Online Basics

What Kind of Web Hosting Services Do You Need?

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Category: Online Basics , Finding A Web Hosting Package

Much like the websites they support, not all Web hosting servers are created equal. Yet it's not a matter of separating the "good" from the "bad," but rather determining the right Web hosting solution for you – whether it's shared website hosting, dedicated Web hosting or virtual private server (VPS) hosting. While all types of Web hosting servers will act as a storage center for your website's content, they differ in the amount of space, control, and reliability they offer.

Dedicated Web Hosting Services

With dedicated Web hosting, you'll be the only website on the server – meaning that all the space, bandwidth and server access is "dedicated" to hosting your website alone. This exclusive relationship between the Web hosting server and your website makes dedicated Web hosting the most reliable of its kind. The problem for many is that it's also the most expensive. The space you rent on a server will function as your website's home, so it makes sense to think of dedicated Web hosting as renting a home that you'll live in alone. You won't have to worry about anyone infringing upon your space – but you won't get any help paying the bills either.

Shared Web Hosting Services

With shared website hosting, multiple websites "live" on the same server and split the cost charged by the Web hosting company. This makes shared Web hosting the most cost-effective Web hosting solution. Yet for every dollar you save with shared Web hosting fees, you may pay in other ways – including the chance of increased downtime and the space and bandwidth shortage limitations that come with sharing servers. That said you can look for a Web hosting service that guarantees uptime and has the space and bandwidth you need at a reasonable cost. Think of shared Web hosting as giving up some of the privacy in your home to live with rent-paying roommates chosen by your Web hosting company.

VPS Hosting Services

For some, VPS hosting (also known as virtual dedicated hosting) is a Web hosting solution that can be the best of both worlds – a middle ground between shared and dedicated Web hosting. After all, use of a virtual private server (VPS) gives you the control and flexibility of dedicated Web hosting at a lower cost. While you will technically be sharing the same server with other websites, that server will be divided into multiple "virtual" private servers. Each VPS operates independently without interfering with the VPS hosting of other websites on the same system. You'll have total administrative control over the VPS software, without any of the added costs associated with hardware and maintenance that dedicated Web hosting requires. This means that VPS hosting is not like renting your own home or sharing space with roommates – it's more like renting a condominium. You have control over a defined amount of space that your adjacent neighbors can't access.

When you're ready to choose among the different Web hosting services, keep your unique business goals for space, control, and reliability in mind – they will determine how much monthly "rent" you need to pay for VPS hosting, shared website hosting or dedicated Web hosting services.