Hosting platform options for dummies.

There are 3 major options when it comes to hosting. Actually there are 4, we’ve just added Cloud Hosting to the list. So now we will be comparing Shared Hosting vs Virtual Private Server vs Dedicated Server vs Cloud Hosting. Each option varies in inclusions and of course price. But keep in mind, only because you pick one of the other, it doesn’t mean you’ll get faster or more reliable hosting, it would also depend on where you are getting your hosting from.

We all know about apartments and houses, so let’s use that analogy to try and explain the differences between those four.

Shared Hosting

This is the budget option in most cases, suits very simple websites with limited traffic. We call it the Apartment Complex. It’s a lot of residents, all living in the same building and sharing things such as the lift, pool, playground and so on. Similar with shared hosting, there could be tens, sometimes hundreds of other websites sharing one server with you. So things such as CPU, Memory, Disk Space – all shared. Often in shared hosting you may experience slow times at busiest parts of the day.

We should also add that this is the most popular hosting option and often comes with unlimited bandwidth. In most cases, you’ll be given access to a control panel where you can manage most things yourself.

VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server)

Middle option, suits most WordPress and other semi-busy websites. This is similar to living in a villa or a duplex. You are limited by certain strata rules, but there are a lot less residents and a lot more control. Basically, it’s one physical server, divided into several smaller slices that each act as their own virtual server environment. You are also able to reset your server if needed and generally have a lot more control of it. If physical server fails, all VPSs on that server fail too. And it’s not very scalable.

Dedicated Hosting

High-end option, the most expensive, but often the fastest and provides full control. Just like owning your own house, you can practically do anything with it you want, but expect to also pay a premium. No one else’s website is sharing anything with your server.

When you are given control of everything — you should also know what to do with it. So if you have no prior hosting experience, you’ll need someone to manage the server for you.

Cloud Hosting

Similar to VPS, but different. You pay for usage (ie. per hour) instead of monthly or yearly. It’s very scalable, so if you are expecting a sudden influx of traffic to your website — you can quickly upgrade your hosting environment. Downgrading it is however is not always such a simple process, but also possible. It’s also a bit more expensive than normal VPS.

Unmanaged are cheaper, but you get no support (or very limited) and need to know what you are doing. With managed, you are guided in most things you need to do, but may still require some degree of experience.

What we recommend

If you are just starting out and have a small website — then start small. No point getting yourself a dedicated server, if you just have a simple HTML site. As your business or your website popularity grows – so should you hosting environment. You don’t want to be paying for things you don’t use, but the last thing you want is visitors closing your website, because it takes too long to load or always crashes.

Have questions on which option is best for you? Talk to us.

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