It would be difficult to imagine a business operating and expanding today without some sort of established online presence. Because most businesses will need a website in order to be able to function and continue to grow, most businesses will need to decide what kind of hosting package they’re need in order to launch and support their online presence. Before I understood anything about how the internet works, I assumed that all the files and information contained on the internet just floated around in the air between computers (yeah, it was a long time ago for me, and this believe only lasted a few days). Now I understand that all the information contained on web sites is stored in servers that are managed by different hosting firms, and that these servers then connect to individual users of the internet by way of the network connection.
The most affordable hosting package is shared hosting, which is good for small businesses that operate a single, simple website to support their operations. Shared hosting is inexpensive because it rents out server space to several websites and then shares the server space between those web sites. Shared hosting can become a problem, however, when there is too much traffic to support all of the sites. For example, if your site shares space with another site that becomes immensely popular, it may slow down your site because so much of the server space is used up by the popular site with which you share space. If your site is the most popular site among the group that shares the server, then this may be the most advantageous situation because you get to dominate the server for a small fee, usually no more than fifteen or twenty dollars per month. Reseller hosting is similar to shared hosting but is slightly more expensive because it includes added features that enhance the client’s ability to manage the website.
Grid hosting combines multiple individual servers to function as if they were one server and portions out space on this grid of servers so that companies can pay for exactly the amount of hosting that they need. This allows for a degree of flexibility that makes paying for hosting services cost-effective for clients.
Colocation is another popular option for businesses. Colocation allows you to place your sever machine in someone else’s rack and share bandwidth. It generally costs more than standard web hosting, but less than if you did it yourself at your business.
Virtual private server hosting and dedicated server hosting are a departure from the concept of sharing server space with other websites. Virtual private server hosting doesn’t guarantee a separate server for a client, but instead creates a separate virtual server within a single physical server and then dedicates the entirety of that virtual server to the client that pays for its use. In this way, a client doesn’t have to worry about other websites hogging space on the server but still doesn’t have to pay for the use of an entire physical server. Dedicated server hosting is the most expensive form of hosting among the options discussed here because it purchases the services of an entire physical server. Those who use this service might not be making the most effective use of their money because they could get the same dedicated space using a virtual private server, which would be a more efficient use of server space, but those who pay for dedicated server hosting get the satisfaction of knowing that somewhere there is a single, tangible machine dedicated to hosting their website.