Whether you are creating a new website or revamping your current site, selecting a web hosting service is an important decision. While you may not have to worry about changing services for a personal website, your business website may undergo changes quickly and it is important to select a company flexible enough to keep up with your website’s needs. To choose the best hosting service for your website, you first have to know what types are available.
Types of Web Hosting
There are many types of web hosting plans to choose from and they can be confusing if you are not familiar with their services. You can select from:
- Shared Web Hosting
- Reseller Web Hosting
- Cloud-Based Web Hosting
- Virtual Private Server
- Dedicated Web Server
- Colocation Web Hosting
- Self-Service Web Hosting
Even if you are a small business just creating the company’s website, you need to think ahead when selecting a hosting service. While your needs may be few now, they could change quickly and you need to select a service that can keep up with your needs. It is important to consider your company’s future expansion plans when selecting your web hosting service, especially if your website will be used to sell products online. Some hosting businesses, like CWCS, provide more than one type of hosting for their clients.
Shared Web Hosting
A shared web hosting service is a good choice if you are publishing a personal website or creating a site for a small business that will not need an e-commerce site. It is an inexpensive service because several websites share the same server. The main advantage of selecting a shared web hosting service is the cost because you may only pay £3 to £14 pounds per month for the service.
While the low cost can be enticing, the main problem with sharing a server is performance. If there is a popular site on the same server as yours, then your site, as well as the others, may seem slow to respond. However, if you don’t anticipate needing a large amount of bandwidth or server space in the future, a shared hosting service may suffice for your needs.
Reseller Web Hosting
A reseller web hosting service allows you to offer web hosting to other websites, so if you want to start a web hosting business, this is one way to get started. It is an inexpensive service similar to a shared web hosting site, but with the added tools you need for a web hosting business. Some of the tools that may be offered include:
- Web Host Management control panel
- Software to bill clients
- Free website templates
- Private name servers
Even though you are reselling web hosting, you are not going to be responsible for technical support. The web hosting company is responsible for all technical support for your clients, along with your company’s site. With this type of hosting, you can expect to pay about £10 to £70 per month.
Cloud-Based Web Hosting
Most web hosting services depend on one server for their clients’ websites, but a cloud-based web hosting service uses several machines together to act as one large server. This offers better security for their clients and gives the company more flexibility as they can simply add more hardware to the cloud as the need arises. The pricing for this type of web hosting service varies as it depends on the services you need, so it is more of a pay-for-what-yo- use type of service.
Virtual Private Server
Virtual Private Server, or VPS, web hosting involves using one physical server, with its resources allocated to act as multiple servers for their clients. A VPS service is the bridge between shared hosting and having a dedicated server for your company’s website. Like a shared hosting service, your business site will share space on the server with hundreds of different websites, but the data resources are allocated in such a way that your site’s performance will not be affected by other websites. The pricing for this service depends on the amount of RAM memory your site needs and its CPU. Expect to pay £35 to £140 per month for VPS hosting.
Dedicated Web Server
A dedicated web server means your company’s website is the only one being hosted on the server. This offers greater security for your business’ and clients’ data and it allows your site to expand as your company grows. If you have an e-commerce site, a dedicated server allows you the resources and security you need for your website. You should consider hiring a system administrator to handle the technical needs for this type of service. This will be the most expensive type of service since your website will be the only one on a server, so it may cost at least £70 per month.
Colocation Web Hosting
You can purchase your own server and equipment to host your website, but rent space in a data centre to house it. The centre provides climate control, the uplink for the Internet, the electricity and onsite security for your server. However, you will need to provide the technical expertise, software, data storage and any of the other needs for hosting your website on the server. Unless you are technically savvy and are willing to make the investment of time and money, then you may not want to use this type of hosting.
Self-Service Web Hosting
Like colocation hosting, you will need to supply all of the equipment, as well as the space, to get your website up and running on the Internet. You will need space for the equipment, you have to supply the power, physical security, have a place with adequate cooling and provide all of the technical expertise as well. This type of hosting is more suitable for a large company than it is for a busy small business on a tight budget.
The type of web hosting service you select will depend on your budget, your technical expertise and your company’s current and future needs.