What Are the Different Types of Web Hosting Packages?
Are you overwhelmed by the numerous web hosting plans and types of web hosting? Relax, you are not the only one. There are probably hundreds of companies with maybe ten times the number of web hosting plans.
Once you have started your online business, your web hosting needs will not remain as simple as when you started. When you started, free hosting plans seemed like a good idea. But as you start getting more traffic, you may find it getting sluggish. This might be an indication that you may need a new plan after all.
Let's take a look at what web hosting means and how many types of web hosting services are available. We will look at their pros and cons and assess if they are suited to what you're looking for.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the service of allotting space for a website on a server on the internet. Once your website is online, other computers connected to the internet can view it. When you look at a website, you are looking at codes that are computer-translated through the browser. These codes are turned into a more visual form for you to understand. The internet-connected server stores the website files. Through this, you can download, access, or convert these files using your browser.
Meanwhile, a website host refers to the company that provides access to these servers where your files are stored. Besides access to the hardware, the hosting company also offers other useful services such as support, malware scanning, server management, and website building backups.
Related: Ultimate Guide to Unlimited Web Hosting Services
Different Types of Web Hosting
Web hosting is a term that broadly covers more than just storing a bunch of files. Therefore, almost all web hosting providers offer several services and packages that are clearly priced. But you need to make up your mind about the kind of service hosting you are going to be using for your website or blog.
Let us look at some of the most common types of web hosting services available today. These are:
- Dedicated Web Hosting
- VPS Web Hosting
- Cloud Web Hosting
- Shared Web Hosting
Also, take a look at the Top 12 web hosting deals that won't break the bank
As the name suggests, having a dedicated server means precisely that; you get a server all by yourself. Hence, you do not have to worry about other users using up all the resources. With a dedicated server, quite a few web hosting companies will let you customize your server to a certain degree. You can choose what type of RAM, CPU, and how many nodes you want to use.
- Performance and Reliability: With dedicated servers, you are not worried about your resources being used up by other users and can have all the bandwidth you promised. This lessens your website's chances of crashing while handling large volumes of traffic.
- Better Security: You will not be sharing web space with other websites that may or may not have malicious content or worse. You will also be spared any cyber attacks that would have targeted other web sharing hosts.
- Increased Scalability: You can manage system configurations easily as your requirements mount. All you need to do is increase your server space without looking for a new host or a new server.
- Unique IP Address: You will never have to be worried about being blacklisted ever again. This is because a dedicated server will come with a unique hosting IP address. If too many people use the same IP addresses, they could be blocked, filtered, or blacklisted.
- Zero Maintenance Cost: With a dedicated server, you are only managing the server virtually and it is also maintained by the web hosting company.
- High Cost: In exchange for hosting a web using dedicated hosting, you will be paying a hefty sum depending on your plan. In case you decide to hire an administrator that hosts websites and servers, you would have to pay them extra.
- No Physical Access to Server: It is your web hosting provider that is in access to the server at all times and not you. If your web host is not reputable, there is also the danger of you losing or corrupting your data.
- Everything in One Place: In dedicated web hosting, you are on your own. Getting back up in case of a hardware failure could be a lengthy process.
Is Dedicated Hosting for Me?
Most people are misled into believing that a dedicated hosting plan is an answer to all your web hosting prayers. There are more versatile options such as cloud and VPS hosting these days, which are more scalable. Besides, when you compare dedicated web hosting to another option, such as a high-end VPS, the latter is much more cost-effective. But if you have specialized needs that can only be catered to by a dedicated host, then go for it.
In Shared Hosting, your website is hosted on the same server as some other websites. This case brings the price down. The number of websites you share depends entirely on the provider you go with. Your website shares space with other websites on a server, and this number can be as high as 1,000. Also, a single user can have more than one website so that it can go even higher!
- Low Cost: Cost-effectiveness is the name of the game when it comes to shared hosting. The reason is that your website is sharing server space with literally hundreds of thousands of other websites, and the cost is shared. The providers, owing to this cut-throat business, also throw in a few essential features.
- Efficiency: A shared web host makes excellent use of available server resources, bandwidth, and server space. Typically, you have enough server space to run more than one website if you do not have an extensive operation.
- Faster, Better Support: If by any chance your website encounters some trouble, there is a likely scenario that it may affect other websites that are hosted on the same server. In a situation like this, the host has no choice but to promptly look for a solution.
- Easy Configuration and Customization: You don't have much to do while setting up your website on a shared host, because everything has been done already. The control panel provided by the shared hosting plan will take care of nearly all the customizing and configuring you will need.
- Security: You don't have to tighten the security of your website individually because it will be taken care of. Some providers even offer you the option of regular and free backups, so your site would be safe.
- Limited Port Functionality: Some providers may limit the functionality of specific ports or connections on the server because of security vulnerabilities. In a shared hosting plan, the security features of a shared host could also be limited. If the server suffers any malicious activity, it may affect the rest of the websites using the server.
- Limited Functionality: In a shared hosting plan, you may not be able to run certain utilities or software except the ones provided by your provider because the server may not be capable of running them.
- Slow Performance: Since others share the resources of the server, your website is likely to experience sluggishness. Remember that the RAM, CPU and the hard drive is being shared with other users as well. The server may also get swamped by requests and become overloaded and eventually come to a stop.
Is Shared Hosting for Me?
This is the type of hosting you will ever need if you run a blog or a website with niche clientele or a personal website. It is perfect for you if you are not too bothered by uptime. This type of hosting would also be quite suitable for you to have just floated a new business. You wish to make your presence felt on the internet, but do not have the budget for the fancy stuff.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
The best thing about Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is that the number of users on a server is brought down to double digits instead of thousands. All the websites still share one physical server; it is made up of several virtual machines (or guest machines). For example, if there are 20 users on a server, the server will be equally split into 20 virtual machines.
- Reliability and Stability: Since the server does not have to share the resources, this makes it reliable compared to shared web hosting. Since the resources are divided equally, no website can draw more resources than it is allotted.
- Flexibility: You can choose the operating system that best suits your needs. You are also free to install any software that you wish to because there is no question of conflict.
Scalability: Your site is hosted by a virtual machine that draws its resources from a physical server. If you want to upgrade, making the changes takes only a few minutes for the provider.
- Root Access: You have greater control over your server configuration or installation of other applications. All these changes can be made via a control panel.
- Managed Services: Most providers offer fully managed services, which means that the hardware, virtualization, and even your operating system is maintained and updated to take care of any security patches as and when required.
- More Expensive: If you are migrating from shared web hosting, you will find this option a bit expensive. So if your budget is a bit tight, you may want to reconsider.
- Security Risks: These risks are similar to that of shared web hosting. If you are not using a reputed web hosting provider, you may end up facing security issues.
- Wobbly Performance: Some providers oversell space, which can lead to problems like websites slowing down over time or repeated error messages. Be sure you sign up with a reputed provider.
Is VPS Hosting for Me?
If you have already used traditional shared hosting, VPS is a great step up if you can afford it. A VPS at a lower tier is better than a shared solution any day! You should upgrade as soon as your website starts getting traction and visitors. Sure, the price difference is a bit off-putting, but it is worth the performance upgrade.
In essence, cloud web hosting is similar to VPS hosting because both use a virtual machine to host websites. But in VPS web hosting, you are allotted a certain amount of resources using one server. While in cloud hosting, you gain access to a massive number of servers, and virtually limitless resources, which you can dip into as and when you need them.
- Scalability: There is virtually no limit to scalability while using cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is a network of several servers, forming a massive virtual machine. You can draw as many resources as you require.
- Flexible Pricing: You pay a fixed monthly amount to the provider in a traditional hosting environment. But when you are in the cloud, you only pay for what you use.
- High Uptime: Your website uses the resources of multiple servers, so if one of them goes down, you are simply transferred to another.
- Fast Setup: You can set up your website on a cloud host extremely fast. No more waiting for the server to get ready!
- Exceptional Performance and Speed: Since the resources are shared among multiple servers, the stress on a single server is reduced, resulting in a boost in performance.
- Security Risk: Since every component of cloud service hosting is online, it is prone to security vulnerabilities.
- Downtime: Uptime can also be a disadvantage because your access is dependent on your internet connection.
Is Cloud Hosting for Me?
If you are looking for scalable options that go beyond the traditional ways of web hosting, by all means, yes, it is for you. Don't be surprised if this replaces dedicated or shared hosting options shortly. This is an option that is mutually beneficial for both the user and the provider.
We hope that this article has given you the background needed to understand the hosting types available. May this post help you decide what the hosting package is more suited for you. If you are just starting, shared hosting is an option, as well as any. You can also upgrade it to better, more expensive options as your business grows. It is a good idea to zero in on the kind of hosting first and then look for the contenders. Eventually, it will be a matter of personal preference. Comment down and below and share your thoughts with fellow readers.