Let’s face it, not a lot of people know a whole lot about web hosting. For the most part, that’s okay. That is until you suddenly need to select one for your website. Given that you’re on our website, it’s safe to say you’re likely in the market for a host. Here is a quick guide to simplify the term so you’ll easily be able to sound like a pro when you sit down to talk shop with our web designers.
First, let’s get the terms straight so that everyone is on the same page about what a web host is.
Web Hosting and Domain Name
- Let’s say I’m going to meet you for dinner. You’re going to need to tell me the address of the restaurant. That address is the domain name.
- The web hosting, that’s the restaurant. It’s the actual building itself.
Types of Web Hosting Services
- Free Hosting: The key benefit of a free host is that it’s free. It does not offer backups, is slow, low security, and it is filled with advertisements. I do not recommend this option, at all.
- Shared Hosting: This is exactly how it sounds. You are sharing a single server with (likely) many other users. The benefit of this is that it’s a great price and you have the protection of a more secure server. The true cost is that you cannot control when your website slows down. If one of the other websites being hosted on your shared server is particularly popular, then your website will pay in loading time.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS): Is a step-up from the shared server because it acts like a dedicated server, but is indeed, shared. Here, you don’t feel the cost of the normal shared sever because you are acquiring a dedicated amount of computing resources. This means that other websites on your shared server won’t slow you down. The pricing options are customizable, because you pay for the guaranteed CPU and memory that you need.
- Dedicated Server: It’s all yours. The entire sever is yours and you have full rights to do with it as you please, but here you will also need to consider the possibility of hiring a system administrator to take care of the technical details.
Anything above a dedicated server will require a high volume of resources. For the vast majority of users, the range between free hosting and dedicated servers are the most viable options. Due to the fact that a website needs to keep user experience and security in mind when they consider hosting services, a VPS and dedicated server are the best of those options.