What is Web Hosting? Different Types of Hosting Plans
Lots of times, specific terminology can be confusing, especially if we are confronted for the first time with something that we desperately need. There is no need to feel bad about it! Lots of people are going through the path of understanding the basics of how the Internet works. So, this time we are going to talk about hosting and the types of hosting you can find out there.
What is Web Hosting and Who Needs it?
Web hosting is a service that provides your website’s visibility on the Internet. It is a server that accommodates all those megabytes and gigabytes of data needed for your website to exist on the World Wide Web. For that reason, each hosting company will ensure to provide you with the space on their web servers which will physically keep and store your website’s data. Web servers are powerful computers that are kept by hosting companies in their data centers.
Web hosts will also provide their customers with usually reserved bandwidth, software, as well as keeping the customer’s website safe and a support system on demand, beside from housing and providing servers.
Because there are a lot of different types of websites that need different resources in terms of storage and bandwidth, companies that offer hosting services will certainly look to accommodate their service to the market’s needs. When you are choosing between hosting plans, you need to take a careful look at the type of services you are going to get; you have to choose the right offer that can be customized to your needs, flexibility of service that your hosting provider is going to deliver, as well as the security features we all know as important and crucial for growing and maintaining every business, especially one that’s on the Internet.
For now, there are a few hosting types you need to remember: Shared hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Cloud and Colocation hosting. So, let us have a look at the types of hosting that are currently provided by webhosts, and also what you can expect from them.
This type of hosting will be the right fit for those with smaller and simpler needs. In order to explain how shared hosting works, we will ask you to imagine one single server that shares its resources with various users. Different users, then, can direct their domain names, email addresses and databases separately, but they will share the same storage space, memory and bandwidth of that one single server.
The good thing about shared hosting is that it’s cheap and affordable by many. Also, if you don’t possess any knowledge on how to maintain and run a website, and you don’t have any technical skill, this type of hosting will be good for you because it will all be solved by your hosting provider.
But, don’t imagine that when it comes to sharing hosting it’s all hearts and flowers. The users of shared hosting often experience performance issues because some of the sites that are using the same server occupy more space and resource, which can lead to problems. If the hosting providers don’t have good solutions for those pesky server resource hoarders, you can experience some networking or storage problems with your website.
Shared hosting is perfect for you if you are: a blogger who wants to have a small blog or you are a low traffic website owner. That’s why a lot of web hosting providers offer personalized blog plans. Shared hosting can also be a good solution to the ones having a small eCommerce website with excluded credit card payment options.
Shared hosting is like living in a community with a limited amount of resources that everybody needs to use to survive; if the rules, guidelines and lines not to be crossed are perfectly set by the community leader (in this case the hosting provider) you won’t be having troubles. On the other hand if someone doesn’t respect those rules, it can affect everyone within the community.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting
VPS hosting stands for Virtual Private Servers. The prevailing difference compared to shared hosting is that there is no sharing of resources. Every account has a certain portion of CPU, RAM and bandwidth, as well as the disk space which are all dedicated to serving your needs but it’s all within one hosting server machine.
This is why performance that uses VPS hosting is not affected by other users who are using the same server and your website won’t get in trouble because somebody else is taking up all the resources of the server as is the case of shared hosting. VPS hosting will be able to provide dedicated resources, but to be managed it needs a person who knows more technical stuff than the one who uses the services of shared hosting.
This plan will be great for the ones who need a hosting plan which can support higher trafficked visitor loads; for instance the ones who want to build and maintain an eCommerce website.
VPS hosting can be compared to living in an apartment building. You are sharing the structure and the hallways of the building with other tenants but you still have your own apartment that you can use to store your stuff and fully manage it.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated hosting is the one for you if you are all about power and resources. With this hosting plan you will be able to use the resources of a whole server. You can make this server to meet all your specific needs at any time and personalize it completely. VPS and Shared types of hosting are limited to some of the features that you get if you have a server that’s fully yours.
Dedicated servers are more expensive and they need a higher knowledge of technical skills than any of the other types of hosting. This hosting is perfect for companies that are worried about the safety of their data, for bigger online stores and high trafficked websites.
Dedicated hosting is like owning your own building. You set your own rules and all of its resources are dedicated (as the name says) to only and fully your needs.
Difference between cloud hosting and dedicated hosting is about the way of accessing the resources of the server. With dedicated hosting you have access to the resources of only one physical server, but cloud hosting takes the service of dedicated hosting to a whole new level. With this type of service, your resources come from an interconnected web of servers that can balance the loads for optimum performance. If it comes to a sudden surge of website visitors, the servers work together to accommodate them all.
With this hosting plan, you will have the resources on demand, and speed and performance are guaranteed to make you appreciate your cloud hosting service. If you host your websites on a cloud, you will see that your whole experience is better, your website is safer and you will experience high levels of performance. Cloud hosting can be used for the needs of small as well as big companies which are uncertain of the traffic they might experience. This hosting type will meet everybody’s needs, so you don’t have to think twice about it if you are in the need for flexible services in the domain of traffic.
Cloud hosting is like having a party from time to time in an apartment building and not having enough chairs to seat everyone or space to accommodate them. So everyone in the apartment building chips in with their stuff to help you hold the party for that one day.
Colocation hosting means that you are housing your own server and network equipment in some third party data centers. In this scenario, the colocation provider rents out his physical space, electrical power, bandwidth, cooling systems, security and IP addresses to the customer. Companies and businesses go for colocation hosting if they want specific brands of the equipment and software they are accustomed to.
The provider takes upon him the task of ensuring the continuous supply of electrical energy, physical security of the space the server equipment is housed in, the IPs and bandwidth requirements and the overall installations. The only downside is that you are limited by the working hours of the data centers and their location.
This type of hosting is like renting a plot of land for your building but in a condominium type of neighborhood. You pay out for the security that is done by the company that owns the condominium neighborhood, they are also obliged to provide you with the electricity and water that your building needs, they provide access and parking to your guests, and the streets to get to their parking spots.
Web hosting is an ever-growing industry, which is vital in these modern times. Variety of service types and custom plans are here to meet the needs of every customer. We described what you can expect out there, now it’s your job to decide what fits your needs in the best way.