As we mentioned in our article, Can Too Much Traffic Be Bad For Your Website?, there are three typical choices for web hosting: shared, dedicated, or VPS (virtual private server). And depending on what you want your website to do, it may be necessary to opt for something more robust than shared web hosting.
To determine which will best accommodate your website, we’ll need to consider the pros and cons of each type of hosting.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is when your website shares a web server with many different websites, which each have their own resource allotment.
- Inexpensive. Because web hosts may be able to place hundreds, or even thousands, of accounts on one host, the price of shared web hosting is very cheap, usually $6 – $25 per month.
- Fully featured. The web hosting industry is crowded with hosts, each offering low prices. As a result, there is high competition to win over new customers. To do this, web hosts are offer more and more features ranging from unlimited resources to free Adwords credits.
- Professionally managed. One other feature is that your server is managed by the web company. This means that you never have to worry about hardware problems, upgrading software, or troubleshooting inbound attacks.
- Limited configuration options. While you have the freedom to upload just about any files to your website, you have limited control over the configuration of your server. This includes, but is not limited to, the handling to certain file types, the default settings for variables, and the version of scripts (such as PHP or ASP).
- Affected by other customers. In addition, your website could be affected by other websites on your server. For example, if there is a website which regularly consumes more than its share of bandwidth, your website might load more slowly that it otherwise might. Additionally, if another website has insecure scripts, your server could be compromised and attacked.
- Low Security. Like above, your website could be subject to attack based on other websites on your server. In addition, due to the insecure configuration of your shared server, your website may be at risk.
In contrast, dedicated hosting means that only one customer’s website(s) will be hosted on a server.
- Complete control over configuration. As the only customer on a server, you can create your ideal server by setting up the configuration options according to what works best for your website and programs.
- No limitations. There are also not restrictions on bandwidth usage or are their any limitations due to other website. The only limitations that might effect your website is the capacity of the server.
With dedicated hosting, there is generally only one drawback. Price. Dedicated hosting is very expensive. It usually starts at about $125, and might go as high as several hundred dollars a month, depending on features as well as the level of support.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
VPS hosting gives you the best of both worlds. This hosting option mimics dedicated hosting because you are given full control over your server. However, you also share the server with other customers, but fewer customers than with shared web hosting.
This option is particularly attractive because there is a low price, usually around $45 – $115 a month, as well as greater security and increased resources, when compared to shared hosting.
Which should you choose?
For most websites, shared web hosting is sufficient. However, if you have a high traffic website or host an eCommerce store, it might be good to opt for VPS or dedicated hosting. While making your decision, be sure to discuss your concerns with different web hosting providers to see which package will best suit your needs.
For more information on choosing hosting for your website, see our article How To Choose a Host for Your Website and Why You Shouldn’t Choose A Web Host Solely By Price. Tags: shared hosting