You may get confused about various options, if start a web hosting account without a basic knowledge. So before choosing a best web hosting plan, you need to understand the various types of web hosting and their primary features.
Besides, to determine which one can best suit the needs, you should analyze all the features of each type, and select the one you want at an affordable price. It is wise to keep all the primary features necessary without paying for the ones you don’t need.
Free Hosting VS Paid Hosting
When looking for a hosting service, you have to make a choice between free hosting and paid hosting. The description about their advantages and disadvantages are as follow.
For free hosting, surely cost free is its main advantage, which also includes free email services. For personal and family websites, free hosting is undoubtedly a good choice, but it’s not suitable for professional websites. Either personal or professional webmasters should consider the disadvantages of free hosting services:
- No domain names;
- Often contains obtrusive advertising on your site, including banner ads, pop ups or pop unders;
- Software additions are limited;
- Ability to expand or move your files is limited;
- Typically does not include databases that are required to run many forms of useful software, including blogging tools;
- Security may not be sound enough;
- Technical support may be nonexistent, slow or limited.
For paid hosting, there are some hosting provides rich features with an affordable price. You can also enjoy an excellent service when choosing paid hosting.
Shared hosting is the most popular web hosting service in the industry, which is suitable for the majority needs of small business and personal. Most shared hosting companies use Linux or Windows to provide customers for a higher rate per month, and also provide scalable packages for customers to choose which one satisfies the needs of them. Some of its advantages are as following:
- Low cost per month, if paid annually, many discounts will be available;
- Most shared hosts offer various add-on programs and tools that will help you optimize your site and make it more efficient and dynamic;
- You can use your own domain and emaildomain;
- There is usually adequate to superior customer support.
While there are many advantages of shared hosting, disadvantages are inevitable:
- You have to share space with other sites on the same server, so it is less secure;
- You may have certain restrictions on software languages supported or file types that are allowed;
- You may outgrow your shared hosting environment due to increased traffic and need to move;
- If you have a sudden spike in traffic, your site may be at risk for suspension due to increased resource usage.
VPS means Virtual Private Server. It’s a shared hosting plan that acts like a dedicated one. By using the virtualization technology, the server is partitioned into separate parts, and each part can perform like a full dedicated server with its own dedicated resources. It’s usually more expensive than shared hosting but a little bit cheaper than dedicated hosting and also provides a high level of security, speed and operation.
It allows users to have dedicated service without requiring substantial knowledge. It’s a good choice for popular sites without a large staff or dedicated IT staff. With managed hosting, you can enjoy a more convenient web hosting service. At the same time, hosting company will configure server and install software for customers, and take care of their needs.
It is cheaper than managed hosting because there is no management that means no routine support. Unmanaged Hosting offers you complete control: sole access and total free. But if you struggle to install a control panel from scratch, some problems may happen from day one, because you may not have enough time to manage a server on top of other tasks.
Dedicated hosting is a type of web hosting in which the client leases an entire server not shared with anyone else. Its main advantage is that you can determine how to allocate your resources and what your server is used for.
It is aiming at large companies and high traffic websites. You can use multiple domains and host additional sites on the server if you want. The amount and type of software solutions you install are virtually unlimited. The disadvantage of dedicated hosting is the most expensive option and a much higher skill.
Other Hosting Terms
Free vs. paid and shared vs. VPS vs. dedicated hosting are typically two main categories of web hosting types available. However, there are other decisions you have to make.
Collocation refers to the situation that you have an own web server, but need to rent space at a data center service provider to run it. This option is highly expensive and requires a lot of knowledge and skills. It is often used for large businesses with a dedicated IT department or small web host providers.
Linux VS Windows
While most of the shared hosting companies use Linux as a platform, some use Windows hosting. But Windows is proprietary software, so it’s a lot more expensive. You may also have an application that specifically requires Windows.
A reseller refers to the person who offers hosting services at their own company but uses parent company’s resources, especially some small web hosting companies. But in related fields, such as website designers or graphic artists who may regard web hosting as a value added service, you may also find resellers.