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Web Hosting is a fundamental component of any website. It is the link between creating a website and making it accessible to online visitors via the World Wide Web. Simple put, web hosting is a service that provides the disk space on a server to store a website content so that visitors can view and utilize this website online.
Taking a look at the web hosting industry, it is huge! There are hundreds of web hosting companies out there, each one offering many different types of hosting services. With so much competition, how do you know which one is going to be best for you? But look at the bright side more competition means less cost and better service for you.
When deciding on a hosting company and a package that are right for you, there are a lot of different factors to consider. The first step is deciding what type of hosting service best fit your needs and your budget, there are many different web hosting services but mainly they are 3 main types; shared web hosting, VPS (Virtual Private Server), and dedicated hosting.
Once you know what type of hosting you are looking for, the next step is deciding on a hosting company. One of the most important aspects to look at when choosing your provider is reliability or Up time.
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Below is a list of the main web hosting services which are; Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Hosting:
Shared Web Hosting
The largest growing and most popular type of web hosting is “Shared Web Hosting”. Shared web hosting is a type of hosting where multiple customers’ sites can share the same server. Each one of these sites sits in it’s own section of the server, keeping them separate from one another. This type of hosting service is the most economical option for hosting, not only because you are sharing the overall cost, but you are also cutting costs by not paying any upfront hardware expense.
Shared hosting often includes services such as a “system administrator”. System administrators are great for those just starting out and don’t yet know a lot about servers, or for those who simply don’t want the extra hassle of taking care the server themselves. The provider is not only responsible for managing the servers, but also for installing server software, providing technical support, security updates, etc.
This type of hosting is great for small to medium-sized businesses. It is also a great option for those just starting out with their online career, as it is budget friendly yet still provides the management and services that may be required for less experienced website holders.
VPS (Virtual Private Server, Virtual Dedicated Server)
A VPS refers to a “virtual machine”. It bridges the gap between shared web hosting services and dedicated web hosting services. It provides the customer with most of the benefits of a physical dedicated server, but at a much lesser cost. This type of server is similar to shared web hosting in that you will be sharing a server with other customers’ websites however instead of using a portion of a server, the server is entirely split.
Not only does a VPS have the privacy of a separate physical computer but it also is functionally equivalent to running on a separate physical computer, all the while running software on the same physical computer as other customers’ “virtual machines”. Each virtual server can use its own full-fledged operating system and can be independently rebooted.
This type of hosting is perfect for website owner that receives large amounts of traffic daily, or a business owner with multiple websites. VPS is an accumulative server, which means that as your site continues to grow, more resources will be added to accommodate its needs.
There are certain software such as virtualizes themselves that do not run as well on VPS. Another things to consider is because of the number of customers running on one machine, a VPS often has limited processor time, RAM, and disk space.
The most powerful type of web hosting is “Dedicated Hosting”. With this type of hosting, the client leases and entire server, not shared with anyone.
Dedicated hosting is more flexible than shared hosting because it is solely for your use. It offers full control over the server, including choice of operating system, hardware, etc. These types of servers are most often housed in data centers, providing redundant power and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). By having multiple vendors for connectivity and use of redundant hardware, these providers are able to guarantee higher up times, which usually fall between 99-100% if they are a higher quality provider. Dedicated hosting uses extreme security measures to ensure safety of data stored on their network servers.
This type of web hosting is ideal for high-demand websites that require large storage space and high transfer speeds. Many large corporations use dedicated hosting because it is capable of handling many functions simultaneously.
No industry standard has yet been set for dedicated hosting. This means each provider will use standard industry terms, but providers will define theirs differently. Different companies will provide different levels of management and support.
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