The differences between hosting plans go far beyond software, hardware, and price. Some hosting platforms are built around specific content management systems. Here are the most common types of web hosting, so you’re equipped to make the right choice for your business website.
Shared hosting is the most popular plan for small website owners. Multiple users share a server on this type of plan. A server can host hundreds of websites.
Shared plans are usually cheap because the provider can distribute maintenance costs among users. The quality depends on the provider. Some plans are pretty limiting, but others can support sites with relatively high traffic.
Sharing resources with other users doesn’t mean you’ll have access to their private data and files, nor will they be able to access yours.
- Easy to find plans for $5 a month or less.
- Excellent performance for small- to medium-sized sites.
- Shared plans don’t perform well with heavy traffic.
- Long-term commitment for the best rates
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
Virtual Private Servers (VPSs) are a step up from the previous hosting type in terms of customizability and performance. The server is still shared, but it consists of numerous virtually-partitioned segments. Each segment is a fully-functional system devoted to your business website. You have access to dedicated resources and even to the server’s configuration in some cases.
Practically speaking, VPSs offer more isolation between users, which can enhance security and performance. Some hosting services make it possible for users to configure their VPS from the ground up, so they get the resources they require.
If you go with VPS web hosting, you might not get access to a control panel, which means the command line will have to be used to configure the server. This can be complicated if you don’t have experience.
- Fully dedicated resources for your website.
- Possibility to configure VPS to your specific needs.
- Configuring a VPS requires some technical know-how.
- It’s hard to calculate how many resources you need.
The cloud is actually a network of distributed VPSs. The server is hosted on a network of computers. One plus of this hosting type is that server resources can be scaled as needed and very quickly. Downtime is rarely a problem with cloud hosting. What’s more, you can’t lose data because redundancy is built into the system. The cloud can’t possibly crash.
- It offers a high degree of scalability.
- You can customize your server as you want.
- Complicated payment structures
- You need experience configuring a server.
Dedicated hosting is the best option for business owners who want the whole server for their website. This option provides exclusive access to a single server. All the hosting service does is house the server. You have full control over its configuration.
As you can expect, this comes at a price. The cheapest dedicated hosting plans start at $100 a month.
- You get a whole server to yourself.
- Configure your server to your liking.
- It’s an expensive option.
Managed hosting is not exactly a hosting plan but a hosting service. The provider is responsible for daily maintenance tasks, which can include software updates, backups, security monitoring, etc.
There are managed VPSs, managed shared plans, and even managed dedicated plans. All of these options will cost you extra, but you’ll be able to focus on growing your business.
The concept of managed hosting can vary depending on the provider. Some hosting companies will take care of every aspect of website operations and offer 24/7 support, while others will only take care of basic maintenance.
- The provider will take care of basic maintenance tasks.
- They might optimize website performance for you.
- More expensive than unmanaged hosting plans.
- Less control over server configuration and site optimization.