So you’re looking for a web hosting company, but are a little confused by the different types of web hosting plans and services on offer? Well fear not dear reader, because we’re here to help you make the right hosting decision for your business and website.
Forget about “technical geek speak”, in this article we’ll be taking things back to the basics and highlighting 8 distinctly different web hosting options in a way that everyone can understand. So without further ado, let’s dive right into things…
Shared Web Hosting
The name pretty much says it all! This is where your website is hosted on a server that is also used to host other websites. This is a cost effective hosting option, as the server costs are shared by all of the individual website owners. There is a down side however; as you’ll never know which other sites you share the server with. If you have a really popular site, or even a large site, that shares a server with your website it can adversely affect your websites performance. This can have a negative user experience and can even affect your sites SEO rankings.
Cloud Based Web Hosting
Cloud Based Web Hosting is exceptionally popular with many of our clients, as it uses multiple servers (in most cases hundreds and even in some cases thousands) which all work together to create what is effectively one GIANT server. The biggest advantage here is that cloud based web hosting can expand as and when the need arises. Large sites and high traffic sites do not affect the other sites hosted by the same web host service due to the “expandable” nature of cloud based hosting. We recommend this type of web hosting as a good starting point if you’re launching a new website.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A Virtual Private Server shares one physical server but acts as if it is multiple, separate servers. This is almost like owning your own server, as even though each VPN utilises shared hardware resources each client is given a dedicated share of the overall computing power. This means you can avoid the cost of actually owning your own server, but do not have to worry about other websites that share the server with your site negatively affecting you.
Dedicated Web Server
The gold standard of what you will want to work towards! As the name suggests, your website will be the only thing hosted on a server that you control. At no point will you ever have to worry about another website using up your server resources and slowing your website down. This is the highest level of server hosting service that your business will probably ever need, but it does come with a higher price tag than all of the previously discussed web hosting options. It is worth every cent however!
Self Service Web Hosting
Forget about asking others to host your website and do it all yourself! You’ll need to have the technical knowhow and the budget (a large one) to purchase, install, configure and maintain the entire web hosting process. There is a significant cost outlay (which is why so many businesses would simply prefer to outsource their web hosting), as all of the following things have to be taken into consideration:
- You’ll need space to accommodate the data centre
- Cooling is exceptionally important (and cannot be skimped on)
- You’ll need sufficient power, and have backup in case of outages
- Bandwidth is going to be important
- Server hardware is not cheap
- A systems administrator is always a good idea
- Data integrity and data backup is non negotiable
All of the web hosting options discussed here are not the only options that are available. However, they are the most widely used ones in South Africa. If you would like to chat about any of these web hosting options, and compare them to what we can offer you, then please feel free to contact us at MacroLan right away. Alternatively you can visit our web hosting page to find out more about our web hosting packages.