Are you able to describe the differences between shared, virtual, dedicated, and cloud hosting? Do you know what you should be looking for when browsing potential hosts or what would happen if you pick the wrong solution?
If the answer to all of these questions is no, you will probably end up with a web hosting package that doesn’t fit your wants and needs, causing adverse and expensive consequences. But never fear, as here is everything you need to know about web hosting services.
Types of Web Hosting Solutions
- Shared web hosting – Your website will be hosted on a shared server alongside a number of other websites. The server’s hardware and software resources will also be shared among all users. Although inexpensive and easy to implement, your website will probably suffer from slow speeds.
- Private virtual hosting – Again, your website will be hosted on a shared server, but this time it has a dedicated slice via virtualisation. In addition to full root access, you also benefit from great scalability and competitive prices, but you may be responsible for some software maintenance.
- Dedicated hosting – Your website will be hosted on a server that is not shared with anyone else. You will receive extensive configuration options as well as predictable and consistent performance, but the costs can be high and you might need to possess relevant technical know how.
- Cloud hosting – Your website will be hosted on multiple servers that work together, termed as ‘the cloud’. The chances of downtime are significantly reduced, while you can manage peak loads easily without bandwidth issues. However, some cloud hosting solutions are fairly costly and might not offer root access.
What to Look For In a Web Host
- Availability – Any good hosting company should be able to guarantee at least 99 per cent server uptime. Otherwise, your website could be inaccessible to customers for prolonged periods of time.
- Support – Even if you choose a host with an impressive uptime percentage, you will still need fast and effective support should another issue crop up. Find a host offering round-the-clock support for technical, maintenance, and security issues.
- Scalability – As your business grows and expands, your website will need to do the same on account of higher traffic numbers. Choose a host where you can easily upgrade and scale according to your requirements.
- Reputation – Conduct a bit of research into your preferred web host to see whether customer feedback is positive or negative. It also helps to check maintenance schedules and average downtime statistics too.
What If You Choose The Wrong Web Host
- Lost Revenue – If your website’s server is down, customers won’t be able to make product purchases. This is something Amazon found out the hard way a couple of years ago. Ensuring your site is staying current is essential to keeping customers.
- Poor SEO – Not only will an unavailable server mean crawlers can’t index your site, page load times is a factor in search engine rankings.
- Security Implications – Choosing a web host that does not prioritize security could reveal your site to hackers, who will compromise sensitive or confidential information.