If you’re new to creating websites it can be difficult to choose the right web hosting. Choosing the right hosting is very important; it can determine the potential success of your website. You don’t want a slow loading and glitchy site, but at the same time you don’t want to spend too much and lose money you didn’t have to spend. Don’t panic – just keep reading about your choices.
Free Hosting – This is the best solution for many startup users. If you’re new to blogging, if you’re keeping a journal online, or if you’re not sure where your site will take you, free hosting is great. Many of the major CMS providers offer free hosting where you’ll never have to worry about server load or downtime.
Shared Hosting – This is what most startup websites use. Shared hosting has a small monthly fee and allows you to host your website on a server with other websites where you are not guaranteed any server resources (such as memory or CPU time). Shared hosting is great because you get great features for a low price. You won’t have to deal with ads forced on you from some free hosting providers and you can setup your own custom scripts with mySQL databases. You also get increased disk space and bandwidth. Shared hosting is great for low traffic websites which are trying to grow.
VPS – Virtual Private Servers are the next step up from shared hosting. When you outgrow your shared hosting plan you can use a VPS to handle more connections to your server and use some admin-level functions. It’s like having your own server with dedicated resources. You can choose to set settings like the timeout, process size, and maximum clients. You can also install your own modules for your server with VPS hosting.
Semi-Dedicated/Dedicated – When you outgrow your VPS, the next step is dedicated servers. You can think of it as a VPS with a lot more resources. On a dedicated server, you’re the only one with files on your server and all the hardware is dedicated to your site. This is great for extremely large websites which need all the processing power a server can offer. Dedicated servers can be rented managed or unmanaged; managed is best for users who need tech support while unmanaged is for experts who can update and control everything manually.