Moving to a new place? What is the first pre-requisite you need to take care of? Undoubtedly, it is the accommodation; and the type of accommodation you choose depends on your preferences – affordability, need for space and extent of privacy, among others.
Similarly, when deciding to “move” online, and getting a website, you need to decide where your website and it’s data will “stay”. And this is where a web hosting provider comes in – providing you with a place where you can store your website data.
Types of Web Hosting
The type of web hosting you need depends on your requirement. There are three types of web hosting:
- Shared Web hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Servers)
- Dedicated Servers
We’ll understand each type of web hosting and its pros and cons with the accommodation analogy used above.
Shared hosting is identical to staying in a hostel or a dormitory.
Space– Like in a hostel, occupants have to share the space; multiple users are allocated a huge portion of web space to share, and have to keep their data limited in a way so as not to exceed it.
Scalability – You cannot throw up a surprise party in your hostel room, can you? Your room mates will be disturbed, as the space is limited. Likewise, websites on shared hosting cannot handle instant increase in traffic, as it may disturb optimal functioning of other websites.
Freedom- As the hostel stay does not grant permission to choose the resources like the best A.C., a cable provider of your choice, or a hot plate, shared hosting also comes with the resources which your hosting provider chooses to provide you with, and you do not have flexibility to get your “favorite” cable provider or any other extra amenities you might want to add to make your stay better.
Security- Your stay in a hostel is secured within the hostel boundary but since you are sharing your room with your roomies you can’t be very sure of the security of your personal belongings within the room. Similarly, any malware or phishing activity on a particular website may hamper the other websites hosted on the same server.
Cost-Shared hosting is the least expensive mode of webhosting, same as a hostel accommodation.
Shared hosting is an ideal mode of webhosting for small businesses, like small static websites and blogs where:
- Data to be shared is not very vast.
- Data does not require security layers
- Data accessing traffic is minimal.
- Scalability of the vital stats of server and storage need not require alterations.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
Getting a VPS is akin to moving in an apartment or a flat. Just like a big building is partitioned into several apartments, a big dedicated server is partitioned into several VPSs. The partition means much more space, privacy, security and flexibility in terms of choices.
Space- The webspace in a VPS is much more as compared to shared hosting.
Scalability – A VPS allows you to scale as per your need in terms of web space, bandwidth etc. You can expect your VPS to handle high traffics with grace. Also, if your neighbor VPS gets a sudden increase in traffic, your website/application’s performance won’t be affected at all.
Freedom – As compared to a hostel, staying in an apartment allows more freedom in terms of using extra benefits like having electrical appliances, a cable provider of your choice, a UPS for power backup etc. Same goes with having a VPS – you can install custom applications, software and other tools (backup and security) you need as per your requirement and choice.
Security– A VPS means much more security than shared hosting. As in shared hosting, your website is hosted along with several others, the security flaws and vulnerabilities like malware, viruses and hacking attempts in theirs, might jeopardize your data’s safety too. A VPS on the other hand isolates your website from others to provide relatively high level of security.
Cost- A VPS is relatively expensive than shared hosting but is not the costliest of all the webhosting types.
Hosting on VPS is ideal for small to medium size businesses, especially ecommerce websites where:
- A sudden growth in website traffic is experienced for some particular periods of time.
- Data storage demands security layer.
- The amount of data to be stored increases to an extent.
- Scalability of the vital stats of server and storage need alterations.
Staying in an apartment, although relatively better, has its fair share of constraints. At the end of the day, you are sharing some resources with others – water, for example. Imagine if your neighbor drains out the water tank during the night, you’d be stuck while getting ready in the morning wouldn’t you? Replace water with bandwidth and you can connect the dots.
This problem can be solved if you have your own independent house – wherein you have complete control over all the resources. This is where dedicated servers come into the picture.
Space– As per your need and capital, you can add as much space you want in a dedicated server, all reserved for your use.
Scalability – You can increase the amount of resources allocated to your server as and when the need be, without any restrictions.
Freedom– Throw a party, have a pool table, get the widest available TV screen, have pets – you can do it all at your independent house. Same goes for dedicated server – install all the software and tools you need without any restrictions.
Security– A dedicated server ensures top-notch security for your website and application.
Cost- Dedicated server is the costliest hosting option.
Hosting on dedicated server is ideal for large enterprises, high volume informational sites and other organizations, whose websites demand
- Heavy traffic and CPU needs.
- Data storage demands maximum security.
- The amount of data to be stored is very vast.
The type of web hosting to be chosen depends on the type of website you own. The traffic witnessed by your website and other requirements like data security, resource scalability, privacy and affordability are other major factors which decide the most appropriate web hosting that you should go for.