Not all websites are designed the same. Therefore, each site requires a web hosting service provider that can uniquely cater to the site and a site owner’s needs. Considering that there are some web hosting service providers out there, the perfect shouldn’t be hard to find. However, consumers can be confused by all the different types of plans available. Some technical terms, like DNS and bandwidth, can confuse people who are completely new to the world of hosting. But keep in mind that sooner rather than later, all commercial websites need to upgrade to a business grade hosting plan. Failure to update can result in a slow site that takes forever to load.
If you run a business website, you must anticipate higher amounts of traffic, especially when you are concurrently running an online marketing plan. If an ad video goes viral, your site should be ready to embrace thousands of more visitors without crashing. Business websites that succeed are the ones that are well prepared for successful amounts of traffic. Do not rely on free hosting plans past the first one or two months of starting your company. Refer to the list below to get an idea of the types of web hosting plans available that your business should consider subscribing to:
Shared Web Hosting
You may already be aware of what this term entails. Shared hosting means your website is hosted on a single server that multiple other websites also use. Shared hosting is quite popular because it’s very affordable, especially for startups and small businesses. The cheapest shared hosting plans go around $5 per month. While shared hosting is high price wise, there are notable disadvantages to the plan. These problems become quite prominent as your site grows.
Considering the price you pay for shared hosting, your website could end up on a mega server that also hosts thousands of other sites. The problem is, all these sites are competing for bandwidth. If one site suddenly experiences a spike in traffic, the other site could slow down. If your site experienced a spike in traffic, the server might not be able to handle the increased number of requests, and your site will crash. So, subscribe to shared hosting sites like Bluehost knowing all the ups and the downs. If your business is still quite small, it’s a bargain. But if it’s growing to medium size or bigger, you may want to consider other options.
Reseller Web Hosting
Reseller hosting plans are mostly shared hosting plans, but with the difference of extra options that allow businesses themselves to sell hosting space. Simply put, you get more technical control with the server with reseller plans. You will be able to use the hosting plan to enjoy benefits such as including billing software and issuing invoices to clients. You may get access to a server via the Web Host Manager control panel. Some plans offer things like free web themes, white label customer tech support provided by the hosting company and private domain names. Reseller web hosting packages are not overly expensive either, depending on the features. Prices can range from as little as $15 per month to $60 per month.
Cloud Based Web Hosting
This is a new form of web hosting plan where hundreds of single servers work together as one giant server. The grid can be expanded by adding new hardware. The advantage here obviously is that cloud hosting plans can easily handle usually large amounts of web traffic. If your site goes viral and there’s a surge in traffic, it’s very unlikely that your site will crash on a cloud server. So, these plans are suitable for rapidly growing websites.
Virtual Private Server
A virtual private server (VPS) is physically a single server but can act as several separate servers. A VPS is a combination of a shared hosting plan and a dedicated one. You will have to share hardware with other websites, but a portion of CPU and RAM will be dedicated to your site. A VPS can counter some disadvantages of shared plans, like a single website with high traffic bringing down your site as well. You can enjoy the dedicated benefits without the price tag for a dedicated server. Price range for a VPS plan can range from $50 to $200.
Dedicated Web Server
Dedicated hosting plans allow your site to monopolize the hardware and software on a single physical server. Your site will be the only website hosted on the server, and as a site owner, you will have complete control. With dedicated servers, you will never have to worry about other websites eating up the bandwidth. For some sites, dedicated servers also offer more security. If you expect your website to get really big in the future, a dedicated hosting plan makes the most sense. The downside is the price. Expect to pay well north of $100 per month for a dedicated hosting plan. You may also have to consider the costs of hiring a system administrator to monitor the server.
Colocation Web Hosting
Colocation means you are renting rack space at a data server. You buy your server hardware, and you can keep it at a data center. The center provides storage, physical security, power, internet uplink and cooling for the server. You are responsible for all other maintenance tasks of your server, such as handling software, storing data, backing it up and so on. You will have to conduct repairs and replacements as well. Colocation is suitable only for businesses that want to run their server, but without spending money on the storage and cooling. This is not the best option for small businesses that lack this level of technical expertise.
Self Service Web Hosting
This is the do-it-yourself hosting plan. You will have to buy servers, configure the software, store it and provide cooling. You will need the technical know-how and the money. Here are some of the things you need to do for your web hosting: a server, storage space, cooling infrastructure, power, bandwidth, a systems administrator, data backup, physical security and so on. You will have complete control but don’t expect it to be inexpensive.
Managed WordPress Hosting
If your site is built using the popular WordPress CMS, you can purchase a “managed WordPress” hosting plan where the provider keeps all the WordPress installations updated. The idea is to provide security from hackers, malware and such. Fees will vary depending on the features you are purchasing.
Now that you know the different types of hosting plan available out there, it’s time to choose a right provider. Before you buy, extensively read professional reviews, such as the various plans for hosting reviewed by WHSR. Reviews will give you an idea of what’s available in each package and how realistically useful the provided tools are.