As we all know, thousands of hosting providers offering different types of web hosting plans around the internet, which are confusing the fellow people. Keep in mind, not all the hosting types are alike, though the concept of storing your website’s files on a server and serving those to users are same, the way your website gathers computing resources differs depending on your hosting type.
Even some do not know how it differs and which one is best for their use. Here I am explaining more about the hosting types.
What is web hosting?
It is the process of storing and serving your website files to anyone who visit your website.
What are web hosting companies doing?
There are several complex process behind web hosting; Hosting Companies are the one handling all those complex tasks like keeping your Data secured on servers, DNS Management, etc. By doing all complex tasks by themselves, Hosting Company is giving the easiest user interface to their customers.
Do I really need to depend a web hosting to host my website?
Literally saying, you do not need a hosting company to host a website. Even your personal computer can act as a web server. However, configuring your computer, as a web server needs many things and technical expertise and it will be expensive too compared with a hosting plan. That is the reason even big companies are depending Web hosting providers to host their Websites or applications.
What are the types of hosting?
Web host’s use different hosting methods to accommodate websites as per their customer requirements.
For example, a personal portfolio website does not need much computing space/power because there is only limited content and few visitors, so it does not make sense to buy a costly Hosting service. Alternatively, an E-commerce website with lot of customers may need to configure hosting in a particular way that can accommodate all their customers at the same time, so more resources and customization is preferred in their hosting type.
- Shared Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- VPS (Virtual private server) Hosting
- Colocation Hosting
Note :- There are even more types of hosting, all those are sub classified according to their specifications. But all those are derived from above web hosting types, only difference might be in their technical configuration. Even price may differ according to their hardware specification, Security and operating cost according to the geographical location of the Hosting Company/Data Center.
Shared hosting is one of the affordable web hosting option when compared with the other hosting types. In this type of hosting, the host will allocate a space for you together with other shared hosting customers in the same server. All the users will pooling the disk space and resources allocated to that particular server.
All the users in that server will have access to a standard Control Panel, with that control panel the user can configure all the aspects related to their hosting like Email, Sub Domain’s, Files, Database’s, and much more. Most of the Standard Control panels comes have quick integration options. Therefore, web scripts can be install on your website just with a single click without worrying about the database and other complex processes in creating a website. Even though, the user will not have access to Operating System and Hardware phases of that server. The hosting company will take care of all the maintenance activities on backend, so literally it is a worry free hosting.
Pros and Cons of Shared Hosting
Do you think, this will be the best web hosting plan for you? Wait, just have a look at negatives of Shared Hosting, as said above all your server resources pooled between multiple users allocated in the server. Therefore, once you over cap the allocated space or bandwidth, the Hosting provider will remind you to reduce the usage or they will suspend your hosting account. So far, your usage is within their fair resources usage policy your websites are safe and you can enjoy the features of web hosts.
Some free Shared web hosting companies are:-
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is the the basic method behind cloud hosting, In Cloud hosting you data is stored in clustered servers. Its main advantage over other types of hosting is you data will be available even there is a power outage on one server, because your data is serving thru multiple connected servers.
Hosting companies are depending virtualization technology to allocate the required configuration on these types of hosting. Therefore, it is fast and more efficient than the traditional shared hosting. For end user both these hosting types have the same type of control panel’s and settings
In dedicated hosting all the resources of your server’s are allocated to you alone. That is the way it differs from other types of hosting. You can choose your server configuration like storage space, bandwidth, hardware, security, connectivity speed, operating system, control panels, etc.
Large companies, E-Commerce websites, large forums, File sharing websites, etc. are utilizing these dedicated hosting packages for their tailored requirements.
Dedicated hosting are of two types:-
- Managed dedicated hosting:- Here the entire backend configuration will be done by web hosting company and everything will be set ready for you to start work on your server. Even they will frequently monitor and provide data backup & recovery together with priority support too.
- Un-managed dedicated hosting:- Its totally your responsibility, the company will provide you server configuration and connectivity according to your requirement. They will never do any maintenance inside the servers until you ask them to do. In addition, they will never entertain you to utilize their technical staff resources to maintain your servers. You are the one to configure and setup your server rom the scratch. If there is any issues concerning the hardware, then only the hosting company will put their head. But they will provide you priority support in case of any extremity due to hardware outage or other configuration mistakes that happened from the hosting company side.
Most of the people will prefer managed dedicated hosting for the comfortability, else they must have the resources of knowledge to maintain and manage a dedicated server.
VPS (VIRTUAL PRIVATE SERVER) HOSTING
VPS hosting is another type of web hosting, it is almost like having dedicated resources but configured on a virtual environment. Your server will run together with many virtual servers. However, allocated resources are sole yours.
Here also you have the freedom to choose your required resources like operating system, Storage spaces, etc.; but virtualization environment is your world, you d across that. VPS hosting is also available in managed and unmanaged types.
In colocation hosting own custom servers are installed on data centers by renting out the space and resources. Which can offer better optimization and capability to the servers as per the data center standards.
Server owners are only renting out the infrastructure like uninterrupted power, Cooling systems, server rack, etc. to run their servers. Most of the big companies are using this to reduce the cost of constructing or maintaining a data center and for data security. In this scenario, the server owner can use any types of security software’s for their data stored in their server.
More over if, you have extra space on your server, you can lease it to the data center. They will sell it out for money and share you a percentage of profit.
Before purchasing a hosting type, you have to take care of several things:-
- Server up-time (99% of the web hosting companies and offering 99.99% uptime)
- Hardware configuration (If hosting company have latest hardware configuration, that will improve your website performance too)
- Software Configurations and Control panels (If the hosting company offer advanced and user friendly configurations, it saves your time and effort)
- Back-up & security (Because your data is precious)
- Terms and conditions (Check your online content types are allowed as per the hosting companies county data regulations)
- Renewal charges (Some companies give cheap prices at initial stage and when renewing they will increase their charges)
- After sales support (Its better you choose a company having multiple support options, because if you are choosing a USA based hosting company and they don’t have support contact option in India. It will be huge loss for you to make ISD calls. So I always prefer chat option for cross country hosting options)
- Refund policy (Most of us are paying for 1 or 2 year hosting, if you are not satisfied with the service from hosting company. This will be a money saving rule)
How hosting companies are offering unlimited Storage & Bandwidth ?
Good Question, how some web hosting companies are offering Unlimited Space and Unmetered bandwidth in shared Hosting & Cloud Hosting category. It is clearly mentioning in their Terms and Conditions about a fair usage policy of their resources. All the resources in Shared & Cloud hosting are scalable.
Even in shared & Cloud hosting type, most of the hosting providers are offering several tiers with different prices according to space, Bandwidth, hardware specifications, and more features. When your website traffic increases, you can upgrade your plan to next tire to handle more traffic with in the shared / Cloud hosting. Once it reaches the maximum, then only you need to think about the other type of hosting.
SOME MORE INFORMATION:-
DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Ignored hosting or otherwise commonly known as offshore hosting. These hosting providers offer you the privilege to host any type of content over your website, regardless of copyright act. Their data centers are in countries like Panama, Sweden,etc. as per their country data protection law, they can ignore DMCA. However, most of the reputed websites are not offering these types of hosting. All types of above-mentioned web hosting types are available for this category.