How Your Hosting Affects Your User Traffic - Your Options
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Every web host meters space and meters bandwidth. You will require more bandwidth than your calculations of your minimum needed bandwidth indicate. One thing that will go a long way in ensuring that you do not have problems (major problems) is that you do not take shared web hosting.
Shared web hosting puts your web site on the same server as others. It is the lowest priced option for web hosting at an entry level, however control over your site is limited and you may not have an extensive range of scripts and options.
Shared web hosting is okay for a small site, which does not have high bandwidth and security demands. Remember, everything is shared, including bandwidth! The negative side of shared bandwidth is that if ten websites reside on a server, and share bandwidth, then bandwidth is served on a first come first served basis. Imagine being on the same shared server as YouTube! The word is "shutout." They get all the traffic, they get all the bandwidth.
The only way shared bandwidth can ever work in your favor is when you are the biggest drawer of traffic on your server, which you cannot guarantee forever. It is good if you are on a basic budget. But for serious traffic, you can be sure you will have problems.
Virtual hosting is almost as bad (almost, it has more benefits such as scripting and security options). You have metered bandwidth, and you still get to share servers.
Dedicated hosting gives you private root access, your own unshared bandwidth, secure access, and one server for you and no one else. This is the best kind of hosting if you are a fairly large site and you expect a large amount traffic. And there are several features that you can also take advantage of so that no matter what happens, you never run out of bandwidth (hopefully you never run out of money for overages either).
One such feature that I have seen offered by some web hosts is like a phone billing system, where you actually just pay for space allocated, and then you pay a separate fee for the bandwidth you use (and only the bandwidth you use).
Another system allows the web host to bill you for excess bandwidth used, after it has being used; this is different from the normal procedure which is for your host to send you an email when you are running out of bandwidth and for you to buy extra bandwidth before you run out.
Different hosts do have different packages, so you will have to look around for a package that fits your budget and your needs. If you are willing to spend time searching (and negotiating) you will discover that web hosts can actually exceed their stated limits and offer you very small increments in price.
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