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Your web host is a server (which is basically just a computer) that stores your website. When someone types in your website address, their browser communicates with your web host to send them your website. Having a web host is absolutely necessary when building a website for your business. Without it, no one would be able to see it.
Here’s an analogy we like to go with. Think of the host (a server) as a plot of land. Think of your website as a house on that land. Without land for your house, there’s not much you can do. There’s no water, there’s no utilities, there’s no electricity to connect to anything. When you put a house on the land, you can connect. You can literally “host” parties… ha. See what I did there? Hosting parties allows you to connect with more people. Having your website on a host allows you to reach clients and people from all around the world.
Generally speaking there are four different types of hosting: Dedicated Hosting, Shared Hosting, Cloud Hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting.
Dedicated Hosting is a server that isn’t sharing with anybody. It’s got one website on it, or to continue our analogy, one single house. You can imagine the house as big or as small as you’d like. It’s whatever your goal is. There’s no other houses on that property as far as the eye can see. You’ve got as much space as you can work with. You’re in control. Everything that land has to offer is yours.
Typically you would only need dedicated hosting if you plan on having a popular website. We’re talking hundreds of thousands, millions even, of visitors. That many people coming to your hosted parties would obviously require a lot of space and with that, security. Having that much property all to yourself means you don’t really have to worry about anyone coming to crash your party from down the street.
All of this comes at a cost though with dedicated hosting being one of the more expensive options. Some plans can cost hundreds of dollars per month. For a smaller website or a blog, this might not be worth the financial expense.
Shared Hosting works with the analogy too. Picture another plot of land, but this time there’s a shopping center on it instead of a house. Different stores and businesses are all on the same property, but they all have different names and addresses. Think of these like the different domain names. This can be advantageous for some but disadvantageous for others that might have very large businesses and need more space for their customers.
Shared Hosting is the most affordable option and is usually best for those just starting out and who don’t have a lot of money to work with. It also might be good for small informational websites who don’t change often or sell products online.
You can read about our recommendations for four budget friendly shared hosting providers here. There are pro’s and con’s along with general starting prices. Siteground specifically has an offer going on right now for only $5.95 a month.
Cloud Hosting kind of works in the same way as Shared Hosting. Within it there are options for public cloud hosting as well as private. To compare, private would be more like the Dedicated Hosting however the server is not a physical plot of land – it’s virtual.
With Cloud Hosting you only pay for the exact amount of space used and you can quickly scale your resources based on the current demand. This prevents you from over spending when demand is low and you may not need the higher resources.
The downside to Cloud Hosting is that with an internet based service like it is, there will always be the possibility of outages. An outage lasting several hours can cost larger businesses millions of dollars. We’re not kidding. Check out what happened with Amazon in 2017.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and it’s like it’s name suggests, it’s a virtual private server. The name can seem confusing because the use of the word virtual makes it sound a lot like Cloud Private Hosting but there are differences and they could be game changers for some businesses. It’s less expensive than using Cloud Hosting but it’s not nearly as fast to set up databases or resources.
A VPS is a single tangible server, split up between a small number of users. It’s similar to Shared Hosting in the fact that several users are one server, however there is a limit to how many with VPS Hosting. This leaves more space for everyone on that particular server as well as more control.
If you’re not sure what type of hosting is best for your business contact us and we’ll be happy to help you out. Welcome to the world of web hosting and business development!