What Type of Web Hosting to Choose?

October 18, 2010 in Technical by Youssef Kassab

Web Hosting TypesHaving a website has become a necessity for any business today. In order to get your website accessible through the web it should be hosted on a web server connected to the Internet and well secured. Web hosting simply refers to a service that hosts your website, making it accessible to people interested in what you have to say or sell.  You might need to host your company’s website or your personal website or a web application that will service thousands or million of users and the question always is where do I host my application and what type of hosting is the best for me.

There are 3 types of hosting services: shared server hosting, virtual dedicated server and physical dedicated server. You will find in this article a description of the different hosting types and hopefully this will help you choose the suitable option for you.

Shared Server Hosting

This is the cheapest option. Your website will be hosted with thousands of other websites on the same machine which makes it less secure and less reliable since all hardware resources will be shared also. Shared hosting is affordable but you have to make sure it supports the scripting languages and applications you need and gives you the needed access to manage your website. The hosting company will monitor the server and manage it. This means less things to worry about but also less things you can control. There are some really good hosting companies that offer hosting multiple websites on 1 account and provide almost unlimited storage space and email inboxes but security and reliability remain the most important issues. This option is valid for small websites that do not need high processing speed or lot of storage and that doesn’t expect huge amounts of visitors.

Virtual Dedicated Server

This is a virtual machine dedicated to you. You are given access to all the resources, giving you the ability to host more than one website. This is a more secure form of hosting. You can control your machine but you have to take care of the management and monitoring yourself. There are some good hosting providers offering affordable packages that can be upgraded easily without having to move your files or migrate to a new server. This option is good for newly launched applications or new websites offering services that have a small amount of visitors and that can be easily upgraded when the number of visitors increases.

Physical Dedicated Server

With this option you get an entire server dedicated to you. It has the same features as the virtual dedicated server except that you don’t share the same hardware with another virtual server. This gives you more reliable hosting service and more available resources to use. This hosting type is required for applications or sites offering services with a big number of visitors.

In addition to choosing a web hosting type you also need to consider what kind of platform to choose. The common ones are Windows and Linux supporting each different features. It is also necessary to know what is the purpose of your website when choosing a hosting type.

Whatever form of hosting you choose, shared hosting or virtual or physical dedicated hosting, make sure that you take your time to check out what will work best for your kind of website or websites. What is your experience with hosting companies and the different types of web hosting?