What are the types of website hosting?

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If you are interested in knowing about the different types of website hosting that are available, then this article is for you. Before I get started I want to make it clear that I don’t have any allegiance to any company and am only giving my personal preference of hosting companies.

Shared Hosting

This is the type of hosting that most businesses and websites use or at least started off using. It is where you (the customer) have your website hosted with multiple other people’s sites on a single server. This is ideal if you have limited expertise and just want a cheap, easy to use hosting solution. It is by far the cheapest type of hosting, starting from just a few dollars a month. It does, however, have a number of issues. Firstly, as you are sharing server resources with others who you don’t know or trust, they could be hogging all the servers resources. This would make your website slow, or even go offline if another person‘s website is attacked by hackers. With shared hosting, you usually get what you pay for so don’t just choose the cheapest option.

Note: Read the terms and conditions. Remember, there is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth or storage.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

This is the next level up after shared hosting. It is where you still share a server with other users but have a dedicated allocation of resources. This means that even if another VPS on the same host server is attacked, you won’t even notice. Some types of VPS include a control panel eg. CPanel or Plesk. Alternatively you may wish to install one if you have little admin experience. The cost of a VPS is considerably more than shared hosting and is therefore a restricting factor for some uses. From my own personal experience I recommend using the hosting provider Linode. They are very good value for money and have a great support community.

Dedicated Server

This is where you rent a whole physical server. Obviously this is overkill for most sites and is very expensive. You are looking at a minimum of $100 a month. From my experience I would recommend Limestone Networks for this kind of hosting.

Cloud Hosting

This is a new type of hosting that isn’t very well defined. It takes VPS hosting a stage further. Typically you pay for the computing resources on an hourly basis. This allows your website infrastructure to scale at very short notice.

There are number of cloud computing companies on the market. These include Rackspace and Amazon Web Services.

Warning: Some companies just put the word ‘cloud’ before their hosting packages to entice you and really they don’t have any of the characteristics of cloud hosting.

Conclusion

This refers to when you own your own hardware eg. servers, switches… You then pay for space in a datacenter and for the bandwidth you need. This type of hosting is usually only used by companies and can be very expensive. Prices usually start at hundreds of dollars a month. You then have the additional cost of running and maintaining your own hardware.

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