Web Hosting Servers are dedicated to hosting websites for personal or professional use. Servers are normally shared between many clients. In some cases, however, a single client may have their own server, depending on the needs of the site in question. Web host servers provide space to customers, as well as other services and file maintenance as contracted. Web sites controlled by most individuals do not have their own web servers and, instead, are subscribing to a small amount of server space through large hosting companies.
There are a few different types of available to individuals with personal or business websites. As you can imagine, the perfect website server for you will depend on the type of services you require to maintain your content. Below are the four most common types of hosting available today.
Free Hosting: Free web hosting is perfect for those who are looking to create a blog or website just for fun. If you aren’t looking for much traffic or complicated page creation, this will be the perfect format for your site. However, very often, the free hosting environments provide slow connection speeds, with sites down frequently, and many advertising banners present to help pay for the services. Normally, you will receive a subdomain under their services that look like this [sitename.webhost.com]. If you go with a subdomain, you normally won’t be able to transfer it if you decide to move to another server later. Free WordPress sites are a perfect example of free Web Hosting Services with a subdomain attached. If you are creating a professional or business site, I would not suggest this option as it will eventually limit your creativity and ability to grow as a site and company.
Shared Hosting: Hosting services in this environment are shared between you and many other clients. This includes sharing a physical server and the software applications available within the server in question. This type of hosting tends to be the most affordable because you are sharing the cost with many other site owners. These shared hosting environments can also be a lot slower than other hosting mechanisms and may not work for high-traffic sites. Dream Host provides this type of hosting, along with dedicated hosting for a higher fee.
VPS Hosting: Virtual private hosting is a virtual machine sold as an internet hosting service. While you still share space on this type of server, you have specific resources not shared by everyone. With this option, you have virtual server, which allows you to create unlimited websites with no restrictions besides your allotted usage of the CPU time and memory shared by other users. If your site is not using optimized correctly or is extremely busy, this will affect the other sites on the VPS server. If this is the case for your site or online business, VPS hosting may not be sustainable for your purposes, even with dedicated allotment of space.
Dedicated Hosting: In this case, you have an entire hosting server to yourself. Faster performance should be expected and the server’s resources will be at your fingertips entirely. The cost of a dedicated host can be prohibitive, but it is a great option for websites that require a lot of system resources or need more security surrounding the site. Whether you lease or buy a dedicated server, the upkeep will be significant and you, or someone on your team, will be responsible for setting up and maintaining its use and software capabilities. If you believe your site will be a high-traffic or large and complex, a dedicated server may still be your best option, at least down the line.
For most online businesses, a shared or VPS server is going to be enough, but make sure you think about how your needs may change as your traffic grows. You may want to consider starting out with a hosting service that can provide you an evolution of server options that fits your site as it grows.