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Welcome to our Website Hosting Facts article. Website hosting is just as important to your business online success as the website it stores. I regularly see people asking questions on Facebook and social media in regard to website hosting. Some of the more common questions are:
- Are all website hosting the same?
- Will cheap website hosting be ok?
- Should I get hosting with X company?
- What sort of hosting should I get?
These are all great and valid questions but to really understand hosting you first need to understand it. In this article I will endeavour to provide you with information and website hosting facts that will help you make the right hosting decision.
Website Hosting Facts – Hosting Types Explained
There are many different types of website hosting available to be used. In this article we will focus on the most common types used for small to medium business. This section will help you to understand that not all website hosting is the same and what sort of hosting you should look at getting for your website.
Shared Website Hosting
Shared website hosting is the most commonly used and cheapest option for hosting your website. Shared hosting by definition and name is exactly that, A server that hosts your website but is shared by other websites. Shared hosting plans are available with just about every website hosting company on the planet. Prices for shared hosting range from as little as .99c per month and go up in price from there to around $20-$30 per month depending on inclusions.
Pro's of shared website hosting
- Generally much cheaper then other hosting types.
- Readily available with a wide range of service providers.
- Premium shared hosting providers do exist.
Con's of shared website hosting
- Security can be an issue as other websites are on the same server.
- If one site on a server get's hacked or is using too many resources your site is at risk.
Shared Hosting Suitability
Suitable for all website owners who are starting out or minimising costs. Suitable for smaller business websites with lower traffic requirements. Great for getting started but make sure you have plenty of backups and security on your website.
Reseller Website Hosting
Reseller website hosting is similar to the above shared website hosting however with a few extra bells and whistles. Reseller hosting is still space on a shared server however you can resell that space to other website owners or use it to host your own sites should you have multiple sites to host. Typically this type of hosting comes with a Web Host Manager (WHM) control panel and billing software for invoicing clients. This type of hosting can range in price from around $10 per month through to $100+ dollars per month.
Pro's of reseller website hosting
- Often includes free website templates.
- White label technical support often provided meaning the hosting company handles the hosting support.
- Access to additional tools to help you make money from your hosting space.
Con's of reseller website hosting
- This is still a shared hosting environment however it is slightly more secure than standard shared hosting.
- Slightly more pricey than standard shared hosting.
- Your hosting neighbours (other server users) can still disrupt your website.
Reseller Hosting Suitability
Suitable for all website owners who need cost effective website hosting for multiple sites. Additionally you can utilise this style of hosting to generate additional revenue by sub leasing space to other business owners.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A virtual Private Server or VPS is still technically a form of shared hosting but with some great and positive benefits. A VPS shares the same physical hardware machine as other VPS but each acts as it's own individual machine. This has the effect of shielding the servers users and websites from other VPS machines. Whilst a VPS is still sharing a physical server each VPS has it's own amount of dedicated resources. A VPS is a stepping stone between shared budget hosting dedicated server hosting. This type of hosting is generally more expensive and can range in price from around $30 per month through to $200+ per month.
Pro's of VPS hosting
- Shielded from other clients on the server providing far better security.
- Can host single or multiple websites with ease.
- Has dedicated resources to provide better and more stable hosting.
Con's of VPS hosting
- Larger monthly cost outlay.
- Can be overkill for smaller single website hosting.
VPS Hosting Suitability
Suitable for all website owners that need secure reliable hosting for one or many websites. Additionally this type of hosting can be used similarly to reseller hosting in that it can be used to generate income.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated website hosting is the highest level of website hosting available for your average business website owner. This type of hosting is your very own private use physical server. It utilises physical hardware and dedicated resources. Typically a dedicated server will allow your business to grow online and will handle almost any business website application. This type of server doesn't have to worry about other websites causing downtime or issues because it is all yours. This type of hosting will generally cost upwards of $100 per month.
Pro's of dedicated server hosting
- The server is all yours and therefore much more stable and secure.
- You can choose how the server is configured and what software is installed on it effectively personalising your server.
- The highest level of support and service is usually included with the server hosting.
Con's of dedicated server hosting
- High cost per month
Dedicated Server Hosting Suitability
This type of hosting is suitable for larger websites that need more resources and dedicated support. Typically the higher traffic and larger resource needs of the website govern the need for this type of hosting. Generally a website with these higher needs is generating significantly more revenue for the business making this style of hosting affordable.
Cheap Hosting Can Cost You More
The most common question asked when it comes to website hosting is around pricing. The website hosting facts for pricing and in particular budget hosting are clear. Over the years we have worked with many different hosting types including all of the ones mentioned above. In every case where we have tried cheap or budget hosting we have found several drawbacks. In this section we will discuss cheap website hosting and why you should always look for good hosting and not cheap hosting. We are also going to cover the most important things that you need to look for with any website hosting.
Why Cheap Website Hosting Has Drawbacks
Generally the biggest drawbacks we have seen with cheap website hosting providers are around inclusions and in particular what is not included. Generally cheaper hosting is shared hosting of some sort whether it be standard shared hosting or reseller hosting.
Often when these plans are created they are designed to be lean on resources and cost but also missing several key features. In the past we have seen some of these cheap hosts charge extra for things that should be standard. One website host we worked to move a client away from charged extra to perform backups. This meant that for the 3+ years the client was hosted with that provider there were no backups made of the site. This meant the client would have lost their entire site should the server have crashed or been hacked.
One of the other biggest complaints we see is limited resources meaning that during peak activity times on the server website performance would slip. Often we would see clients websites be offline or unreachable during these times and other times they would load extremely slow.
In most cases budget hosting is generally cheap and in order to make money a return on investment the company places as many websites on the server as possible. This is called overloading of the server and is why servers slow down during peak service times.
Things You Need To Look For With Website Hosting
When looking to choose website hosting for your business you need to look at a few key indicators to make sure that you choose the right hosting. I have outlined these key elements below:
- Hosting Cost – You need to make sure that the hosting you choose for your business is affordable and sustainable. It is important that your website is always there for you clients to view. If you can't afford the hosting costs then your website won't be available.
- Hosting Server Location – You need to make sure the hosting server you choose is located in or near the same region as the majority of your website visitors. This is important because the further away the website server is the longer the load times.
- Hosting Type – Now that you know which type of hosting is suitable for different types of websites and the pros and cons of each, the decision should be much easier to make.
- Reputation – It pays to check online reviews or customer reviews for a host before making the decision. On the same note you will generally receive better service and support from a smaller hosting company then a larger one. Some smaller companies may not have many reviews so talk to them and ask them why you should host with them.
Not all website hosting is equal and different types suit different websites. Cheap hosting may end up costing you much more in the long run so make sure you research your choice. Always check out the hosting costs, server location, hosting type and reputation before signing up. We hope you have enjoyed this website hosting facts article.