Setting up your own website isn’t entirely as simple as it sounds. There are a few important factors to consider, such as bandwidth, upgrade options, support, control, server usage, environmental impact, and more.
What type of host you go for should be based on which services your site requires, and more specifically, what size. Different hosts offer packages that can usually be customized according to your needs and the average traffic that flows through your site.
This page is for you if you need some extra info about hosting services before you dive in and blindly pick one out of a hat. If you’re entirely new to website building, you might want to check out some hosting comparison sites: MangoMatter has a few decent web hosting reviews. If you’ve run a successful site for a while, you probably know what you’re looking for, but might need pointing in the direction of some different methods of hosting.
Here, we explain the five most common web hosting types, so you can determine which is best for you. Let’s go!
Cost: Free-$6+ per month
WordPress is the internet’s darling. It’s free to use in its simplest form, and very cheap even with other hosting support and upgrades. It’s so good, in fact, that it now powers 29% of all websites on the entire internet – including big names like The New Yorker, Sony Music, MTV News and the official website of Sweden. That’s right. A whole country.
Take this as proof that your website is safe in the hands of WordPress. This platform is especially great if you’re just starting out with building your website, as it contains plenty of guides to help you.
Cost: $2-$20 per month
This type is also great for new websites, or small-to-medium existing sites. They are simple, easy and uncomplicated to use. If, and when, you need to upgrade as your site grows (more bandwidth, larger servers), the next stage up will be a VPS.
The price of these obviously depends on your package and the company you decide to go for, but are generally a very cheap option for those who don’t require lots of support for large amounts of traffic.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Cost: $20-$200 per month
This type is basically mid-way between the casual nature of shared web hosting but without the full commitment of a dedicated web server. Well – VPS customers still technically share a server, but get a larger portion and more control. Each server is compartmentalised into virtual machines, which act as smaller dedicated servers for each customer.
You can add (or remove) computing resources as and when they’re needed, making this a great option for those who expect to expand their site in the near future. Always look ahead, think positive, and expect big things from your website – and choose your host accordingly!
Dedicated Web Server
Cost: $80+ per month
This is the biggest and best server package – but only needed if your site handles vast amounts of visitors. With a dedicated web server, you rent out an entire server housed by the web host company you go with. This will be necessary when your site is getting millions of hits per day (…so probably not just yet!).
The dedicated server is usually rented out with a pre-agreed specific amount of memory, bandwidth and hard disk space. This amount is determined by the customer and the supplier according to their needs. With a website big enough to be run using a dedicated web server, you will usually know the requirements you need.
Cost: Usually pay-as-you-go – pay for what you use
Cloud-based servers are the future. They’re a logical choice in many ways: they offer the utmost flexibility in size, you pay exactly for what you use, and are considerably more environmentally friendly than physical servers.
If your site gets a bit more traffic than usual this month, have no fear. Your server will never be overloaded or crash, because you can instantly upgrade the bandwidth with no fuss. The same goes for if you receive less traffic. You won’t be paying over the odds for server space you don’t use. Consider migrating or signing up to cloud-based servers today, to take advantage of these benefits!