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What is Web Hosting?

By Jamin Andrews
What is Web Hosting?

In its simplest form web hosting is just a hard drive connected to the Internet that stores all your website’s information. There are a few different types of web hosting options, each catering for various website requirements, depending on the size of your website, customer traffic and growth. Below are the three most common types of web hosting.

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is the most commonly used and cheapest type of hosting available. With Shared Hosting you are given a part of a main server, which you share with a number of other sites. As you are only given a section of a server, it means that this hosting can be discounted, as the price of the server is shared amongst various websites. A note of warning - the cheaper the plan the more likely that there are hundreds of other sites sharing your server, this may result in your website going offline frequently and slow page loads. Make sure you check with your potential host to see if they cap the limit of websites on each server. This is the cheapest of web hosting methods and is ideal for small websites and blogs.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

VPS hosting is a mix between Dedicated Hosting and Shared Hosting. VPS can easily be summarised as full control over a slice of a server. A host server will normally have several VPS servers running on it. But unlike a Shared Hosting, the other sites on your server cannot affect your site. So if there is a bug on a website that shares your server your site will not be affected. Also with VPS hosting you are given control of your server. This is ideal with websites that use customised software packages or want the ability to install custom applications. Businesses on a VPS are also given access to dedicated resources; meaning as your business grows you can instantly access more RAM, faster CPU speed and more disk space for storage. It can provide your site with good control and bandwidth, and cost much less than a dedicated server.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated Hosting is at the top end scale of web hosting. With Dedicated Hosting you have your own dedicated server where you can host all your websites. Not only do you have full control over your server you are also given access to customise the software and hardware you use for your website, with the peace of mind that all the maintenance of the physical server is looked after by the web host provider. This is the top end of web hosting and is ideal for larger websites that need a hefty amount of bandwidth and space.

As with any purchase it’s important to consider all factors when choosing the right web hosting. If your business is based in Australia and your target market is Australian then it is vital to choose an Australian web host whose servers are located locally. Above all price can be reflective on quality and if you want to make sure your website will run at optimal speed then make sure you go with a quality web host provider.