Web Hosting Packages Explained
The terminology used in web hosting can often be confusing for the person not conversant with the current buzzwords. What follows is a basic breakdown of types of hosting types and the differences between them. No type is essentially better than any other type but each fits different needs and levels of growth.
While almost every type of hosting package will usually fit some business, the exception might be the free hosted sites. The primary feature to these is that they are free and they usually have very simple tools that will allow an individual to get a website up and running quickly. However businesses may find that free hosting may not have the tools they need for ecommerce and with many of them the site owner can not even use their own domain name.
These free or community sites are usually avoided by businesses because they tend to be a dead end. It is often a case where the site owner will have to build their site and traffic all over again once the decision has been made to move to a paid hosting service. Additionally most lack the advanced functions that an ecommerce site usually requires.
The shard host service is a basic type and what shared means is that many sites will share the same machine. Use of resources is very tightly controlled on most of these plans but they are excellent for beginning or light traffic websites. The shared host will normally include the extras to make a business site easier to plan and integrate such as a control panel for each site, File uploads via FTP, email handling and sometimes even ecommerce shopping carts. These are usually low cost plans.
On the down side of this coin is that eventually successful businesses will grow in terms of traffic and probably server resource usage. When that occurs, it will be time to move up to a roomier environment. In many cases if the host has been excellent and offers, a larger package then they will help the owner move their website up to the next step.
Many consider the virtual private server or virtual dedicated package the next step up from shared hosting. Several users will normally share one machine but the allotted space is greater as is the bandwidth and the server resources are split among fewer users. Each of the virtual dedicated servers will have their own databases for the site user, the control panel and control over most aspects of server configuration including adding new domains.
Although the virtual dedicated server gives the site owner a greater share of server resources and a large amount of freedom, it is still shared with others. This means if one site draws more than their share of server resources then it can cause the others to slow down as well. These hosting choices are most often used for intermediate level sites and there is still the danger of outgrowing it quickly.
Finally is the dedicated server option, which means that the website is on its own machine, which it shares with no one. In that case, there is little or no worry about bringing down the server for other users or having a site suspended for using too many resources. However many servers are unmanaged that means that the site owner must take care of the software upgrades and other configurations. The ideal server would be the managed dedicated plan. The managed dedicated server leaves the website owner free to focus on what they do best and that is marketing and the management of the server is handled by the web hosting company.