Web hosting providers spoil you for choice with different web hosting options. But what type of web hosting do you need? You’ll often find free web hosting, WordPress hosting, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting (and the list goes on and on) on the plans and pricing pages of web hosting providers. These hosting options all serve the same purpose: to host your web content so that people can find and view it on the internet.
What are the differences between these web hosting options? Why should you know or care about them? What benefits do each of these options provide? Let’s talk about that.
WordPress is the name of a Content Management System (CMS). A content management system is a software used to manage the creation and modification of digital content. WordPress is the most popular CMS and powers about 43% of all websites on the internet. Because of its popularity, web hosting providers created a plan for hosting websites using the content management system.
Most WordPress hosting plans are cheap compared to their alternatives and the WordPress platform is very easy to use even for a tech novice. If you want to concentrate on running your business and want a business website that you can easily manage, then, by all means, go for WordPress hosting. Here’s a review of 15 web hosting providers with some of the best cheap WordPress hosting plans.
Free web hosting
Who doesn’t like free lunch? Free web hosting plans are popular among first-time website builders and bloggers in their infancy. Should your business be looking to get a free web hosting plan? If you want to create a personal website, and just get a feel of having a website to share with your family and friends, free web hosting might do, but not if you are a serious business that has a reputation to protect.
Free web hosting plans lack many of the features and security you’ll come to expect from a paid web hosting plan. There’s also a lack of customer support. Most of the free web hosting platforms allow you to create content on their platform. In exchange, they make money off you by showing ads on your free website.
So should your business go for free web hosting? The answer is no. If you want to establish a powerful web presence with your online business, you need serious web hosting. Only a paid web hosting service will offer you the control, reliability, and security you need in that regard.
Shared web hosting plans are the most affordable web hosting you can get. It is even cheaper than WordPress hosting. And you can get Shared WordPress Hosting from some web hosting providers.
Shared web hosting plans allow your website to share the same space on a web server with other people’s websites. It’s like say, 5 businesses pay rent for one particular shop, and all of them use the shop together.
The problem with this hosting plan is that you are at the mercy of the other websites (businesses) sharing the space with you, and their activities have a direct impact on your own business. If a particular website on your web server begins to attract more traffic, they begin to use up much of the web space allocated to all of you on the server. And that slows down all the other websites. Think of how your noisy neighbours make your sleep uncomfortable.
A particular website experiencing a hike in traffic can also make all the others experience server downtime and cause your website to be offline for hours or even days. Even though this hosting type is affordable, it is only recommended for setting up a personal website, small businesses that don’t require much web traffic or a small informational website. You should not use shared hosting if you want to build a news website or host a website that requires large traffic.
If you’re in the big leagues of businesses that require traffic to make money, then you should start considering dedicated hosting. With shared hosting, it’s like living in a face-me-I-face-you. Dedicated hosting is like moving to a GRA and renting a bungalow. You’re in a world all by yourself.
Dedicated hosting plans offer you the same server resources as in shared hosting. But this time, instead of sharing with 9 other websites, you’re using it all alone. This means you have entire server space to yourself.
There’s a caveat though. If you don’t know a thing about server administration, please go for managed hosting. You will find it difficult to run a server on a dedicated hosting plan by yourself. With managed hosting, the web hosting provider handles all the management tasks required for your website, freeing you up to focus on other areas of your business. WP Engine has one of the best-managed hosting plans in the industry.
VPS hosting is like shared hosting. But in this case, your business website shares the web server with fewer websites. Put differently, VPS hosting is shared hosting on steroids. It’s a little pricier than normal shared hosting and can be a good upgrade from shared hosting, especially if your website is beginning to experience a hike in traffic.
Cloud hosting combines the power of multiple web servers to power one website. Here, your website buys up more server space to contain more of your files (content) and to take care of your traffic.
Businesses that use cloud hosting are ultra-high-traffic websites like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and so on. These companies end up building their web servers and hiring server engineers to administer their web servers. This is surely out of your league if your business is not as big.
What’s the best hosting for your business?
The best web hosting for your business will depend a lot on your business needs. You can use free web hosting to quickly get online if you’re building a personal website or small business website that requires less traffic. If your business has larger hosting needs, you should consider dedicated server or managed hosting plans.
Apart from the hosting plan, there are other things to consider before choosing a web host, but by knowing what your business requires, you’ll be able to narrow down your search to a few web hosting providers, and ultimately choose the best web hosting plan for your business.
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