Those looking to emerge on the internet have a slew of options and an abundance of hosting providers. You have got your free web hosting services. Shared hosts. Dedicated server providers. All serve the same general purpose which is hosting your content so that it can be accessed and viewed by people on the internet. The major difference is how each sector is structured as well as the benefits they offer. Lets have a closer look at each of them.
What could be any better than a free web hosting plan? This makes a great option for someone who wants to create a homepage or small personal site to share with friends and family. While free hosting has received a bad rap for its lack of security and support, there are few reliable hosts that will take care of you. Tripod.com offers free hosting and actually comes with decent support. If blogging is something you want to get into then WordPress makes a good choice. However, free hosting is more geared for getting your feet wet and having a little fun on the net. If you want to establish a powerful web presence with an online business, you need your own email address and domain name. Though a free host may allow you to set up a PayPal shopping cart and sell your products and services, there is no doubt that your credibly will be tarnished when potential clients notice someone else’s domain tacked onto your URL.
Shared hosting is the vehicle used by many people embarking upon their online endeabours. As the name implies, this type of hosting describes a situation where you are sharing space on a web server with other users. As clients are sharing the cost of the server, shared hosting is the most affordable and popular type of hosting available. This makes a viable option for personal users and small businesses as companies will set you up with everything needed to open a web store – email accounts, shopping cart software, database access. The problem with shared hosting all boils down to stability.
When hosting on a shared server, you are exposed to all the activities of your neighbors. If someone makes a huge scripting error, the entire server can suffer. If someone experiences a sudden burst in traffic, your site might run slower. Because many providers will run hundreds to thousands of sites on a single machine, the shared server is susceptible to overloading and going down. If it goes down, so does your business. On the other hand, several companies are able to make the most of shared hosting and provide excellent service, actually living up to their highly rated uptime guarantees.
When your business takes off and sharing server resources is out of the question, it’s time to move up to the dedicated server. Now you’re in the big leagues with an entire server devoted to your hosting needs. On the other hand, the dedicated server makes up the most labor intensive form of hosting; not exactly physical, but from a management aspect. Without any experience, succeeding with this option is nearly impossible. Those who require a dedicated server but don’t know a thing about server administration can get by with managed hosting. In this scenario, the provider handles all the management tasks which frees you up to focus on other areas of the business. Keep in mind that a managed service requires a larger initial investment on your part.
What is the Best Hosting For You?
The best advice we can give about hosting is to know what you’re getting into. Free services are geared for personal sites, shared hosting is suited for small businesses and a dedicated server is designed for larger hosting needs, yet is far more expensive. By knowing what your site requires, it will be much easier to determine which is the best solution.