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The Difference Between Web Hosting Plans
It can be very confusing with so many hosting types and different hosting plans available, especially if you are new to the industry. In the following I will show the characteristics of the most popular hosting types.
Shared hosting: probably the most popular type of web hosting that is mostly used by small to medium sized websites. Technically, if we are talking about a shared hosting plan, we talk about web server, that hosts multiple accounts, customers at the same time. The different accounts will share resources, software, and bandwidth between each other. The advantage of the hosting plan is the affordability; however it has downsides such as lower security, lack of control over the server configuration, slower websites.
Virtual private servers (VPS): are similar to shared hosting, with some extra benefits. In case of a virtual server, the machine is divided in few accounts, each having its own dedicated server resources, own operating system, root access, full control over the virtual partition and in most of the cases root access to the server. The high security and great control come at a higher price, usually the cost of a VPS plan starts at $30 per month. Medium to high traffic websites are usually hosted on virtual servers.
Dedicated server: is basically a powerful computer, where user can have full control over the whole hardware and server resources. The server can be configured with the desired operation system, hardware, software, etc. It provides a highly secured environment for the stored data at a very high cost. Dedicated servers are mostly used for payment processing, storing sensitive data, websites with huge traffic, and the monthly cost starts at around $150.
Reseller hosting: used by web design agencies and startup hosting companies; it is an affordable way to offer hosting service for own clients and make a profit by reselling web space under your own brand. Reseller hosting works similar to a virtual server, with the difference that in case of a reseller plan the number of accounts are pre-made. The cost of a reseller package starts at $20 per month, depending on the number of accounts and resources you need.
Cloud hosting: this is a very powerful hosting technology that offers great reliability and scalability thanks to the clustered load-balanced servers. Cloud hosting is decentralized, that means that the data is stored and be processed by multiple servers at once. Websites hosted with cloud technology can overcome easily of a local power disruption or even a natural disaster that affects the datacenter. In case of cloud hosting user is charged for the amount of the resources that the website consumed, rather than a flat fee like in the case of a dedicated server. The downside of this hosting type is the lack of control over the location of hosted data, which could be a problem for users with privacy and data security concerns.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Web Hosting
Web hosting is a rapidly evolving and growing industry, thanks to the fact that the internet is used by more and more people. Thousands of new websites and millions of new pages are created are created daily. There are almost infinite of possibilities to create a webpage, but if you want to go professional, and want to create a website for your business, it is important to know how to choose the right hosting company and the hosting plan that fits your needs. A professional hosting company can be identified by the following factors:
Features & Pricing
Features & Value: The price of a hosting service can vary a lot from company to company. The competition is very high, and the cost of web hosting goes down. Why pay more for the same features? Compare the features of the different hosting companies, analyze which is the most suitable for your website needs and choose that offers the best value for money.
Speed & Uptime
Speed & Uptime: It is unavoidable to eliminate all technical problems, at some point something will broke. There could be several reasons from network connections to hardware problems that will disrupt the hosting service. If a company offers you 100% uptime guarantee, that is just not technically possible, and I highly recommend avoiding it.
Easy to Use: Most customers want a simple, professional website and an email address as fast as possible. Many of these users do not have the technical skill, or the time to learn how to set up their website. The setup process should be easy and the control panel should include all the necessary tools that are required to set up a website and email address in matter of minutes.
Customer Support: Technical and customer support is also very important. Usually customer support can be reached via phone or live chat, and technicians will help you only via email (tickets). Avoid hosting providers that do not offer 24/7 online support.
Reviews & Feedback
User’s Feedback: In most of the cases the opinion of other customers tells everything about the company. If a company has lots of negative feedback it could be a sign that something is not going well, however no feedback also sound very fishy. It is recommended to ask on forums and read honest hosting review sites to have a good perspective over a hosting provider.
You can learn more about hosting, domain names, and websites in our comprehensive hosting guide.
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