Budget Web Hosting is More Affordable Than Ever - The Lowdown on Web Hosting Services
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As already mentioned, it’s no longer a tedious task to find affordable or free web hosting companies, so it would be pointless to go into detail about it here. If you’re reading this, you can obviously use the Internet, and finding a web hosting company is as simple as typing the term into a search engine. That being said, many interested in finding a web hosting company commonly run into trouble when trying to figure out what kind of service they need for their particular website.
Though going with the cheapest (or free) option may feel like your only option if you’re strapped for cash, it’s important that the type of service you choose will be as beneficial to your site as possible. There are many different types of web hosting services, and having a clear understanding of each will assist you in choosing the best one possible according to your needs. Here’s a list of the various hosting services and what they offer:
Free web hosting services are obviously free, though they usually offer advertisement-supported web hosting, which is limited in comparison to paid hosting.
A shared web hosting service places your site on the same server as many other sites -- anywhere from three to three thousand. Typically, domains share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features offered by shared web hosting services are quite extensive, and sure to fit the needs of the average user. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller.
Reseller web hosting allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers function as individual domains under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a provider. Reseller accounts may vary tremendously in size, meaning they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a collocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider's shared hosting plan, and offer technical support themselves.
Virtual dedicated servers divide a server into virtual servers, essentially giving users the freedom of behaving as if they’re on their own dedicated server, though they are actually sharing a server with many other users. The users may have root access to their own virtual space, which is why this service is also known as a virtual private server or VPS.
Dedicated hosting services offer users their own web server, along with full control of it, though typically the user does not own the server. Another type of dedicated hosting is “self-managed” or “unmanaged.” This is usually the least expensive of dedicated plans. It offers the user full administrative access to the box, which means the client is responsible for the security and maintenance of their dedicated box. A similar alternative is managed hosting services, which gives the user their own web server, though the user does not have full control over it. If you’re not adept at dealing with the specifics of having a site or aren’t too technologically inclined, this could be the perfect service for you. The user isn’t allowed full control so that the provider can guarantee quality of service by not allowing the user to modify the server or potentially create configuration problems.
A collocation web hosting service, which was touched on earlier, is similar to the dedicated web hosting service. The hosting company provides physical space on their server for the user. This is the most powerful and expensive type of the web hosting service. In most cases, the collocation provider may offer little to no support directly for their client's machine, providing only the electrical, Internet access and storage facilities for the server.
Clustered hosting services have multiple servers hosting the same content for better resource utilization. Clustered servers are a perfect solution for high-availability dedicated hosting or creating a scalable web hosting solution.
Finally, we've reached perhaps the least expensive option of them all: the home server. Home servers are usually a single machine placed in a home, and can be used to host one or more web sites from a consumer-grade broadband connection; these can be purpose-built machines, but they are more commonly old PCs.
Though the price for web hosting has dramatically declined recently, that’s not to say that their service has as well. It’s important to do your research before settling on a service and make sure that all of the needs of your website will be met.
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