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WEB HOSTING HOW-TOS

Choosing the Right Kind of Web Hosting
By: Joe Eitel
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    2007-10-10

    Table of Contents:
  • Choosing the Right Kind of Web Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS)
  • Dedicated Server Hosting
  • Colocation

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    Choosing the Right Kind of Web Hosting


    (Page 1 of 4 )

    In the first part of this article, I gave a brief introduction to finding the right web host to fit the individual needs of your web site. In this second part, I want to get more specific about the types of hosting currently available. There is a wide range of hosting options available to those people looking to put their web site online, but I will stick to the main hosting options. I will take a closer look at free and budget hosting options, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, dedicated hosting, and colocation hosting.

    There are a variety of other hosting options available, but I will focus on the ones listed above. Some examples of other web hosting options available to you are reseller hosting, PHP hosting, and enterprise hosting. Many of the other types of web hosting are just a slight variation of the hosting options that I will focus on in this article. So although there may be a lot of different names for various types of web hosts, they all boil down to the basic types that I will discuss.

    Web hosting varies greatly in price. Web hosting can cost be free in some cases, but the web host will often place ads on your web page. Free web hosting is also very limited in terms of features, bandwidth, and server uptime. Free web hosting is a good choice for personal web pages with very little traffic. The most expensive type of hosting is colocation hosting where you actually own a server, or make payments on it, which can cost over $1,000 per month. So as you can see, the cost of web hosting varies greatly.

    Shared Hosting

    Shared hosting is what about 90 percent of websites on the Internet use as their hosting choice. The reason for this is the low cost of shared hosting. Some web hosts offer shared hosting plans for as little as $2 per month, although most are around $10 per month. Shared hosting plans are probably the best value when it comes to web hosting, because you typically get a nice chunk of bandwidth, control over your website, a good amount of storage, and plenty of email addresses. For most small websites, shared hosting is the best value in terms of price and performance. The shared hosting market is so competitive among web hosts that they are constantly offering new freebies and other incentives for you to choose their company over the competition.

    Some of the top shared web hosting companies will offer a 99.9 percent server uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer support, 10 GB or more of bandwidth, multiple sub-domain capabilities, and ample website disk space. If you find a shared web hosting company with numbers similar to the ones listed above, they may be a good fit for your small-to-medium sized website; do make sure, though, that they are a trusted company with good user reviews before going with them.

    Nowadays, most shared hosted plans will offer plenty of bandwidth for websites who plan on receiving 5,000 (in many cases more) visitors per month. If you look at the numbers, you can get an idea of how much bandwidth you would actually need for your website. As an example, the CNN home page is about 103 KB, and this site has a lot of text and graphics. Most websites will not even be half the size of CNN's home page. So let's say your website pages are an average of 50 KB each, and you receive 5,000 page views per month. Your total bandwidth for that month would be about 245 MB, which is well below the 5,10, or 50 GB of bandwidth offered by many shared web hosting plans.

    So as you can see, if you find a good web host with a solid shared hosting plan, it can be very beneficial to your website and your wallet. The numbers look great on most shared hosting plans, but they can be a bit deceiving at times. Typically, shared hosting plans do not perform well when you are using large websites with lots of graphics, videos, and databases. If you prefer to use a shared hosting plan, you must keep your website relatively simple.

    The main drawback of a shared hosting plan is the fact that you are actually sharing a single server with other websites, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of them. As you might expect, when you are sharing space with this many websites, performance may take a hit. If you are on the same server with another bandwidth-hungry website, yours could actually be affected by it. If you find your website constantly loading slowly, you may want to try a different web host, because their server may be overloaded.

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