What is Web Hosting and The Benefits of Each

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earn what web hosting is and how it helps you get your website online

If you already operate a website, then answering “what is web hosting” is quick and easy for you. However, for those that do not know what it is, hopefully this article will help explain it to you. The idea behind this article is to explain the basics and options that are available in web hosting.

What is web hosting?

Think of web hosting as being similar to your house. It is the place where all websites live and people come see them. It is how you enable and publish your website or web applications so that they are available across the Internet.

For your website or application to work, your files must be stored somewhere that allows them to be accessed and function properly. This is accomplished by a dedicated server that may host as many as thousands of websites or even one website depending on the number of visitors the site receives. A dedicated server is similar to your home desktop computer, but normally much more powerful than the average pc you would have in your home. They have special software programs that allow different resources, data, and services to be sent to your home computer, smartphone, or tablet through the internet.

Who needs web hosting?

Anyone that wishes to publish a website for personal or business use will need web hosting to allow people to visit it. Web hosting is not limited to businesses and as you have seen over the years there are many types of websites from ecommerce such as Amazon and Walmart to personal blogs by the average person.

What types of web hosting can you get?

Dedicated server hosting

As explained earlier, this is an option that is typically used by large websites, however, web hosting providers also use them to host hundreds and even thousands of small websites. Normally these servers are leased on a monthly or yearly basis from a web host such as Spyderhost.com. However, some website operators may opt to buy a web server from a company such as Dell and do what is called colocation with a data center.

There are many advantages to dedicated hosting, including total control over the machine you lease or colocate. This control means you can upload the software you wish without restriction, make changes to the operating system, and even change server settings as you wish. This level of control can be a significant advantage if you wish to operate an enterprise level system with thousands of customers or maybe build and install your own custom software. And of course you will be the only one using all of its resources, meaning that your website will perform with the level of performance only limited by the choices you make in hardware and data center options.

Of course, this option also comes with the responsibility for the performance of your dedicated server. This will include all software updates, security such as debugging if necessary. In addition, you will need to make sure your server stays safe from hackers who may attempt to steal your clients’ information, as well as keeping offsite backups available. However, you can always outsource this work or keep a staff on hand that does this for you.

Shared web hosting

By far the most common of all web hosting choices. Shared web hosting comes in many shapes and sizes, from standard hosting to the more popular Cloud Hosting. As the name suggests, you will be sharing server space with hundreds and possibly thousands of other websites, depending on your web hosting provider. You will also be sharing the same resources, which means that your website will be slower to respond and at the mercy of other websites. What that means is that if another website installs software that slows down the server, your website slows down too. Of course, you do save a lot of money in hosting costs, as prices can range from Free (not recommended) to as much as $30 per month or more. This all depends on the web host provider. Another bright side is that the maintenance of the server is not your responsibility, but that of the hosting company. Plus, they will be providing you with support to help guide you along the way.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

This is a very popular option for those that want many of the features of a dedicated server without the cost. In this web hosting option, you are given specific amount of allocated space based on your needs on a dedicated server. While the server space is shared similarly to the shared web hosting option, there are a very limited number of VPS clients on a server. This means you will have more resources available and better performance for your website.

With VPS web hosting, you will still be having much of the control enjoyed in dedicated hosting. You will have more freedom than in shared hosting, but you will still have some limitations. Since you will have dedicated resources, you will be less susceptible to other clients websites slowing down your site. However, if one of those clients inadvertently crashes the server, your website will of course be offline while it is reset. In addition, you will have fewer security problems, plus you will be given your own unique dedicated IP address. This dedicated IP allows for better performance as well as higher rankings within the search engine algorithms such as Google and Bing. This is a distinct advantage to Dedicated and VPS hosting, however, you can still get a dedicated IP for your shared hosting as well.

Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller web hosting is a version of hosting that allows you to start your own web hosting company. If you are new to hosting, you can opt to start out with reselling the plans of another web hosting provider, such as Spyderhost or even Resellerspanel. The advantage of this is you will be able to set up quickly with a website that is premade for you. You only need to add a logo, some company information and set your prices. You will be paying a set amount to the reseller partner per month, but everything you make above this is yours to keep.

However, if you are adept at creating your own website already or have someone that can perform this work for you, then you should consider a standard web hosting reseller. This allows you to make more money per plan you offer customers because you will be paying a base amount per month. Your costs are essentially fixed, giving you more return on your investment. As with the first option, you will be responsible for support, but you do have the hosting partner support team to help you from behind the scenes.

Summary

The choice of hosting options remains with the person or business that will be using it. Shared hosting is a good option for those that are new to hosting and want a platform they can learn on without spending a lot of money, start a small blog or host a small business website. If you want to operate a moderately sized website with a good amount of traffic, you should consider VPS hosting. VPS hosting is sometimes suitable for larger organizations as well, but normally dedicated servers are the better option when hosting a large website. No matter your choice, always consider your hosting partner and do your research. There are sites that can help you do this. Try to avoid sites that offer reviews of web hosting providers. Most of these sites typically offer biased reviews based on the money they make from affiliate marketing agreements with specific hosting providers such as GoDaddy, Hostgator and others. Not that these are bad hosting providers, but they offer affiliate programs to drive traffic to their sites. They use other sites to promote them for free in exchange for a specific amount of money based on what visitors spend on their website. So they have a vested interest in promoting the hosting company that makes them the most money, not the one that is best for you.

Hopefully you find this article helpful. You can also find more help at the Spyderhost Blog.

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