Today going online is the essential part of your business future. Even if your products or services are not Internet-oriented, marketing opportunities the World Wide Web provides are enormous: from simply informing your clients about the new product launch to online tech support.
It is extremely important to be in touch with your clients, to create a professional image of your company and meet customer expectations. In such a way, to stay competitive you’ll obviously need a corporate website and a hosting account to locate the one, so I’ve picked some of the most popular hosting choices below.
Free Shared Hosting
The first option you have is free shared hosting. It usually offers a subdomain (in the “yoursite.domain.com” format), and plenty of Ads on the website in exchange for hosting. The reliability is also an issue, because there is always a chance that your website will be offline for a few hours or even completely shut down. Perhaps, this can’t be a viable option for any online business venture.
Traditional Shared Hosting
The second option should be a traditional shared hosting. It is basically the same thing as previous one, but the provider will offer you much more features for a small flat fee (typically about $3-$5 a month). The main advantage is that you’ll get your own second-level domain (for example “yoursite.com”) and have no third-party Ads on your page.
Reputable hosting companies usually provide a quite acceptable level of performance and security, though you have to keep in mind that the server you are hosted on is shared with many other users, so your overall project accessibility will depend on the current network load. This hosting type may be suitable for a small start-up online venture that is not planning to expand dramatically but needs a quite stable uptime and 24/7 support.
VPS (virtual private server) hosting has become much popular over last several years since it got much more affordable and widespread. The first thing that differs VPS from shared hosting is less amount of accounts per server. This leads to much faster performance (up to 10 times faster response time).
VPS itself is usually divided into two parts: traditional and cloud-based VPS. The main difference between them is the way data is distributed: traditional VPS means that there are a few virtual machines on one physical server, while cloud-based one distributes data through a cluster of physical machines instead.
Cloud-based VPS has become a more popular choice since it’s more flexible and offers almost unlimited scalability on the fly. This hosting type is ideal for small or medium-sized companies that are expecting some measurable growth, like online stores. VPS account is usually more expensive than the shared one, but it gives the opportunity to locate several resource-intensive projects that shared hosting simply won’t you allow.
Traditional cloud hosting means that your website is located on a few physical servers at once. The resources are shared, but in most cases, it doesn’t affect the performance, since they are scalable on the fly. The cloud technology provides the advanced level of data security and reliability.
Since data is not located in one place, one server failure doesn’t mean that your website is down. Moreover, it will work until all of them will fail, and that is absolutely unlikely. This technology also implies that you don’t have to install any hardware or drivers, as this is your provider’s responsibility to maintain the environment.
Cloud hosting is suitable for companies that expect unmeasurable (or simply too big) traffic spikes, that may lead to website crash.
Though there are options to create cloud-based dedicated server infrastructure, I won’t focus on them, as they have mainly the same pros and cons as usual cloud hosting. Traditional dedicated server hosting means the entire physical server that is not shared with anybody else.
This server can be configured in any way, so its owner is free to install any operating system and software. It can be also managed by the provider, but you (as a server owner) have total control anyway. In most cases, dedicated servers come with premium hardware, 24/7 tech support, physical and online security.
Dedicated server, naturally, is the most expensive hosting type (if not to consider the cluster of cloud-based servers), so it is suitable for mid-sized and large companies that are ready to pay for ultimate performance and security.
Choosing the right web hosting type can be rather tricky, but an ideal way out will be to focus on a suitable balance between cost, performance, and reliability. If your company is planning to grow further online, it is better to consider VPS or cloud-based hosting, since they provide a lot of flexibility.
On the other hand, if your company is on the initial business stage, you can host your website on a shared server and save some money. What are your thoughts on choosing the correct hosting type? Feel free to leave your comments below.