Web hosting companies maintain your content on their always-online servers so that your visitors can access it anytime as long as they have an Internet connection and a browser. There are different types of web hosting services today, and each type has its own set of features to offer. It is best to be knowledgeable about all of them before choosing one to ensure that you pick the best one for your needs.
If you’re unfamiliar with web hosting services, there are three common types: free, shared, and cloud plans. Although there are other options besides those three (such as dedicated servers), the mentioned types are the most commonly used by small business website owners and bloggers. Here’s a quick rundown of the three different types of website hosting services that you can use for your site:
- Free Hosting
If you are just starting out and want to keep costs low, a free web hosting plan is the perfect option for you. However, keep in mind that this has severe limitations when it comes to features, support, security, and customisation options. If you have big plans for your website, a free plan isn’t for you. You can still choose this option when you want to practice for the real thing and try out new ideas before investing any money. Aside from being free, it gives you the necessary features to build a functional website. However, don’t expect too much from free features. You will need a paid web hosting service to create an impactful and unique website presence, which is something a free plan can’t give you.
- Shared Hosting
Shared web hosting service means that your website server is shared by multiple users who availed the same service as you. With many people sharing the cost of the maintenance of a single server, it becomes a more economical option for a budget-constrained business owner.
You can do anything with a shared plan, including setting up your blog, creating an eCommerce website, or crafting your business’s website. However, be selective with your Shared Hosting provider as this type of hosting can also come with a massive downside; since multiple users share a single server, the activities of the other users can sometimes affect your site’s performance. In the worst-case scenario, your hosting server might crash if the traffic exceeds the maximum limitations.
Look for Shared Hosting providers that offer advanced platforms and use technologies such as CloudLinux to guarantee resources and prevent other users from affecting your site loading speeds. Also look out for hosting companies that offer a ‘no overselling guarantee‘ – this guarantees that you’ll be able to use your full resource allocation at all times; hosts that offer this guarantee will often bring new servers online to cope with demand, and will typically load fewer users on to each server.
- Cloud Hosting
Cloud hosting is the latest in hosting technology for small business websites, eCommerce sites and blogs. While the user experience of Cloud Hosting is very similar to that of Shared Hosting (many use the same or similar control panels and admin dashboards) what happens ‘behind the scenes’ is very different indeed.
Instead of running on a physical server (similar to your computer at home) your site will run on a virtual ‘instance’ – a small part of a much larger server, or group of servers. Because these instances are ‘virtual’, they’re able to scale up and down (get bigger and smaller) to cope with various levels of demand. Whereas upgrading a physical computer requires switching the power off, installing new stuff, then switching it back on again, virtual instances can be upgraded instantly with zero downtime, meaning that you can add or remove features on a monthly, weekly or even hourly basis to handle spikes in traffic – for example if you launch a new promotion or if one of your social media posts goes viral.
With Cloud Hosting you’re in control – you don’t need to know the technical side of things, nor do you need a Computer Science degree; your host handles the tech, while you focus on your business!
Now that you know the three most common primary types of web hosting services, you can decide which best suits your needs. Regardless of which hosting service type you choose, it is vital to invest in a reliable hosting service company to handle your website. Otherwise, you risk putting both your revenue and reputation on the line if your website goes down.
Are you looking for an excellent and reliable web hosting company? We offer both Shared and Cloud hosting with a no overselling guarantee, so get in touch with us today to see how we can help!