In today’s Internet age no business is complete without a website. Indeed, modern marketing schemes usually revolve around such specialized and technical notions as search engine optimization and analytics. But like in anything, a business must learn to walk before running in the fast lane of Google AdWords. And before any business can even throw their sleek new website up on the web, they need to find someone to host it. That’s where professional web hosting comes in.
But as the saying goes, not all web hosts are created equal. To get the most bang for their buck, businesses need to invest in the right host for their needs. And to do this, they need to first understand the basics, such as the inherent differences between the four major categories of web hosting.
This type of professional web hosting – sometimes known as virtual hosting – involves one server that is shared by all of the host company’s clients. The hosting company or individual manages this single server, but the business is responsible for the maintenance of the site. This is a good option for smaller businesses with limited budgets, as shared hosting is often an inexpensive option (due to so many other businesses using the same server).
Having said that, businesses should be aware that sharing a single server can negatively impact individual website performance – especially when one site experiences more drastically heavy traffic than the others.
This highly technical-sounding form of hosting involves the business or individual purchasing a server from a computer vendor such as Dell or Microsoft and then hiring an outside host to manage said server. The host then assumes responsibility for the network and the owner assumes responsibility for the maintenance and support. In a few instances, it’s possible to find hosts who will offer contracts to take on the support of the server themselves.
Unmanaged dedicated hosting
Not entirely different from collocated hosting, this version involves leasing a server from a professional host. The contract often comes with limited web-based support, but the details depend on the host providing the server. Businesses will want to inquire about specifics regarding which types of support services the host offers for the price. On average, a business can have unmanaged dedicated hosting for around $100 per month.
This type of hosting is ideal for game-based servers or hobbyists rather than businesses that really heavily expert service.
Managed dedicated hosting
Many businesses opt for this type of hosting, as it involves leasing a server as well as having the host provide comprehensive support. Oftentimes managed dedicated hosting comes with quality guarantees, such as 99% minimum server uptime as well as hardware warranties. Because this type of hosting usually comes with so many services, businesses must ask questions and do their diligence to ensure the host offers specifics about their services.
These are the main types of web hosting. And while businesses big and small have different needs, many find that managed dedicated hosting offers everything they need to grow their organization.
Sam Matton is a big believer in a more beautiful World Wide Web. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on quick snap brochure design tricks, and also how to source quality web designers