Are you updating an old business website or developing a new one? One of the most confusing aspects of the process is deciding where to host the site.
The three most common options are shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and cloud hosting.
Choosing the best of the three solutions for your website depends on several things, including performance needs, security requirements, budget, scalability expectations, and server administration preferences.
This article explains how each hosting technique works, its pros and cons, and how it compares with the other options.
With shared hosting, the website server and all its resources (including bandwidth and storage) are shared with all other sites hosted on it. In most cases, a business website owner doesn’t know what websites share the hosting platform with them.
Every site on the platform is assigned a server resource limit depending on the hosting package purchased. Most shared hosting providers have a range of packages with different resource access levels. Still, all customers exist in the same space.
Shared hosting is similar to sharing a rented apartment with roommates. You have one room or an assigned space within the apartment. Access to critical resources, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and living room, is shared among all the renters.
Pros: Shared hosting is the most affordable option, and it’s relatively easy to find reputable providers.
Cons: If server resources aren’t adequate to handle all the users, your website may be slow to load and difficult to access. If security protocols fail, it could put your website and business data at risk.
Like shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting users share the same server. What’s different is that the hosting company installs a virtual layer on top of the server’s operating system. It separates the server into individual units and allows users to install their own operating systems and software.
Returning to our example, with VPS, you’re renting an apartment without roommates. You have greater freedom in your space, but you’re still subject to the resource limits of the building itself. For instance, if everyone turns their hot water on full simultaneously, the entire building will quickly run out of hot water. Similarly, if all sites use maximum bandwidth space, they will all experience a slowdown.
Pros: The semi-private nature of virtual private server hosting makes it a sound choice for consumer-focused sites, including online stores and small businesses. With VPS, you typically enjoy relatively fast loading times, improved security, and better, more dependable site performance.
Cons: VPS hosting requires significant technical knowledge to manage the server, which many smaller businesses don’t have. Plus, the site owner is responsible for protecting it, which could put the site and business at risk.
A cloud server is a virtual server that operates in a cloud computing environment. Sites are built, hosted, and delivered through a cloud computing platform accessed through the Internet.
In this case, you rent an entire apartment building. Other buildings are on the same block, using critical resources like power and water supplied by the municipality. However, the buildings share no physical connection.
Pros: Cloud servers provide website owners with stability and security because the software used within the solution is isolated from the website environment.
Other cloud servers won’t impact your cloud server. With physical servers, an overload from another user could affect your site, its performance, and security. Plus, when a cloud-based server goes down, it can quickly be restored or replaced by another. Cloud servers also provide a level of scalability not found in other options. It’s relatively easy to expand a website, adding memory and power as needed, which can be challenging and costly when physical servers are involved.
Cons: Cloud-based hosting is the most expensive option. You may also need to hire resources to handle website deployment and optimization.
Understanding the hosting options available to you can help you select the best solution for you. If you still have questions, contact the experts at GoEpps, who can help with designing and developing your website.
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