Monthly Archives - March 2016

What type of hosting is right for my business?

hosting_qmarkFiguring out what type of hosting you need can be difficult, especially if you’re just getting your business online. We’ve categorized the different types below, with pros and cons for each, but if you’re still confused, feel free to reach out to us and tell us a little about what you plan to do with your website, and we can suggest a hosting plan for you.

Free Hosting

Free hosting can be attractive to users on a budget, but beware, everything has a price. If you’re not paying with currency you will be through advertising or other means. The most common way for a “free” hosting company to make their money is to fill your site with ads; ads with content that you have no control over.  Your site visitors will be put off, your website won’t look legitimate, and it will only be able to handle a few visitors at a time. That being said, if you’re okay with all of that, feel free to sign up for free hosting.

Pros

  • Free

Cons

  • Unwanted Ads
  • Seems unprofessional

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is probably your best bet if you’re just getting started. “What is shared hosting?” you ask? A good analogy would be to imagine the server (the computer that hosts your website) as a swimming pool. Since it is shared hosting, you and many other customers will all use the swimming pool, which is owned by the hosting company. If the hosting company lets too many people in the pool, or if some of the customers take up a LOT of space in the pool, everyone else loses out.
A good hosting company will make sure that all the customers are playing fair, and will limit the number of customers who use a single swimming pool, but even then, there will be “peak” times when many websites are getting lots of visitors, so the pool will get crowded.
Not being in charge of the pool means you don’t have to worry about maintaining it, or taking care of any of the technical details. But at the same time, you can’t make any major modifications either.
Most shared hosting policies are governed by a “fair-use” policy, meaning that the words “Unlimited” are not truly unlimited. If you’re taking up too much space in the pool you’ll be asked to either move on to another company or buy your own pool.

Pros

  • Very Affordable
  • Low maintenance
  • Limited experience needed

Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Processing power shared with other customers

VPS Hosting

VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server) is the next step up from shared hosting. If we continue our swimming pool analogy, imagine the pool owner roped off a section of the pool and said it was yours to do with as you want. Technically, you have less space to roam around the pool, but on the plus side you have guaranteed space for your website AND you can make some modifications. If you wanted to add a small slide in your pool area, or put up some lights, you have that ability (within reason). In the real world, the main benefit of this would be to allow for custom installations on the server. If you have no idea what any of that means, you may not need VPS. A good shared host will provide you with everything you need. But if you need to keep things cost-effective and shared hosting doesn’t allow you to install certain scripts or give you the custom access you need, VPS is your best bet.

Pros

  • Still somewhat cost effective
  • Dedicated resources at ALL times
  • Root access and customization options

Cons

  • Requires more expertise to set up and maintain

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated Hosting provides you with even more resources than VPS. In terms of the pool, this would mean that the ENTIRE pool is yours. If you’ve ever owned a pool, you know there are huge benefits. Depending on how much money you want to spend, your pool can be as big or as small as you want it to be, and you can customize whatever you want. If you’ve ever owned a pool, you ALSO know that there is one big downside – you need to maintain the pool yourself. This means cleaning the pool, testing the pH, maintaining chlorine levels…all the stuff you don’t have to think about if you use someone else’s pool. Well, in the hosting world, that means you need to understand how to set up a server, install all the options you need, and maintain things so that your website works properly. This would only be recommended for companies that require custom installations, and need the full dedicated server to meet the needs of their visitors. If VPS just doesn’t have the power you need, Dedicated Hosting is the option for you.

Pros

  • Dedicated resources at ALL times
  • Root access and customization options
  • As much processing power as you need

Cons

  • Requires more expertise to set up and maintain
  • Can get very costly depending on the hardware

Managed Dedicated Hosting

Managed Dedicated Hosting is pretty much the same as Dedicated Hosting, but with someone else doing the maintenance. It’s basically like hiring someone to take care of your pool for you. All the benefits of owning a pool, but with none of the extra work. Obviously, this comes at an added price, and you need to make sure the company that’s managing your server knows what they’re doing.

Pros

  • All the benefits of dedicated hosting
  • No maintenance

Cons

  • Even more expensive that dedicated hosting