How to choose the right hosting plan for you?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020
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Are you looking for a hosting plan for your website?

Depending on the size of your website and business, you will have different requirements for your web hosting. For people just starting out with setting up and running a website, they might not even have realised that web hosting was needed or understand what it is. For larger businesses or for people with experience in running a site, they might know that web hosting is needed, but not understand what type of hosting is the best fit for their needs.

This article will cover the basics to help guide people in the right direction towards a perfect fit hosting package.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that companies and website owners have to use to get their site onto the internet. A web hosting provider is a company that has the technology and facilities to safely and securely deploy a website online. For a website to be on the internet, information about what the website is about and the code it's built on must be stored on a type of computer called a server.

When a person using the internet wants to visit a website, their internet browser sends a request to the server for the website data. The server will send the data to be loaded onto the internet user’s computer.

There are different types of hosting available that cater for different business requirements. Getting the correct one is vital to make sure a website functions properly, while also making sure an organisation is not paying more than they need to.

Below are the three most common types of hosting.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is the most popular form of hosting and is definitely the cheapest. In this format, a website will share the server space and resources with other websites. Each server has a finite amount of resources available. This hardware, such as memory and disk space, is used by all the sites that are hosted on the server. This means that at times of high demand, websites are competing for the server’s resources. This can result in load times slowing down and site performance decreasing.

Despite this, for websites just starting out, shared hosting is the place to start. If a site will have low amounts of traffic and little demand, shared hosting is more than capable of meeting the requirements.

Virtual Private Servers

A virtual private server or VPS is the middle tier hosting package. Multiple websites will all still be stored on a server, but instead of them all competing for the same resources, they all have an allocated amount of resources that are specifically for them. It’s called a virtual private server because the server is divided up virtually, giving website owners a lot of the functionality of a private or dedicated server.

This hosting is perfect for websites who have a higher demand than shared hosting can deal with, but don’t want to commit to a dedicated server. VPS servers scale well, so can be useful for sites that aim to grow in the near future.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server means that a website has a private server where the resources are solely used for their website. No other site can cause yours to slow down because of high demand on the server.

This type of hosting is for the websites that have a high amount of traffic and demand a lot of resources. The cost is higher than the other packages, but comes with a higher degree of personalisation and control that the other hosting packages can’t offer.

Managed and Unmanaged

Alongside the above hosting types, you will often see the terms ‘managed’ and ‘unmanaged’. This is essentially a decision over how much input a person would like to have on the running of their hosting.

An unmanaged package means that the website owner has to completely configure the hosting for their website. This requires a large amount of technical knowledge and should only be undertaken by someone who knows what they’re doing. However, for those that do have the knowledge, it offers a higher level of control and customisation.

A managed package means that the hosting provider will configure the server and the hosting package, meaning the website owner does not have to worry about the technical side of keeping a website online and can focus on the front end.

Choosing the right web hosting is a vital component to running a successful website, but one that unfortunately sometimes gets overlooked. To get the right package, it’s important to understand what requirements and resources a website will need and how much budget is available. With this information, it becomes easier to decide on shared, vps, or dedicated packages.