Launching your first website can be both exciting and intimidating. There are many decisions to make regarding your site, but one you definitely won’t want to overlook is which web hosting option to choose. The right web host will not only fit your budget but will also be reliable and fast enough to keep your site running smoothly.
There are three main hosting types to consider as you prepare to launch your site – shared, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated hosting. By getting to know how these hosting types differ and the potential benefits and drawbacks of each, you can ultimately make the right choice.
For many websites that are just starting out, shared hosting is a popular choice due to its low cost. Shared hosting works just as the name implies; your site shares its server and resources with many other websites. The specific number of websites you could be sharing with can vary from just a handful to hundreds or even thousands.
The affordability of this hosting option is its biggest advantage (there are even free hosting options available out there). These accounts also tend to be quick and easy to set up, though they typically don’t offer much in the way of customization. A shared hosting account may also not be as reliable or as fast as other types of hosting due to the number of accounts sharing resources.
Another option to consider is VPS hosting, which is generally considered to be a step up from shared hosting. With a VPS host, you’re still sharing your resources with other websites, but the servers themselves are set up differently so that they offer greater reliability. With a VPS host, there are usually no more than 10 to 20 websites sharing a server’s resources at a time.
VPS servers also offer more customization than shared servers and are easy to scale as your needs grow. This type of hosting does cost more than a shared server, but for many website owners, the added expense is worth it.
Dedicated Server Hosting
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line hosting option, a dedicated server is a great choice. As the name suggests, a dedicated hosting plan provides you with your own individual server and hardware. Your site doesn’t share any of its server space with other users. This means that all of the server’s resources can be allocated to your website 100 percent of the time.
The result is optimized uptime, reliability, and speeds. Because you’re not sharing your server with any other users, dedicated hosting also offers the highest level of customization. Almost any aspect of your dedicated hosting plan can be personalized to suit your site’s needs.
From a price standpoint, dedicated hosting does tend to be the most expensive. However, when you account for the unrivaled reliability and speed, the extra cost is worth it – especially for websites that anticipate high traffic.