Website hosting is big business. With more than 2 billion websites worldwide, the need for web hosting is quite a lucrative business. It seems like web hosting companies are created daily. The opportunity creates a highly competitive market. In fact, web hosting can range from as little as $1 a month to thousands of dollars per month. Choosing the right hosting solution is much more than just choosing based on price. There are several factors to consider when choosing a web hosting solution. We’ll try to address the main ones in this blog. Hopefully, we’ll help you make an educated decision on your hosting solutions.
There are two main types of website hosting: Shared and Dedicated. Both have pros and cons.
Shared Website Hosting
Shared hosting is where you ‘rent’ a portion of a server to host your web applications. The server is shared with a number of other hosting customers. The number of web applications running on a shared server can range from 2 to 1000s.
Here are a few of the pros and cons of Shared Hosting:
Pros of Shared Hosting
Shared hosting can be a very affordable solution for businesses with limited funds. Hosting packages can be as low as $1/mo but remember you get what you pay for. The tradeoff for cheap hosting may be minimal (to no) technical support, poor load speeds, and sharing your server with 1000s of other sites!
Maintenance is usually covered through the hosting agreement.
Some hosting companies offer turn-key web building tools that are easy to use.
Some hosting companies can help acquire your URL for your website.
Most hosting companies offer SSL Certificates for an extra charge.
Cons of Shared Hosting
With many sites on a single server, you are at the mercy of those additional sites. One site could start using more resources than normal, causing your site to slow down.
You won’t be able to expand your server resources (memory, disk space, processing power) as needed.
Lack of Security
While security is still solid on shared servers, multiple websites allow more attack vectors. This could compromise your site when another site on the server is vulnerable.
No Access to Server-Level Control
If you want to directly manage the server or make calibrations at the server level, you’re out of luck.
If you use too much bandwidth, your site can be slowed down.
Shared servers tend to have more occurrences of sites being down.
Marginal Customer Service
Along with sharing a server, you are sharing customer support— usually a finite number of people.
Recently, one popular commercial hosting company had a published response time of 20 hours. This is just a response time, not resolution time!
Dedicated Website Hosting
Dedicated hosting is single-use. This means your web applications are the only applications on your dedicated physical or virtual server. The server isn’t shared with other businesses or websites. Limiting the server to just your web applications gives you the ability to manage resources and set controls for security and performance.
Some of the pros and cons of a Dedicated Hosting:
Pros of Dedicated Hosting
You have complete control of how the server is configured. You have root access that allows you to change server variables.
Not sharing the server means you have control over security settings and won’t have exposure to other site’s security gaps.
Due to the ability to configure settings and not sharing with 1000s of sites, your site(s) will load faster.
You have the ability to add storage, change bandwidth, and CPU capacity.
You have control over configurations to create redundancies thus mitigating any downtime issues or data loss.
Cons of Dedicated Hosting
Owning and maintaining a dedicated server is expensive. It requires dedicated (usually in-house) technicians with unique skills to manage servers. Renting a dedicated server can cost 20X what shared server space costs.
Management and maintenance of a dedicated server is the responsibility of the customer or in some cases, a server management contract with your datacenter provider.
If you experience server issues, troubleshooting and getting your site back online falls on your shoulders. Emergency troubleshooting and repairs can be extremely costly.
There are positives and negatives for both solutions. Costs and security are the two main variables to deciding what is the best solution for your company’s website hosting needs.
Bit Perfection can help you determine the best website hosting solution for your budget, source your solution, and even set up your hosting for you. We offer dedicated and shared hosting solutions. We limit the number of sites on our shared servers to ensure you get the best performance possible for your website.