There are different types of web hosting plans designed for various website needs. For most users, it may be challenging to choose a suitable plan without any prior knowledge on web hosting products.
Choosing between these hosting options depends on the resources required, budget constraints along with other many factors. We recommend that you take a look at the following articles to gain an insight on web hosting, before looking into a suitable plan for your online presence:
Essentially, small websites like amateur blogs and portfolio sites may work just fine with a free hosting provided by some online website builders. However, companies will need to upgrade and choose a hosting plan that offers the necessary resources and technical support.
Types of Web Hosting
Understanding the costs, features, performance, and the type of website that each hosting plan offers can help you make that cost-effective decision. Here are the different types of web hosting plans available in the market:
With shared hosting, your website will be sharing server resources with other websites. You don’t have to worry about privacy because each website is configured separately on the server with its own domain and other website settings.
Shared hosting is a cost-effective solution for small businesses, with multiple users sharing the server resources such as memory, storage and bandwidth.Management of the servers is administered by the web hosting provider, along with other technical tasks. Users are able to manage their websites via a control panel.
Who should use Shared Hosting?
- Those who want to start a small blog or personal website
- Those who want to showcase a portfolio of their design portfolio
- Small companies or non-profit organizations who want to create an online presence
- Those that want to have a website but don’t have the technical know-how
Shared Hosting Pros and Cons
- Affordable – It is the cheapest among all the web hosting plans. No need to hire an IT Specialist to manage it.
- Easy to set up and manage – You don’t have to be tech-savvy to be able to manage your website server. Most shared hosting plans offer a single-click installation for 3rd-party applications that can empower your website.
- Technical assistance – If you run into some issues with your hosting, most shared hosting providers offer 24/7 assistance for their customers
- It has limited server resources – You will be sharing resources with multiple websites hosted on the same server. If one website uses up more resources than the others, the rest may experience downtime or technical issues.
- Less customisability – You can’t install your own program or software on the server and won’t allow you to customize system files to modify the performance of your hosting service.
- It offers limited features – There are certain limits to available server resources for all shared hosting users. Other additional features such as email users or addon domains may be limited by web hosting providers too.
- Less traffic allowance – The moment your website starts generating substantial traffic, it will slow down your website. You will then need to upgrade to a hosting plan that offers more server resources.
Dedicated hosting provides the owner a full access to a dedicated server so you will not be sharing any resources with other users. It not only allows you more control over the hosting account; you will have access to the server, giving you full control over the applications and software in the server.
Dedicated server users will get to enjoy high performance, stability, security and control.Having a dedicated server hosting plan is definitely more expensive than shared hosting. However, the benefits and flexibility of having a dedicated server will be suitable for heavy users.
Who Should Use Dedicated Server Hosting?
- Those with advanced technical knowledge, server related
- For big companies or institutions that require high disk space for their web hosting needs
- Those that require a full configuration of a server
- Those with websites that handle huge volumes of requests from visitors on a regular basis
- Those who need a server with special hardware specifications
- Business websites that require a higher level of security such as legal, banking and government-related websites
Dedicated Server Hosting Pros & Cons
- Full Control – You have full and exclusive control over every aspect of your dedicated server
- Easy Customization – You have the ability to install software or application as needed
- Stable and Consistency – It is proven to have higher performance and stability
- It is more expensive than basic web hosting plans
- It requires advanced technical skills
So, the VPS account holder can only see its own virtual environment as if it is its own dedicated server. In reality, however, it is just one part of the physical server residing in a data center. This is why it is said to be a hybrid between a shared hosting and dedicated server.
Who Should Use VPS Hosting
- Those who foresee the need for a dedicated server but is not ready for it yet
- Those that need more resources than what shared hosting can provide
- Those with high-traffic websites that may not have the technical knowledge to manage it on a server level
VPS Hosting Pros & Cons
- It is moderately affordable – It is less expensive than a dedicated server hosting plan.
- It can be easily customized – It can be customized according to your needs so you only play for what you will actually use and you don’t have to deal with features you don’t need.
- It is scalable – You can start with a minimum amount of resources but as your website grows, you can gradually upgrade your plan to suit your needs.
- More control – It offers the owner more control on their virtual servers than on shared hosting. You will have the ability to use scripts, enable root access, install operating system and software.
- Technical assistance – Just like shared hosting, you have technical support for when you experience issues on the server side.
- It is more expensive than a shared hosting plan.
- The resources are still controlled by the web hosting provider.
When a website is hosted on traditional hosting plans, it resides in a server. If that server encounters issues like unplanned downtime or maintenance, then the website will definitely be affected.
The beauty of cloud hosting is that it doesn’t rely on a single server and works across a network of cloud servers pulled from different data centers at different locations.
Who Should Use Cloud Hosting?
- Those whose websites have exhausted their existing resources and need to upgrade for more.
- Small to medium-sized businesses with varying demands and workload.
- Software-as-a-Service Businesses – SAAS companies that develop new apps can minimise their costs by having the ability to create and maintain redundant copies of their application within the cloud.
- Web hosting resellers – If you resell web hosting services to customers, you can scale your hosting resources as your add more customers on the platform, thus lowering your cost.
- High Traffic Sites – Ideal for those who run e-commerce sites or expecting huge numbers of visitors.
Cloud Hosting Pros & Cons
- Scalability – it offers more flexibility in terms of scaling your resource requirements (whether to increase or decrease it) and space based on usage and demand.
- Backup – You have the ability to add redundant copies of your server as a backup.
- Cost-effective – You don’t need to maintain additional IT staff to manage your cloud servers. It provides similar level of performance and control of a dedicated server minus the expensive hardware cost.
- Better security and stability – Your website will not be affected if other users overload their cloud servers since performance is dedicated and offers better stability.
- Unexpected bill – With cloud hosting you pay with what you use so if you end up using more resources than you have expected, then an unexpected bill might surprise you.
Colocation hosting is another great option for small businesses looking to have the benefits of a huge IT department minus the hefty costs. Basically, it is the process of co-locating or renting a space from a private data center where they can keep their servers and equipment in-house.
Unlike other types of web hosting where customers can rent a space from a server owned by the web hosting provider, the colocation customer already owns the server and rents a server rack in a data centre where they can house their servers.
In the data center, a colocation customer can install their equipment provided by their colocation provider with space in the data cabinet, power for the equipment, cooling system bandwidth, and IP address to enable them to properly run their servers.
The colocation provider may provide basic support upon request but it is the customer’s responsibility to monitor and manage their equipment.
Who Should Use Colocation Hosting?
- Small to medium companies with no budget for a huge IT team to manage their own servers.
- Customers who are looking to take advantage from the economies of scale, better bandwidth, advance infrastructure, specialist services that are not available from an in-house option.
- Those who want flexibility when managing their servers so they can personalize their colocation service.
Colocation Hosting Pros & Cons
- Cost of bandwidth – Colocation customers can get better bandwidth speed and redundancy at a lesser cost when their servers are placed inside a colocation facility.
- Risk Management – Colocation providers have power generators and backup power to protect your servers from power failures and outages to keep your website running all the time.
- Security – Colocation facilities have 24/7 staff to maintain the upkeep and security of the facility so that the power, space and bandwidth are not compromised.
- Control over your equipment – You own the server so you have complete control over the configuration and installation of your server and other equipment.
- Additional service – Most colocation data centers may offer to manage your servers at an extra cost. This is helpful for when you don’t have the budget for a huge IT staff or your office’s location is far from the colocation provider.
- It is more expensive than basic web hosting. Since you are going to maintain and manage the servers yourself, it will cost you more if you need to buy your own hardware and install it.
- Physical access can be a burden since you will then to travel from your office is located to the data center. It’s best to find one near where your office or business is located so that you can maintain and upgrade your servers easily when you have to. You won’t find that many colocation facilities outside a large city or an IT hub.
- If you need to move out from where the colocation facility is located, you have to physically transfer the servers to its new location or leave them there and opt to pay for the maintenance cost.