What Web Hosting Option Fits Your Needs?
August 27, 2015
The world of web hosting is diverse and confusing, filled with a variety of options and providers.
It may seem like a difficult service to fully grasp. And as a small business owner, the way you decide to host your website can make or break your online brand.
Today's standards for website speed and user experience are higher than ever — if your site doesn't meet expectations, consumers will leave and go to your competition.
After all, why bother promoting your site if it can't handle the traffic?
If your site is slow or unresponsive, it will have a dramatic affect on the perception of your business. Your online sales and presence will suffer, as well as your reputation as an authority in your field.
By highlighting the features, strengths, and weaknesses of 4 popular types of web hosting, we hope to give you insight into the best option for your online needs.
The most basic and common option is shared hosting. It's typically the least expensive choice and is offered by nearly all high-volume hosting companies (GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.).
This hosting method utilizes individual servers that run numerous websites, and in most cases they'll also share the same IP address. That means only a certain amount of server resources are available for multiple domains.
Your site will be one of many attempting to use a piece of the pie that includes memory, storage, and processing power — all on the same physical server.
Shared hosting is truly not meant for business. Because of the shared space, your website will be susceptible to unexpected problems that are out of your control. Without warning, your site may run slowly or go completely down if the other sites on your server are using most of the power. You might also have issues with handling traffic spikes to your site during promotions or advertising, which limits your opportunity to properly market your website.
Virtual Private Servers
The next level of hosting is a Virtual Private Server (VPS). Like shared hosting, there are multiple hosting accounts being ran on a single physical server. However, a VPS has guaranteed resources in an isolated environment that is more secure than traditional shared hosting.
If your business uses custom software, a VPS is a good choice because it gives you the ability to install exactly what you need with access for advanced configurations. The VPS is for your website's use only, housed in a virtual space with a dedicated IP address, so you won't be impacted by actions of other domains on your server's hardware.
The primary drawback of a VPS is you're still only given a specific amount of server power. Problems may arise when trying to push more traffic to your site during busy seasons or holidays, and your business may suffer without access to any additional resources. As a business grows, it can also outgrow its VPS and need to upgrade which could mean costly downtime.
This type of hosting provides you with a dedicated physical server, giving your business complete control over both the hardware and software.
By having your own dedicated server, your business will have additional security because the physical server hardware is all yours — you won't have to worry about any other domains impacting your website's performance.
With dedicated hosting, all tasks, including email and other necessary business services, are run from the same dedicated server. Similar to a VPS, your traffic levels may lead to issues with site speed if certain tasks are using a majority of the server's total resources.
A dedicated server is a secure and reliable way to a host a business site. The only major issue with this method is scalability. If your business grows past your server's power, it can become costly for any additional resources or maintenance — and even more so for any downtime while the physical server hardware is being upgraded.
The "cloud" is our recommended way to host your business website. You've probably heard the term used a ton lately for a variety of web services such as email, media streaming, and file sharing.
Cloud-based services are definitely on the rise and are quickly becoming the industry norm thanks to their power, simplicity, and, above all else — scalability.
Cloud hosting infrastructures consist of numerous server clusters, each geared to perform specific tasks. For example, file storage, compute (process), database, and email services are all handled by specific clusters. This provides redundancy and allows each server cluster to be configured in a manner that optimizes task performance.
Your site can use as little or as much of the cloud's power as needed so you're able to consistently provide customers with the best possible user experience every time they visit your site.
In addition to these benefits, redundancy and scalability are the driving force behind the power of cloud hosting. As your business grows, the cloud can handle your needs with a seemingly unlimited amount of resources at your disposal.
Need help picking the best option for you?
Call our web experts and we'll be happy to go over each option in greater detail and answer any questions. MustBeOnline will take the time to learn about your business needs to provide the best solution for your success.
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