When deciding on a web host, you’ll find an array of different options. As the web hosting industry has grown, options have divided into several distinct categories, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. These include shared, collocated, unmanaged dedicated, and managed dedicated.
Knowing what each of these different types of web hosting entails can help you make an informed decision for your business.
With a shared hosting package, a website shares a server with hundreds or even thousands of other websites. The client maintains his or her own site and account, but the host maintains primary control over the server itself. The main drawback to shared hosting is that everyone using the server shares its resources. Also, the limited control means the client is unable to install software or configure the space in any way. However, this is the least expensive option, as well as the most popular for small businesses without unique needs.
Colocated hosting is one of the lesser known hosting solutions, in which a server is purchased from a vendor, such as HP or Dell, which is then transferred to the host. The host can then plug the server into its network so the client can enjoy the benefits of the host’s redundant power systems. While the host owns the responsibility of ensuring the network is available, the client is fully responsible for the maintenance of the server. Some hosts may offer management contracts to collocation clients so that support and maintenance tasks can be outsourced.
Unmanaged Dedicated Hosting
Unmanaged dedicated hosting is similar to colocated hosting. The primary difference is that the server is leased instead of owned. Levels of support vary widely from host to host, so this should be discussed thoroughly prior to entering an agreement. Unmanaged dedicated servers can be rented for around $99 per month.
Managed Dedicated Hosting
This option involves leasing a server from a host while the host provides a rigorous level of maintenance and support. The server will also be supported by quality guarantees. Maintenance generally includes uptime monitoring, security updates, hardware warranties, and more.
Virtual Private Servers
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) are affordable options that bridge the gap between shared and dedicated servers. They are shared servers that provide benefits similar to those offered by dedicated servers. Such benefits include maximum performance, optimal security, and guaranteed resources.
Once a basic understanding of different hosting options has been established, taking the necessary factors into consideration prior to selecting a hosting option will be less complicated. Keep the following issues in mind for an efficient selection process.
- Confusing size with stability. Even large, prominent hosting companies have failed their clients when it comes to reliability and security. That’s why it’s important to inquire how long the company has been in business and if ownership has remained unchanged.
- Redundancy of data centers. All data centers should be equipped with backup options and generators in case power outages or connectivity issues occur. It’s reasonable to ask a potential host how many lines the facility is able to access, what types of physical and virtual security measures are in place, and what fire suppression systems are available. Be sure to ask about the average utilization of connections, as a connection running at maximum capacity is bound to be slow.
- Focusing only on price. Cost and budget are necessary aspects of making long-term decisions, including those involving web hosting. It should not be the only concern, however. In many cases, investing in a pricier package is more cost-effective in the long run than being forced to remedy problems and errors as they arise. For the most profitable decision, consider how the need for further investment may affect the bottom line.
- Level of scalability. One of the main objectives of most businesses is growth. Via deliberate strategic planning, high-quality marketing campaigns, and careful consideration of the information outlined above, conversions will most likely increase exponentially. Given these factors, it is critical to select a web host that is able and willing to expand services to accommodate a thriving business.
Embracing both the present demands and future possibilities of a business can be challenging, but prioritizing scalability is crucial. One of the most effective means of avoiding business-related barriers is to maintain a thorough understanding of goals and objectives, and to plan strategically and accordingly – with scalability in mind.
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