When choosing a web hosting model, there are some critical factors to take into consideration when effectively delivering content to your audience. Initially, there is a significant decision that must be made that potentially impacts your website’s performance and scalability, either of which can affect your company’s online presence. From security concerns and monthly hosting expenses, it can be a lot to wrap your head around. Here we discuss the most popular hosting models to consider when choosing how your website will be deployed to a live environment, particularly for shared hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting models.
So, what is web hosting, and what is a web hosting model?
Web hosting is a service performed by an internal or third party company which allow a company or individual to maintain a website online. Hosting companies manage the storage and can provide ongoing maintenance for websites, monitoring for any issues with the website’s performance, and making sure that the site is running 24/7. Web hosting providers can optionally provide additional valuable services such as general support and maintenance of your website and should be chosen based on the specific needs of the website.
Website content is delivered to the client’s browser from a server where the website is hosted or stored on. There are a few types of models with a varying range of features and should be chosen based on both security, cost, and scalability needs along with the type of content featured on the site. The three types of web hosting models to consider are shared hosting, virtual private servers, and dedicated physical servers.
Shared Hosting – Pros and Cons
A shared hosting model has numerous benefits and is often the best choice for new businesses launching their first website or for first-time hosting individuals. This model is a right fit solution for small to medium-sized websites, but can also have drawbacks as the site begins to gain more traffic. Here are a few more shared hosting pros and cons:
If cost is a concern, shared hosting is the best option. This model is the most affordable choice between the three types, as resources of a single server are shared between a number of different accounts. Large hosting providers can house up to around 3,000 shared hosting accounts on each dedicated server, making this ideal for a small, new website with light traffic and a low need for system resources.
- Pro – Server Configuration Experience
Another benefit of shared hosting, particularly for those new to web hosting, is that no technical knowledge or experience is required to be able to successfully host a site on the server. Hosting companies will manage all technical needs for this model, such as security and regular monitoring of the server, and fulfill the role of an IT professional without the cost.
Though sharing server resources with other hosted websites allow this model to be more affordable, it can also cause your website to suffer in some cases. If other websites on the same server experience a sharp spike in consumer traffic or have pressing issues, your site performance may decrease and begin to slow down due to fewer server resources being available. With this model, your website will always be competing with other hosted sites for server resources, and as your traffic begins to increase, this will be an issue.
- Con – Potential Security Issues
While most hosting companies provide a variety of security features for this model, your website can still be at risk due to sharing a server with so many other sites and the proximity of these sites. For example, if another site is running some scripts, your website could be exposed to malicious scripts and your security will suffer.
VPS Hosting – Pros and Cons
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is a newer type of web hosting, and its features fall between those of the shared hosting and dedicated hosting models. The VPS hosting model is virtual, and while there is a physical server shared between users, virtualization technology allows each site to have an independent virtual server. This means sites will have their own operating system, allocated bandwidth, and disk space. Although the virtual server acts as a dedicated server, there are many virtualized servers running on the single physical server, which means that all of the virtualized servers are sharing the same physical resources. Here are a few of the pros and cons of this model:
VPS hosting is a good solution for medium-sized sites and is cheaper than a dedicated server. This model can also be set up more quickly than a dedicated server, due to their nature as a virtual server. They don’t require any assembly or physical setup. Thus, they are a convenient option if you need your VPS server ready at a sooner date.
- Pro – Scalability, and Security
If your website is beginning to grow in traffic and requires more server resources overtime, VPS hosting will be very beneficial for you. VPS hosting is very scalable and can accommodate your website’s resource needs as they shift. This hosting model tends to be more secure as well, due to fewer users existing on the server and hosting companies provide more security features for this option that are managed.
- Con – Also Cost and Convenience Level
While this hosting model has many benefits and functions as a cheaper option than a dedicated server, it is still more costly than shared hosting and may not be necessary for smaller websites. This model also requires a greater degree of technical proficiency for management of the virtualized server. Finally, VPS hosting still shares resources with other VPS on the same physical machine, leading to issues if server space is crowded with virtual accounts.
Last, but not least are dedicated servers. This option functions well for large-sized sites or mission-critical applications and has the highest degree of granularity for operating system tuning. Dedicated servers are the most expensive hosting option and require a higher amount of technical proficiency to set up and maintain over time.
Whew. Definitely, a lot to consider, but we hope this blog helps you as you begin to consider what hosting model is best for you! Feel free to reach out to us with any comments and contact us if you are interested in learning about our own hosting process.