All websites function through a web hosting service, which is a service that enables individuals and organizations to make their websites public through the World Wide Web. A web host is basically a company that rents out space on a web server for owners to make their websites accessible on the internet. While not all web hosts own their own servers, many of them rent them from larger companies with access to data centers, or collections of servers, and in turn, rent these servers to other companies or individuals. There are several kinds of web hosting. But we’ll discuss three of them here: Shared web hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated web hosting.
Shared Web Hosting
A shared web hosting service can be compared to living in an apartment complex. Just as different individuals and families live in their own apartments in a building, in a shared web hosting service, many websites reside on one web server. Understandably, this is the most economic form of hosting. It is ideal for simple websites that do not contain too many features and those that are not likely to see much traffic. A shared web hosting service is handled by a system administrator. The suitability of this depends on your preferences. It can be useful if you do not want to handle the technical side of the site, but it can be troublesome if you require more control of your site. Server management, installation of server software, security updates, and technical support is handled by the service provider. A shared web hosting service can also be inappropriate if you require extensive software development outside of what the hosting provider supports. It has usage limits and must have extensive reliability features in place. Another disadvantage of this service is that since many websites share the same server if one website is involved in any unethical action or spamming, the entire IP address can get blacklisted.
Dedicated Web Hosting
A dedicated web hosting service can be compared to living in an independent residence. This is a type of service in which an entire server is occupied by a single website. As a result, the owner of the website has full control over the server. There are no limitations on bandwidth and disk space. In a shared web hosting service, an administrator handles the setup and technical operation of the server. For a dedicated server, there comes a host of technical skills that need to be there. There is an added need to set up, administer and manage the server, however, with new and fully dedicated hosting plans one can avail of this at a bit of a higher price. In addition dedicated hosting services offer high performance, email stability, security, and control. Such a service is ideal for websites that receive high traffic and make use of extensive features. Online shopping portals typically make use of dedicated web hosting. Unlike with using a shared web hosting service, there is a lesser chance of getting blacklisted by using a dedicated web hosting service as you are in full control of the server.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
VPS Hosting is a type of hosting that falls in between shared web hosting and dedicated web hosting. It can be compared to living in a condominium, where you share things on the property, but you are ultimately responsible for the maintenance of your property inside the condominium. It offers the use of extensive disk space and bandwidth. Such a hosting service is ideally used by a company with resource-heavy applications and secured data. Like in the case of dedicated web hosting, VPS hosting is used by websites that experience a lot of traffic. However, it is cheaper than using a dedicated web hosting service as the server is still shared by multiple users. Although you can configure the server any way that you want, you would still need a dedicated system administrator to take care of your server. The following table summarizes how each hosting service is different from the others:
|Shared Web Hosting
|Dedicated Web Hosting
|VPS Web Hosting
|A server is shared by multiple websites and offers limited bandwidth and disk space. It is comparatively cheap due to shared costs. It does not require the website owner to have much technical skill. High traffic can slow down the serverIt offers the least control among the three types. It is the least secure among the three types.
|A server is dedicated to just a single website. It offers high bandwidth and disk space. It is quite expensive because of no shared costs. The website owner will need to have technical skills as he has full control of the server. The server is designed to handle high traffic. It offers high control. It offers high security.
|A server is shared by multiple websites. It offers high bandwidth and disk space. It is quite expensive but is cheaper than a dedicated web hosting service. It does not require the site owner to have much technical skill but requires a system administrator. The server is designed to handle high traffic. It offers high control. It offers high security.