Websites have become very important for marketing, selling products and services or as a medium to express opinions etc.
This is the reason why we see an exponential growth in websites with thousands created every single day.
Web hosting therefore has followed through in terms of growth in order to meet the demand of website explosion.
There are several types and vendors of web hosting providers. Also, according to top5hosting, there are mainly two operating systems used on web hosts, being Linux and Windows. Linux has dominated the hosting world in the past but now its dominance has decreased considerably, making room for Windows OS as well.
Basically there are mainly 4 types of web host technologies which we will briefly discuss in this article:
- Shared hosting
- Dedicated servers
- Cloud hosting
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the cheapest form of web hosting. This is why it is the most popular hosting type all over the world.
It is actually more economical compared to other web hosting types such as dedicated hosting, because many people share the same web server.
You just need to pay $3 to $10 per month to have a website on a shared hosting plan. However, the cost normally varies depending how many domains you are allowed to host, bandwidth, storage etc.
The other advantages of this plan are:
- You do not need to be an expert. Very user friendly environment.
- Availability of 24/7 technical support.
- Improvement of bandwidth and customization options are available to add to your plan easily.
However, this web hosting plan normally has some shortcomings as well. These include:
- You can be subject to downtime very often. This is because the resources of the web host (such as memory, CPU etc) are limited.
- When traffic to your website increases you will need to change hosts eventually.
- Security of your website can be comprised easily because if a “neighbor” website on the same host gets hacked then your own website is at risk as well.
2. VPS web hosting
VPS is commonly known as Virtual Private Server. This is a bridge that reduces the distance between shared hosting and dedicated server.
You will realize that in VPS, the main server is split into several private servers and each VPS hosting is capable of hosting its own resources and operating system. This actually makes each VPS hosting system a server on its own entirety.
The technology above is made possible using virtualization software such as VMWare, KVM, Xen HVM etc.
The following are some advantages of this web hosting technology:
- It is more affordable than having a dedicated server.
- It guarantees resources to each website
- Ability to have full control over the operations of the hosting.
- Better performance compared to share web hosting.
- Minimal security risks.
However, this web hosting plan has some cons as well. These include:
- It is more expensive compared to shared web hosting
- Some web hosts offer VPS hosting but do not allocate the resources appropriately.
3. Dedicated server
A dedicated web server is a physical server that is meant to be used by only one customer.
This server is normally used to host websites belonging to one customer only. These websites are able to fully utilize the memory and processor resources within the system. The following are the advantages of this web hosting plan:
- Allows you to enjoy the full capabilities of the server.
- 100% of the resources are normally dedicated to you.
- You have complete control of your server.
- Strong enough to handle thousands of visitors a day
- Freedom to resell hosting to others.
However, this web hosting plan has some disadvantages. These include:
- Not suitable for novice users
- You need to setup name servers
- More expensive
4. Cloud hosting
This web hosting plan is quite different from other types of web hosting. It is not dependent on a single server. However, it is normally connected to multiple server resources which are offered dynamically by a cloud computing provider.
Whenever a website or an application that is hosted under cloud hosting needs extra resources, its easy to draw resources from the cloud.
The following are some of the advantages of this web hosting plan:
- It is a very reliable hosting technology
- Minimal security risks
- More flexible and easily expandable.
- Lower hardware costs
- Lower personnel costs
Some of the disadvantages of this web hosting plan include:
- Sites using cloud hosting can still have downtime if the connections between the servers are not working
- Limited control and flexibility
- Cloud computing platform dependencies
You should weigh the above mentioned pros and cons of each web hosting technology. This can help you make a good decision.