So, you decided to run your own website. But aside from having your personal computer with an Internet access, you’ll need to buy a server. The idea of purchasing an extremely expensive server, setting it all up and running this whole machine in your own home seems ridiculous to every sane person. Smart users know they can trust this work to a web host.
If you are reading this, then most likely you had no experience in running a website through a web hosting company. If you are a newbie, follow our step-by-step guide on how to get started with your first web host account.
When purchasing a website hosting account, you get an access to larger and more powerful computers (servers) that can keep files, software and other information necessary to run your own webpage. Depending on a hosting type, package, and a company, users are open to various options and tools. Although, the key features include a fast Internet connection, disk space and data transfer interfaces to help you monitor your server resources and its overall work at any moment.
For small and large business owners, it’s easier to pay a web host provider instead of running the entire process on their own. Therefore, the Internet is full of companies that offer a website hosting service to someone like you. Before you purchase a certain plan, let’s go over several types of hosting accounts:
So far, there exist shared, virtual, cloud, and dedicated servers, however, you can also come across the other specialized forms of web hosting.
1. Shared Hosting
Most common but least expensive, and least powerful. If you opt for this option, you will share the same server with other web-hosting customers. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one server cannot properly run several dozens of websites at one time but there is a higher chance your site can experience downtime and lags from time to time. Herewith, shared hosting is stingy with bandwidth. Finally, websites running through this type of hosting are at the greatest risk to be affected by hacker attacks.
Shared hosting is believed to be a perfect starting point for newbies whose webpage traffic is still low and doesn’t require many resources to be powered. Once your website gains more audience and experiences more activity than usual, you can switch to VPS hosting.
2. VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting stands somewhere between shared and dedicated hosting plans, but the greatest difference from both is that the server is virtual. From one side, you receive a full control of your own website hosting environment, from the other – you are still sharing server resources with someone else. Nevertheless, VPS hosting provides you with a much larger portion of power and bandwidth if compared to shared hosting. On top of that, a virtual VPS account prevents you from numerous security issues.
3. Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting term basically stands for a VPS hosting plan that works well with websites who have frequent traffic jumps. Compared to VPS or dedicated hosting, cloud hosting can cope with these sudden increases very well. It’s suitable for websites that experience unexpected growth. One of the cloud hosting benefits is that the price for the service is charged according to its usage, which makes it a perfect option for a fast-growing business where you cannot afford more expensive dedicated hosting service.
4. Dedicated Hosting
When it comes to dedicated server hosting, we mean a complete freedom over your entire server. Every decision is after you: from choosing an operating system to changing the configuration settings. You are the only one to use the server resources so there you will barely experience troubles with speed or overall performance.
Dedicated hosting, however, is a bad idea for novice website users. Not only is it expensive but also super complicated in usage.
5. Other Hosting Services
We mentioned the most common hosting types but the availability of choices goes beyond these four ones. You can also opt for application hosting (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, etc.), blog hosting, control panel hosting (cPanel, Plesk, etc.), domain hosting, eCommerce hosting, Email hosting, managed hosting, operating system hosting (Linux, CentOS, Windows, Fedora, Debian, Red Hat, etc.), SSD hosting, website builders etc. All of them correspond to specific needs and functions.
It’s important to know which components of web hosting account will be useful personally for you when running your own website. The common host account features are:
Who doesn’t want to choose a dedicated server with the best web-hosting plan and a variety of features? But it all comes down to a price. People stay away from cheapest shared hosting considering it’s the worst option to run your website. Indeed, it feels like there is nothing worthwhile to offer for a few bucks per month. On the other hand, paying $100 per month for dedicated hosting makes you believe you are getting everything best out of the best.
In fact, high price does not always indicate the highest quality. You can find decent shared hosting plan for a low traffic website and pay no more than $10 each month. Of course, it won’t handle high load websites but as an alternative to premium dedicated host, you can find cheaper VPS or cloud hosting package with similar characteristics.
And don’t forget about possible additional costs for a domain name registration, designed themes, upgraded security services, backups, performance and many more.
The first experience with a web hosting account will be pleasant if you make a wise decision. Promises from hosting companies will only confuse, that’s why it’s crucial to know what you want and what you really need from your perfect web host.