Of course all website owners would like to imagine that their website will receive millions of visitors every day and that every piece of content within it will go viral. But out of all the websites online, that only happens to a handful. So it’s important to be realistic when choosing a web hosting option that will be right for you and your website.
Many people initially want to turn their nose up at shared hosting because they realize that with this type of hosting, their website will be on the same server as many others. While it does have its downsides, such as not being able to customize the server in the way you choose and limited storage space, shared hosting runs the majority of websites online. Shared hosting often comes with features that are easy to use such as one-click installation of popular software programs like WordPress and easy management of a site’s files, databases and email.
Shared hosting is best suited for website owners that plan on creating a very small site such as a personal blog or a website and blog for a small business. Websites that are run through WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal are also typically run on a shared hosting plan so if that’s the intention, this type of web hosting is likely best for the site. It’s also the most affordable option, which can be a plus for many website owners.
On the other end of the spectrum is dedicated hosting. With this type of hosting the website owner has a web server all to themselves with no other websites taking up precious real estate within it. With a dedicated server, website owners can customize the server however they want, as well as take up as much room as they want. These website owners will also rarely have to worry about how much traffic they’re receiving as they’ll be the only ones using the bandwidth.
Dedicated servers typically come with both managed and unmanaged plans, meaning that the website owner can have server maintenance completely taken care of for them, or unmanaged, which means they will be responsible for these tasks themselves. This latter option requires great technical knowledge however, and a willingness to spend a significant amount of time working on the server.
While shared hosting may be the equivalent of renting a room in a house though, a dedicated server is the equivalent of renting the entire house. It’s much more expensive and the majority of maintenance tasks will rest entirely with the website owner.
For those who don’t think a shared environment will work for them but also don’t want to pay the high cost of a dedicated server, there’s VPS hosting. This type of hosting takes a dedicated server and virtually separates it into different sections with each section working independently of the others. It’s really a middle ground between the most expensive and the least. This is a good option for medium-sized businesses, a personal blog that receives a lot of traffic, and website owners that want more options within their hosting package.
Sometimes the choice of the perfect web host is obvious to the person just starting to create their own website; other times, it’s not as clear. For those who aren’t sure what their needs are, or what they’ll be in the future, it’s best to contact a reputable web host and spend a few minutes talking about the website. They’ll likely be able to provide insight on what you need and what will work with you in the future if the chosen option doesn’t seem to be working and you want to upgrade your hosting plan.