– Marvin Kane
Websites are a collection of files that reside on a computer. For a website to exist, it must be “hosted” somewhere on the internet. An entity, company, or person provides that space. It is said to be “hosting” the website. To understand this concept, you can think of it this way. Your hosting company is your website’s landlord. Your website is their tenant. When you rent space from a landlord you want to know what comes with the rent don’t you? Are utilities included? Such as heat and electricity? How big is the space? How long is the lease?
Do you know what amenities your hosting company provides? Keep in mind, like anything else, you get what you pay for. High rent, lots of amenities. Low rent, few amenities.
Web Hosting Comes in Different Flavors
- Shared hosting – think of this as entry-level hosting. As the name suggests, the computer used for hosting is shared between many client websites. Though each website is given a separate user account, all the websites on the machine end up competing for resources. This may result in the machine being overwhelmed which in turn affects performance. If server response time slows down sufficiently, users will become frustrated and abandon the site.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) – Virtual private servers share one physical server but act like multiple, separate servers. Even though each VPS instance shares hardware resources, each one is allocated a dedicated slice of the computing resources. A VPS eliminates the problems associated with shared hosting like the possibility of other sites on the server infecting your site, slowing your site down, or even worse, crashing your site.
- Dedicated Server – As the name suggests, a dedicated server is a physical server configured specifically for your website – and only your website. You have full control and don’t have to worry about other websites on a shared server taking up your resources and slowing your website down.
- Cloud Hosting – Cloud hosting services provide hosting for websites on virtual servers that pull their computing resource from extensive underlying networks of physical web servers. It is available as a service rather than a product and is comparable with traditional utilities such as electricity and gas. Broadly speaking the client can tap into their service as much as they need, depending on the demands of their website, and they will only pay for what they use.