Web hosting is basically where your website is stored on the internet. Web hosting is a service provided by a company that allows you to make your website accessible via the world wide web.
Simply put, if you build a website on your computer, all of the website files are on your computer and nobody else can see them. But with a web hosting service, your website files get stored in a space on the internet, so anybody can view your website.
This allows you to type a domain name, such as flossnet.co.za, into the address bar of your browser and instantly get access to the website.
In general, the following are the three ways of hosting your website:
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like. With shared hosting, you share the server with other people.
Shared hosting is like living in an apartment complex. All of the people living in an apartment complex are in the same location and they all have to share resources such as the parking space, the playground, the lifts, etc.
It’s the same concept as shared web hosting. When you host your website with a shared hosting service, your site is stored in the same location as a number of other websites, possibly hundreds of websites. You have to share the server resources such as memory, disk space, data, and CPU time.
Most of the time, sharing server resources works out fine. But occasionally, if one of the websites taking up a lot of resources, it can slow down the other websites.
- Affordable – Since you’re sharing the server with many other users, you share the cost as well. Which results in a lower price for you.
- Easy Setup – Shared hosting services typically take care of the entire setup for you.
- Sharing the Server – One of the main downsides is the fact that you have to share the server with many other websites.
- “Bad Neighbors” – Since you share the server with numerous websites, you may have to deal with “bad neighbors” who take up all the resources with high traffic or faulty code. This can affect the speed and performance of your own website.
- Sharing an IP Address – If one of the websites engages in sending spam and the IP address gets blacklisted, then everyone is blacklisted
VPS Hosting offers users the experience of a private server with the economy of a shared server.
VPS hosting is like living in a townhouse. You have your own home and are responsible for maintaining it, but you still have to share things on the property.
With VPS hosting you still have to share the server, but you have to share it with fewer websites than with shared hosting. Plus, you don’t have to share all of the resources. All of the resources are split evenly. This puts a stop to “bad neighbors” using up all the resources because they have a limit they’re not allowed to exceed. Once they go over that resource limit, their website might go down, but your website will be unaffected.
- No Sharing Resources – You don’t have to share all of the resources with many other websites.
- More Powerful – VPS hosting is more powerful than shared hosting, it’s more scalable and typically offers better performance and speed.
- Flexibility – VPS hosting is more flexible, allowing you to customize and make changes without affecting other users.
- More Expensive – VPS is more expensive than shared hosting.
- More Technical – With VPS hosting the setup process is more technical, which can be a problem for beginners.
The final web hosting option is dedicated hosting and just like it sounds, with dedicated server hosting you get everything to yourself.
So, dedicated hosting is like owning your own house. You don’t have to share your space with anyone else and you don’t have to share your resources with anyone else either. You don’t even have to deal with any bad neighbors.
With dedicated hosting, there are no other websites on your hosting and you don’t have to share any resources like CPU time and memory.
- No Bad Neighbors – With dedicated web hosting, there are no bad neighbors around for miles and miles who could steal your website resources and negatively affect your website speed and performance.
- Full Control – You have full control of the customization of your server. You could even be able to choose the amount and type of your memory as well as other elements.
- Most Expensive – Since you get everything to yourself, dedicated hosting is the most expensive web hosting option.
- More Technical – With VPS hosting, you need to know a bit more about computers and servers than the average person.
- Increased Responsibility – With an unmanaged dedicated service you’re responsible for the entire setup, installation, security, and more. Even with a managed dedicated hosting service, you still have to do a lot of things on your own.