If you have looked into to creating your own website, you probably would have come across the term “Website Hosting” whilst doing your research.
Website hosting is basically storing your website files on a server or an elaborate high efficiency computer, where the website resources live. So, when someone types your domain name, their computer directs them to your server to download files and display your website.
Website hosting, which used to be a standalone and costly process, ranging from anywhere around $2 to even over $100 per month depending on the type of website hosting service, has now become a complimentary service.
Free website hosting services are also easily accessible nowadays. Let us understand what the different types of website hosting are and the various pros and cons associated with them.
Shared hosting, as the name suggests, is hosting services where you are sharing server space with many other website owners. It usually is dependent upon the web host, but you can share server space with as many as hundreds or even thousands of other websites hosted on the same server as yours.
The biggest benefit of shared hosting is the price. Since you don’t have a dedicated server and are only sharing a part of it, the cost of web hosting will be exceedingly low and range somewhere between $2 to $10 per month.
Shared hosting offers website hosting at an affordable cost. It is very economic and is a great option when it comes to small business websites, casual blogs or WordPress sites.
Shared hosting, though economical, may also be problematic. Since there are multiple websites sharing the same server the resources are shared between them, meaning, the RAM and the Processor are also shared. If there is a situation where you need more resources suddenly, then the server might not be able to handle it.
Also, with shared web hosting, your website may be vulnerable to a DoS attack (Denial of service). A DoS attack is a malicious attack that can happen on the user’s website.
It is meant to cease functioning of the machine or deny network access, resulting in failure of accessibility to the website by its users. Some servers, though, compartmentalize their resources such that even if one website is attacked, the others remain unimpacted.
VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server)
A VPS is a Virtual Private Server. Every word of VPS can be broken down to understand the meaning of VPS hosting. Now this is concept is a little tricky to understand but isn’t too complicated.
A VPS acts like it is an isolated server but it is actually sharing space with other virtual private servers on one single physical hardware server. Now, you might be wondering- How is VPS hosting different from Shared hosting then?
VPS works at an extended level of separation by giving your website dedicated resources, but it is also shared for Shared hosting. Which means, a part of RAM and CPU is only allocated for your website, creating a virtual server for you.
Since the resources are dedicated, you do not have to share server space with other websites. This means that on days of high website traffic, generally, your website will not suffer due to any other website crashing on the server.
Also, since the virtual server can have any operating system, you can configure settings or changes exactly to your own preference. You can even upgrade or downgrade the resources you get based on changes in your needs and preferences.
A VPS on its own can be pretty tough to manage if you are not really tech savvy. Traditional VPS (which is slightly different from Managed Hosting, which we will discuss later) compels you to get engaged with the command line and can be very time and labour consuming.
Managed hosting, also known as cloud VPS, is an extension of VPS hosting, but here you will be allowed to choose a cloud provider and have your own VPS.
Here, the cloud provider helps you by handling the technical sides of the setup and configuration and offers you a clean and simple Management Panel eliminating the need to work with command lines.
You can easily add a new website to the server whenever you want. It is obviously a little more expensive than traditional VPS but gives ease of working.
This is rather self-explanatory- a dedicated server is like a VPS but on a physical standalone server. Which means it does not share space with other websites, physically or virtually.
The only downsides are that a dedicated server cannot be upgraded or downgraded like a VPS and it is a very expensive option. It should only be considered if you need multiple dedicated servers together to host your website.