Hosting. It’s complicated... but it doesn’t need to be that way. Are you busy researching website hosting options? It’s good to know the friendly people at Intuitiv are experts in providing secure website hosting. Read on to familiarise yourself with hosting in all its amazing variety. By the end of this article you’ll know what to do, with whom, how, when, and where.
Shared web hosting involves sharing server space with other businesses, sometimes hundreds of them. Dedicated hosting is different from other kinds of hosting. It means you don’t share server space with anyone else, it’s all yours. What is a dedicated server? A dedicated server is simply a server dedicated totally to your website. The resources are all yours, which means you benefit from faster site load speed, more reliability and better security. You also enjoy total control over the way the server is set up, the hardware configuration, and custom software choices. Let’s take a look at a variety of hosting options and find out exactly why dedicated website hosting is the best choice for business.
There are so many different kinds of web hosting. Here are a few of the most popular:
Next we’ll take a look at each of them in turn, comparing them and describing what each one means.
Shared web hosting is a low-cost way to host your website, where you share server space with other businesses. It’s fairly efficient since multiple businesses use the same resources, things like RAM and CPU. This kind of hosting is perfect if you’re setting up for the first time or have a very simple website that doesn’t involve actually doing business.
Shared hosting is simple, with essentials like set-up, installs and upgrades taken care of at the host end so you don’t have to. All you do is add your domain and site to the server. On the down-side shared hosting comes with fewer server and bandwidth resources, can’t be customised, and isn’t flexible. It can also be less secure, simply because you’re sharing resources with other site owners.
Reseller hosting is exactly like shared hosting but you buy it from a reseller, someone who has made a deal with the host themselves. Most of the time these deals work on a standard wholesale basis. The reseller signs up with a host they like, creates a reseller account to benefit from low wholesale prices, adds their own branding, and sells the hosting as if it’s their own, including a mark-up. The disadvantages are the same as shared hosting, with fewer resources, less security, and a lack of flexibility.
Cloud-based web hosting simply involves your website information and data being stored virtually on cloud-based servers. It works in much the same way as the way photos on a smartphone are stored, in places like iCloud and Google drive. The cloud-based servers are made up of many different servers, which makes the hosting very fast as well as extremely reliable. The biggest advantage is the vast amount of storage, which is in reality more or less unlimited. It doesn’t matter if your own computer crashes because everything’s safely stashed in the cloud, and you can easily collaborate with others, for example to share documents.
You still share hosting with other website owners, and there have been issues around security. Downtime can also be a problem, where your site goes slow or doesn’t work at all. And the shared aspect along with slow-loading web apps can mean very slow loading times. It’s also wise to realise that data stored in the cloud isn’t 100% secure.
Virtual private server hosting, also called VPS hosting, is one of the most popular hosting services. It uses virtualisation technology to provide dedicated hosting on a server with multiple users, putting it somewhere between dedicated hosting and shared hosting, slightly more secure and stable than shared hosting. The servers it uses are virtual and you’ll be sharing critical hardware resources in the same way as you do with shared hosting. Combining aspects of both shared and dedicated hosting, VPS hosting is ideal when you want the resources provided by a dedicated server but are not ready to take the next step. You’ll enjoy higher levels of performance, storage, and also good scalability.
Colocation hosting is offered by data centres. The data centre leases space and provides a home for servers. You, as a client, own the servers and have full control of the hardware and software, while the data centre takes responsibility for maintaining a secure server environment. It’s different from cloud hosting. As a colocation client, you actually own the hardware and lease space. With cloud services you don’t own the hardware, you lease it from the provider. The data centre doesn’t get involved with the management aspects of the hosting, and the clients are responsible for supplying, maintaining, and managing their servers. Obviously this involves a high level of technical expertise, so colocation hosting isn’t suitable unless you know the tech inside out.
Self service hosting, also called DIY hosting, is probably the most hands-on hosting available. It involves doing everything yourself so you’ll need a lot of technical expertise. It involves running your own website or application on a server and network you’ve created for yourself instead of relying on a hosting platform or cloud provider. You’re responsible for all the maintenance and uptime. This is a long way from dedicated web hosting. There’s no support, it’s all down to you. The whole thing is more complicated, more challenging, and more technically-focused. If you love to control everything, from end to end, this is the kind of hosting that puts you in the most control.
Managed hosting, like the service you get from Wordpress and Umbraco, involves the MSP or Managed Service Provider handling the administration, management and support of the hosting infrastructure, which lives in a data centre owned by the provider rather than on-site at your location. This form of hosting is often found in shared hosting environments where site owners share resources with other websites created on the same platform. This means you can suffer the same issues you find with shared hosting, along with the same advantages.
Again this differs from dedicated hosting. You share the resources. You don’t have responsibility for things like maintenance, set-ups, and upgrades. If you run a large business with a high number of visitors who want to buy from you online, dedicated hosting would be a better bet.
Why use dedicated hosting? There are many reasons why dedicated hosting beats the rest. For a start it’s very secure, and that’s a top priority for every business. The last thing you need is for your site to be hacked and sensitive customer data to be stolen and shared. High traffic capacity is a huge advantage of dedicated hosting, giving your business the resources and flexibility it needs to survive dramatic spikes in visitor numbers.
Fast website performance is important to every business, vital when load speed is one of the things Google’s algorithm bases your search positions on. If your pages load slower than a competitor, your site falls below theirs in the Search Engine Results and your bottom line suffers. In fact this kind of poor performance is one of the main reasons businesses leave shared hosting environments in favour of a switch to dedicated hosting.
Reliability and uptime is another biggie, vital for customer satisfaction and just as important for trust. If people can’t trust your site to be up and running whenever they need it, they’ll find an alternative that they can rely on. Dedicated servers are a lot more reliable, which is essential for most businesses.
If your business is in growth mode, you won’t want to be stuck with inflexible hosting that makes growth a challenge or limits your scope. When you need a truly scalable hosting solution, dedicated hosting wins hands down. And dedicated hosting is better for SEO, too. You have your own dedicated IP address and you’re not at risk of finding your business sharing server space with a spammy, dubious or downright dodgy company.
The benefits of dedicated hosting with Intuitiv are clear:
Hosting is the foundation of every online business. When you get hosting right everything else flows from there. Poor quality hosting can wreck your business, allow your competitors to surge ahead, and drive away your customers. It’s good to know Intuitiv has more than 20 years experience managing a wholly owned network.
It makes good business sense to make the right website hosting choice from the offset. Would you like to know more about hosting and which style of host will suit you best? Please drop us a line through our contact page or give us a call and we'd be happy to discuss options with you.