Website hosting can be compared to the process of renting or buying space to place a website on the world wide web. If a website is just sitting on a computer at a home or business, it is not available for everyone to access.
A web host, or web hosting service, provides the technologies and tools to enable the website or webpage to be viewed on the Internet.
The website is allocated a domain name. The site has a url (uniform resource locator) which provides the address to “find” the site.
Hosting has enabled the internet to grow to be the integral part of our lives that it is these days.
Websites are hosted or stored on special computers called servers. Servers connect web users to sites from anywhere in the world that has internet connection.
Consider if your computer was operating as a server. As if it were generating the platform for your website to be seen by web visitors. But then you turn your computer off, and your site is not available for viewing. The hosting server computers are developed to be displaying the websites continually. Excepting when they have the occasional glitch, which is called “down time”.
So when creating an online presence, a reliable web hosting provider is essential.
There are different levels of hosting services available with hosting plans. These have varying benefits and varying pricing. Different types of hosting include Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Server Hosting, and Cloud Hosting.
Shared hosting is widely used, especially for beginner sites and smaller websites. With shared hosting the website is stored on the same server as multiple other websites. Returning to the “renting” analogy, it could be considered to compare to renting a room or apartment in a large block. In the renting scenario, all residents are sharing facilities.
With shared hosting, all domains share the same server resources. For example, they are sharing RAM (Random Access Memory) and CPU (Central Processing Unit).
Loading times may be slower. Slow loading times can impact SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, because all resources are shared, the cost of shared hosting plans are relatively low. This makes them an excellent option for website owners when starting out.
*Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
A VPS hosting plan is the ultimate middle ground between a shared server and a dedicated server. It is chosen by website owners needing more control, but not necessarily wanting a dedicated server. Resources are not shared with other customers (such as RAM or CPU). This will reduce the possible impact of negative aspects of other sites.
VPS also enables customization of the hosting environment to adjust to the scale needed. Therefore not be paying for un-needed services. The cost of VPS services are higher than Shared Hosting, but pricing is reasonable.
*Dedicated server hosting
Dedicated hosting services give website owners the most control over the server that their website is stored on.
If the website is loading slowly, running out of space, or the audience is growing quickly, it could indicate that it is time to consider a dedicated server. General the choice of VPS is made for greater control.
Dedicated servers provide a more stable and secure platform. They have faster loading times, and capacity to cope with the larger number of site visits. This capacity fits well with more mature and established sites. The optimum performance pf VPS can be beneficial for google rankings and SEO.
However, with the added benefits of Dedicated Hosting comes a higher price. Dedicated server cost is more expensive web hosting option. Dedicated Hosting also involves more responsibility and requires server administration knowledge. The hosting company provides the physical hardware upgrades. The owner is however responsible for software updates and maintenance.
VPS, Dedicated, and Cloud hosting are for more active, established, busier websites.
Beginner sites will generally opt for the more economical and straightforward option of shared hosting.
The hosting package chosen will provide the platform for the website and allow it to run with the best speed and performance for the chosen package level. Shared hosting is obviously the most economical option. It is also the easiest to begin with, and the better option for smaller websites.
Dedicated hosting provides more speed, power and control at levels which shared hosting cannot give. It also comes with added responsibilities. It is chosen by those who want greater control and speed.
When considering hosting companies, it is advisable to research the history, capacity, and customer satisfaction, to ensure a reliable choice.
Ultimately the choice of hosting packages will be based on technical understanding and requirement and considering budget.