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4 Things You Don't Know About Website Hosting

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Sarah Lee Parker

Hosting your website is the most important step in creating a successful site. Whether you are running a small blog or an online store, hosting will be what holds it all together. In this article we'll discuss everything you need to know about hosting and why it’s so important and the different types available, from shared hosting, VPS servers, dedicated servers and cloud computing to reseller accounts and WordPress hosts.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most popular and cheapest type of web hosting. It's perfect for small websites that don't require a lot of resources.

Things you didn't know

The other sites on the same server will affect your site. If your site suddenly goes viral, the number of hits and data drawn from your website will slow down every one else, and vice versa so your website performance can be affected if another site on the server experiences high traffic. Most shared server sites will also have limited bandwidth and will need to pay for the extra data used by the flood of new visitors.

An apple pie cut into six pieces and one piece is being served on a small plate
Everyone will need to share the pie, but the slices may be uneven.

VPS Hosting

VPS, or virtual private server, hosting is a step up from shared hosting. This type of hosting gives you more control over your server environment and allows you to install custom software. VPS servers are also great for medium-sized businesses that need a little more power or have multiple websites but don't want to pay for dedicated hosting.

Things you didn't know

Always read your contract carefully, for even these types of hosting may have limits on bandwidth and data use. VPS servers may be across several servers (hence the virtual aspect) but there is still a small chance that speed could be affected by other customers and services running on the virtual machine.

A person's hand with dark skin tone signing a document with a fountain pen.
Always read your contract before signing and make sure you understand it.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the next step up from VPS hosting and is perfect for businesses that have a large number of website visitors. With dedicated hosting, you get your own server which is not shared with anyone else. This type of hosting offers the most control and customization options as well as the best performance.

Things you didn't know

Bandwidth is measured in gigabytes or GB and dedicated hosting can have a lot of bandwidth.

Think carefully about how much your website visitors will need because it's easy to go over the limit if you're not careful - or if you have a limit!

Make sure you read your contract fine print.

Another thing you didn't know: Security on a dedicated server can be better or worse depending on your host. As a dedicated server, it is possible for malware apps to be installed and run alongside your own processes. As a dedicated server, it may be better in fending off denial of service attacks or other variations of attack. Make sure you speak to your host about what sort of security concerns you should be aware of, and what you can help do to minimize them.

An image of a mobile phone with a green circle and a tick in the centre against a yellow background.
Security is an important issue at all times on the net.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is typically less friendly for non-technical users but is perfect for businesses that are expecting a lot of website traffic (or dramatically changing traffic) and have a developers in house to manage it. Cloud computing allows you to use resources from multiple servers, making it perfect for companies with fluctuating needs. If your site goes viral, Cloud Hosting allows for very quick additions of extra services, and can ensure quality uptime when most other forms of hosting will struggle.

Things you didn't know:

Your hosting service will need to have a suitable sized connection to the internet for any suddenly needed upgrades to be effective.

Ask your provider if they are providing the cloud services on their own hardware. If they do use their own hardware or data centres, this could create a choke point dependent on the logistics of their setup. Most places will have a true cloud hosting system across the net rather than just across multiple servers, using the power of major data centres around the world.

Photo of a server room full of black computers and server racks.
Watch the terminology your hosting provider uses, and ask questions if you are unsure.

Over to You

Do you know what sort of hosting your sites uses? Are you aware of any of the concerns listed above?

All hosting has positives and negatives, and this article is a very brief look into some of the hosting types available to purchase. Here at AimHigher Web, we also provide hosting services and provide the option of a maintenance plan, which can resolve any worries about security, uptime, and support. If you would like to explore your options, click on the links below and let's chat.

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