If you are considering web hosting, it helps to understand what it is and the choices you have when it comes to web hosting companies and plans. A good image can often make the whole process easier to understand. I recently found a very useful infographic that does a great job of explaining web hosting.
I highly recommend that you take a look at it and refer to it as I explain some of your different web hosting options. This infographic which is composed of several parts, and different aspects will become visible when you click on it. Each part explains a different aspect of web hosting.
The Purpose of Web Hosting
Web hosting is something you need if you want to have your own blog or website. It’s possible to have an online presence without a website, of course. You can have a Facebook page or a blog on a site such as Blogger.com (or another of the many blogging sites). With this type of setup, however, you are not the owner of the site.
When you have your own website, you have your own domain and unique URL (web address). This is important for a couple of reasons. First of all, you don’t have to worry about the rules of third-party sites as it’s your own personal website. Blogger.com, which is owned by Google, commonly shuts down people’s Blogger blogs for violating various rules. Very often, the blogger is never even told why.
The other big advantage to having your own website is that you can optimize it for the search engines. It’s much more difficult to do SEO with a third-party website.
One you’ve decided to create your own website, you need web hosting to place it and keep it online. A web host provides servers that store your data and take care of all the hardware and technical procedures necessary to keep your site running securely.
Shared Web Hosting
When most people start out with web hosting, they usually get shared hosting. Web hosting companies generally offer one or more shared hosting plans, and these are the cheapest plans you can purchase.
The aforementioned graphic does a good job at explaining how shared hosting works. Like tenants in an apartment house, you are sharing services with other web users. This is how the cost is kept down, but it also means you are limited in terms of the control you have over your own site and server.
Just as if there’s a problem with the heating or electricity in a building, a server wide problem can cause issues for everyone sharing the server.
Most shared hosting, however, is quite reliable for the purposes of a small to medium sized website. It’s only if you’re planning to have a large site or you want to set up an ambitious online store that you should consider other types of hosting.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, and this is the next level up from shared hosting. As the name suggests, with this type of hosting you have a semi-private or “virtually” private server. This is more costly than shared hosting, but cheaper than having a dedicated server.
If you refer to the infographic once again, you’ll see that this type of hosting is akin to having a town home that’s somewhat private, but still attached to other homes. You have more privacy and security than you do with shared hosting, but not as much as you would with your own dedicated server.
If you are the kind of person who likes to own your own home and not have to share any facilities with neighbors, you might also like your own dedicated server. This is hosting for people who want the maximum amount of control and security over their site.
As you might expect, having a dedicated server is the most expensive type of hosting. Most web hosts that offer this option have several types of dedicated server, depending on your needs.
Today many web hosting companies are offering still another type of hosting, for people who want flexibility and control over their sites without having to pay the cost of a dedicated server.
Cloud hosting allows you to tap into the resources of a group of servers while still maintaining a high degree of security. If you refer again to the graphic, you’ll see that cloud hosting can be compared to sharing a luxurious mansion.
Comparing Your Web Hosting Choices
The advantage of looking at web hosting visually and comparing it to physical real estate is that it enables you to understand the costs and benefits of the different types of hosting plans. I assure you that the web hosting infographic designed by 100Webhosting.com is one of the most interesting infographic I have ever seen before! Do check it out.
If you study the infographic, you will be able to comprehend the differences between shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers and cloud hosting. This will make you a more educated consumer when you shop around for web hosting!