Web hosting is an expense that you will have for the lifetime of your website. For the non-technical, choosing the right hosting provider and solution can seem overwhelming considering the many different options and providers. Today, I’d like to talk about the different web hosting solutions.
Before I jump into the different options, I want to make sure you understand what web hosting is. To make sure I don’t over complicate the definition, here’s a simple definition from WikiPedia:
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web.
Basically, you’re paying to rent space on a computer server that is connected to the internet and makes your website accessible to the entire world. There are many web hosting companies out there like GoDaddy and Host Gator.
Shared hosting is the cheapest and simplest form of web hosting; however, you will get what you pay for. It’s cheap because you will share computer server resources with numerous other individuals and their websites. The major benefit of shared hosting is that you don’t have to manage the server which means you don’t have to install security updates and manage other items to keep the server and its websites up and running.
The downfall is that the performance of your website may suffer dependent upon the web traffic going to other websites. There’s also a chance you may be susceptible to hacks started from those other websites. Shared hosting is not my first choice anymore unless you have a low traffic website that isn’t very resource intensive.
Cost: You can expect to pay anywhere from $4 – $20
Reseller hosting is definitely a step up from shared hosting. The main difference is that each website will have its own resources. The websites will be on the same server; however, resources will be allocated directly to your website and not shared with others. Dedicated resources will improve the speed and reliability of your website. These dedicated resources mean costs will increase. A reseller plan is best for a company that does not want to manage the servers but needs to have dedicated resources to multiple websites. Agencies like The Urban Geeks utilize reseller hosting to provide its clients dedicated resources.
Cost: You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 – $60
The next step up is VPS which balances the cost of reseller hosting with the benefits of a dedicated server. A VPS gets you your on virtual server where you control just about everything! The resources on this server are allocated however you want. In my experience, hosting your website on a VPS will give you better response times and speed up your website significantly over shared or reseller hosting. The only catch is that you have to know how to manage and tune your VPS to see the benefits.
Cost: You can start off as low as $5 and go to way more expensive dependent upon the complexity of your website
The final level of hosting is a dedicated server. A dedicated server is really a physical server to which you control everything. You could potentially set up the other types of hosting on your dedicated server. I’ve personally never purchased a dedicated server because of costs and honestly not needing the resources. This option is best for large companies that are serving very complex websites.
Cost: You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 and up
Our team is very flexible when it comes to web hosting. We give our clients the freedom to pay for the own hosting our leverage our hosting options. We highly recommend they utilize our web hosting service mainly because we are the point of contact for any server issues. On the flip side, our client who secure their own web hosting must handle any issues from the web hosting companies. The Urban Geeks also package in additional services such as email delivery, security, and optimization into our web hosting packages.
I hope this post has shed some light on the different web hosting options that exist. We leverage reseller and VPS hosting for our clients. The Urban Geeks website is hosted on a VPS, and we love the value that we get. Our recommendation for most websites will be to utilize reseller hosting or a VPS. The decision really comes down to budget and website needs. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want to move your website to a different hosting solution.