The number of hosting options available can be daunting; particularly for those of you who are planning on hosting your first website.
The first question you need to ask yourself is what type of host you should use. As you can imagine, a small website with only a few hundred visitors a day has vastly different requirements than a high traffic eCommerce website that generates thousands of dollars of sales every day.
You will find a brief explanation of the main types of hosting plans on offer below. Click on the header links to find out more about each type.
A shared hosting plan hosted hundreds or even thousands of websites on the same server. This allows hosting companies to reduce the cost of the hosting plan considerably. A basic hosting plan can be purchased for just a few dollars per month.
The low pricing of shared hosting plans makes them the perfect entry point for a someone who wants to host their first website.
Once your website starts getting more traffic, you will need to upgrade from a basic shared hosting plan as you will need more storage, more bandwidth, and better performance.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Like shared hosting accounts, a server is divided into multiple partitions. Each partition is set up as a virtual server.
When you purchase a VPS plan, you will therefore have nearly all of the same functionality as you would with a dedicated server. The main difference is that you will have less resources at your disposal because you are sharing the server with other people.
VPS plans normally start from between $20 and $150 per month, depending on the amount of RAM, amount of storage, and CPU you are allocated.
Purchasing a dedicated hosting plan will give you complete control over a dedicated server. You rent the full server and do not need to share resources with other customers.
A dedicated hosting plan is a natural progression from a VPS hosting plan. Most hosting companies that offer VPS plans also offer dedicated hosting plans, therefore your hosting company are happy for you to upgrade.
Whilst upgrading with your current hosting company makes sense if you have had a good experience with them so far, do not be afraid to shop around and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
Prices start from around $100 upwards.
Cloud hosting uses a virtual server to pull resources from a a large network of computers. There are a number of benefits of doing this including increased reliability and scalability. The structure of the network means that there is no single point of failure, therefore downtime should be reduced.
The vast majority of hosting resources that website owners purchase are never used. I myself do not use all of the storage and RAM that my hosting plan offers. Cloud hosting works differently.
The structure of a cloud hosting network means that you only need to pay for the resources you use. You do not need to stick to the rigid allowance that the hosting company provides.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting services are designed specifically for those with websites built upon the WordPress platform. They are designed to be faster and more secure.
A big selling point of managed WordPress hosting companies is the support they offer. Since they focus entirely on WordPress, they can offer high quality support on WordPress.
Unfortunately, this support comes at a price. It is not uncommon to see managed WordPress companies charging three to five times what traditional hosting companies charge for the same resources.
Reseller hosting plans are configured to allow customers to sell resources to other people. Some people use reseller plans to host websites to friends, some use them to earn a little extra money from unused hosting resources, while others use a reseller plan as an entry point to launching their own hosting company.
Most reseller plans offer similar resources to shared hosting plans and have simply been repackaged to allow customers to resell their allocation. Prices start from just a few dollars per month.
If your company already owns hosting equipment, you want want to consider using a colocation hosting company. Colocation hosting services allows you to store your servers at a data centre. You retain ownership of your servers, but you pay for storage, security, and maintenance.
This is a good option for companies who have outgrown the limitations of their current setup and do not want to spend a fortune upgrading their facilities.
Forum hosting companies focus entirely on hosting discussion forums and other types of online communities. Just as managed WordPress services offer great support for the WordPress platform, forum hosting companies have a lot of experience handling the unique needs of high traffic communities.
Worth considering if are looking for hosting for a discussion forum and need expert help with it.
Anti-DDoS hosting companies have been set up to mitigate high levels of attacks. If you have experienced a DDoS attack, you will undoubtedly start looking for an Anti-DDoS hosting solution.
Prices can vary greatly, from around $50 per month to thousands of dollars per month.