The internet offers a variety of access options for businesses of any size or purpose. However, business owners still need to buy their virtual ‘plot’ online in order to be seen. Sellers of these plots are typically called ‘web hosts’ and these companies create and manage server infrastructure so that end users can obtain easy and effective internet access.
There are numerous hosting options available for businesses of all sizes, and the costs and options vary widely. Let’s take a look at the six different types of hosting that are commonly offered:
- Shared Hosting offers individual websites access to a server that has resources shared by multiple websites. Resources include disk space (data storage), CPU (processor power) and memory. Shared hosting is usually the simplest and least expensive option, and offers almost everyone the opportunity to have a unique, cost effective internet presence. The upsides are the low cost and ease of use. The downsides (depending on the purpose of the website) are:
- Traffic slow-down due to overloaded servers
- The potential for website termination due to excessive server access limits
- Virtual Private Server allocates server resources to individual users. Basically, with this hosting type, you reserve a portion of the physical server for your own needs. You will have a dedicated CPU, RAM, disk space. None of these resources will be shared amongst other users. Also, you will have your own operating system and have much more control over your server. This option gives medium or large websites better flexibility and there are many cheap VPS server options to choose from. They offer a good start for small and mid-sized business websites because the cost is relatively low, but the provided server resources are quite good.
- Cloud Servers offers access to a single cluster or several clustered of different servers. Each separate server or cluster offers individual computing power to the greater whole, and the cluster itself acts as a larger, single computer. The division of resources to dedicated clusters leads to improved performance in general – you are no longer dependant on one physical server. These servers usually provide improved security, more stability on high loads and more reliable hardware. Cloud computing technology is growing very fast and is becoming the preferred hosting option for larger companies, especially international companies, which can access data from multiple locations at a single site.
- Dedicated Servers offers servers where all server resources are dedicated to one user… This is a more expensive ‘individualised’ option, but it reduces exposure to loss caused by overloaded server crashes.
Large enterprises are typically looking for hosting services that provide numerous service options, enhanced security features.
Web hosting offers every business the opportunity to enjoy a carefully crafted, individualised and functional internet presence, regardless of size or purpose.