traffic do you expect on your website? Some web hosts have caps for resources like data, bandwidth, and memory. Your website’s performance will be affected by the amount of traffic your website experiences. Some hosts have pay-as-you-go packages—these are great for scalability. Others charge flat rates for unlimited resource usage.
What features are important? Does your business need a hosting service that offers 24/7 support? Does your website need scheduled data backups or high-level security?
How involved do you want to be? Assess your technical aptitude and determine how much you want to handle. Do you want to handle server configurations like the operating system, administrator settings, updates, and security? If so, do you want to be responsible to maintain updates? How about fixing these things when something goes wrong—like if your site crashes or gets hacked? With many web hosts, you can pay to have some or all your tasks managed.
What other tools do you need? Many hosting services offer robust features like account management, website builders, e-commerce platforms, content management software, and much more.
Most new entrepreneurs will start with the humble and inexpensive options and eventually upgrade to premium, full-featured hosts. We’ll review the most popular types, starting with beginner-friendly hosts, and work our way up.
What are the Different Types of Web Hosting Services?
Once you determine your needs and limits, it’s time to choose your web host. There are several kinds of web hosts; each with their own benefits and tradeoffs. The different types of web hosting services are shared, virtual private server, dedicated web server, managed, cloud, colocated, reseller, and home web hosts. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of web hosting and which is best for you.
What is Shared Web Hosting?
A shared web host is perfect for new entrepreneurs, website owners with tight budgets, and sites with minimal traffic. Shared web hosts are super affordable because they house hundreds of other websites on a single server.
Because a shared web host leases many websites, the server does not have any configuration flexibility; all hosted websites have the same server configurations (e.g. operating system, users, networks, security, updates, etc). This rigidity makes them incredibly straightforward and easy to use.
Shared web hosts also come with resource limitations; a shared server divides its resources like RAM and CPU power among its tenants. This is often not a problem for new entrepreneurs because their sites do not need a lot of server resources. However, your website can suffer from slow page loads or crashes if your server is throttled by too many requests (e.g. Black Friday or DoS attacks). You can compare these vetted shared web hosts to get an idea of what services and tools are available at budget-friendly prices.
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What is VPS Web Hosting?
A virtual private server (VPS) is an exceptional alternative to a shared web host. A VPS still hosts multiple websites—much less than shared web hosts—with each on their own virtual machine. On a VPS, your files, storage, and resources are agnostic to all the other websites on the server. This independence between resources offers your website greater security, stability, and power.
Virtual private servers are ideal for intermediate and advanced entrepreneurs. They are also smart choices for site owners with rising or high levels of website traffic. Because they don’t rely on hardware storage, they are effortlessly scalable.
Virtual private servers are highly customizable. For this reason, VPSs are more advanced to use and cost more than a shared web host. VPS lessees are responsible for managing their virtual machine configurations. They require a bit of technical know-how, or at least the time and curiosity to learn how to set up and manage them.
If you’re not interested in managing your VPS, you can pay for management services. Note there is a different cost with managed and unmanaged VPSs. You can compare these awesome VPS options to get a better idea of what VPS is right for your website.
What is DWS Web Hosting?
A Dedicated Web Server (DWS) is the ultimate choice for optimizing your server setup and resources. With a DWS, a physical server hosts a single website. A DWS is considerably more expensive than a VPS. With a DWS, you oversee and respond to everything that goes on with the server—like patches, downtimes, attacks, and more.
Managing a DWS means you need to be comfortable with computer architecture and server administration. Unless you’re a computer hobbyist or a large company with hundreds of files, you don’t need a dedicated web server for your website. If you still want a DWS and you’re neither an enterprise nor a hobbyist, you can always outsource your DWS management tasks. Be sure to read Dreamhost’s ultimate guide to dedicated hosting to guide you with your DWS setup.
What is Managed Web Hosting?
A managed web host is like a DWS, except the website owner does not have administrative server access. Unlike a DWS, a website owner cannot make changes to the server’s configurations. Instead, the hosting company maintains the setup, quality, and health of the server.
Managed web hosts are popular for WordPress (WP) systems and websites. While managed web hosts are a more expensive alternative, their services are perfect for businesses of all sizes. These hosts give site owners lots of room for customization, but keep things simple by handling the technical stuff.
If you’re a serious business owner with a WordPress site, there’s no reason why you should not choose a managed WP web host. With this host, you’ll receive tons of powerful tools and plugins and receive support from a skilled WP team. Take a look at these managed WordPress hosts to see which service tailors to your needs best.
What is Cloud Web Hosting?
A cloud web host stores your website on a network of virtual servers. Cloud servers follow shared and VPS models: a website shares virtual server space with many other websites. They also follow similar pricing models for shared and VPS web hosts.
The advantage of choosing a cloud host over physical server hosting is unlimited resource allocation and scalability. With cloud hosting, a website pulls resources from the network of servers to balance resource needs to ensure optimal site performance. With unlimited resources, a website can grow and store many files.
Cloud web hosting is a safe choice for all kinds of entrepreneurs and websites. There are many tiered packages for small businesses and enterprises alike.
What is Colocated Web Hosting?
Colocated web hosts are like cloud hosts except there are physical servers. Colocation refers to a data center facility where individuals and companies rent space for their servers and hardware. Colocated web hosting is a self-service hosting option where one rents space in a data center for their private server. The owner maintains their hardware, and the host provides electricity, bandwidth, physical security, and data backups. One might choose colocation hosting if they want to maintain their own servers and hardware, but do not have the adequate space or physical resources that a colocated host provides.
What is Reseller Web Hosting?
Reseller hosting might be for you if you want to profit from web hosting, but don’t have space for a data center or the technical savvy of a server admin. With reseller hosting, an individual buys server space in a data center that he or she leases to another website owner.
What is Home Web Hosting?
Unlike the other web hosts in the article, a home web host is a server stored in one’s home. Home web servers are more of a hobbyist venture. Most home server owners host small, private, or beta websites on their servers. The benefit of a home server is transparency and customization; everything is controlled and monitored by the owner.
Choose The Best Web Host For You
Web hosts are essential for your business and website. No matter your budget or effort constraints, there’s a type of web hosting for every kind of entrepreneur or business. If you have any questions or need help with your own website hosting, let us know! You can connect via our contact page, or by filling out the contact form below.