What is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is a lot like renting the space for your website. A web hosting service allows organizations or individuals to make their own websites accessible to others on the internet. Web hosters generally take care of the tedious things like running and monitoring the computers while you design and build your site. You have the ability to design every aspect of your website including the way it looks and functions as well as the type of information it displays. With any web hosting company, you may either choose to design and build the site yourself or have someone build and design it for you. Most web hosting companies have software which enables you to build your own site without having to pay someone else to do it, and some even offer packages that include site design in the costs.

There are many types of web hosting services available. Four of the most used services are shared, dedicated, managed, and colocation.

  • Shared hosting refers to the idea that your host server will have many sites are hosted within a single server.
  • Dedicated hosting is the idea that you have a specific rented servers that is not shared with anyone else.
  • Managed hosting is an expanded version of dedicated server in which the host will manage your server for you.
  • Colocation refers to the idea that you buy a server, and a third party server provides the networking for you.

Making the Right Selection

If you have a small site with little traffic, you may choose a shared server. This usually costs less than average web hosting service. There may be anywhere from 100 to thousands of sites hosted here, and they all share the resources, such as RAM and CPU. If your site is small enough, it is a cost-effective, reliable option. Most shared hosting services offer great uptime statistics, and many of them can offer phenomenal technical support if you are a smaller company or a start-up. Shared hosting is a great way to save some cash, yet provide your customers the site they need. In most cases, you can expect to pay anywhere from twenty to thirty dollars per month for the average shared server space.

Dedicated hosting is a great idea if you have a larger business, but you want some measure of control over your site. Here you will have the advantage of a server that is entirely yours, which means an increased level of performance in most cases. This is a more expensive option. In most cases, you can expect to pay about $70 per month, but that cost can go up depending on your host and the plan itself.

Managed hosting is great if you need the space of a dedicated host service, but you want the ease of use that most shared hosting programs offer. This is, by far, the most expensive hosting option. As with dedicated hosting, the price depends on your site size. In most cases, you can expect to pay about $100 per month.

Colocation occurs when you buy a server, then you literally take it to a host. The only responsibilities the hosting company has is to provide it with internet connectivity and power. In most cases, you can expect to pay about $40 per square foot with collocation providers.

Keep in mind that no matter what type of host you choose, package options will vary from company to company. For smaller sites, it is generally recommended that you choose a fixed monthly rate. Prices will vary for each type of host depending on how much space you need. Look for a host that offers a few different “packages”. You may need to upgrade later on. Make sure that you check the small print for extra charges and fees each month. Sometimes you will be charged a startup fee in addition to your monthly costs. The bottom line is that when you do choose a hosting service, be sure you know what you are signing up for.

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Now that you are more well-versed on the types of web hosting available to consumers please check out our comparison tools for shared web hosting and virtual private server (VPS) providers. From the comparison you are able to access our expert-written reviews for more in-depth information as well as find special money-saving offers!