In today’s digital world, it’s important to have a web presence whether for business or personal reasons. The first step in this process is to choose the proper web hosting.
There are three different levels of web hosting: shared, VPS and dedicated. All are available in either the Linux or Windows environment.
Shared Hosting Shared web hosting is the most common type and is where most people begin their web sites. This type of service has many sites on one server, with their own allocated disk space and resources. It uses a control panel such as Plesk, cPanel or DirectAdmin which lets the user set up databases, upload files and create email accounts. The major administrative tasks such as security and software updates are taken care of by the hosting company. This type of hosting can be obtained cheaply, however, there can be drawbacks such as oversold servers which may result in slow loading or even downtime. It’s best to contact the sales department of a desired host and ask questions before purchase.
VPS Hosting A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a relatively new concept in web hosting. It’s basically a server that has been partitioned off into several smaller “virtual” server environments, which run their own operating systems and can be rebooted individually. A VPS offers more bandwidth and disk space than a shared hosting account and is a good choice for web sites that draw more than an average amount of visitors, such as message boards or blogs. It’s also an ideal solution for web developers that may need certain configurations for their projects. VPS hosting can be “managed”, where the hosting company takes care of major upgrades and problems, or “unmanaged”, where the customer has full control, including root access. Managed VPS is more expensive but is a better choice for those that don’t have a lot of server experience.
Dedicated Hosting Dedicated web hosting is the top level of web hosting. It’s an entire web server and its resources dedicated to one customer running one web site. This type of hosting is quite pricey and is for very high volume web sites and blogs. Like VPS, it offers managed and unmanaged options. The price per month can vary quite a bit between different hosting companies, so it’s best to shop around and ask questions before making a commitment.
Whatever the hosting needs, shared, VPS or dedicated, one is bound to be just right.