As with so many other questions you may have when first getting your business together, hosting options do not have a black and white answer. What may work for one business will not necessarily fit in well for another. So, how do you navigate the hosting minefield without putting a foot wrong? Easy, you keep on reading.
The different options
When you first begin to look into the different hosting options available you’ll probably be wondering what the key differences are between them all. Here we’ll give you a brief breakdown of each.
Shared hosting does pretty much what it says on the tin. One server, held by the hosting provider, distributes hosting for multiple websites. This is a sound option if you are going to be starting off small and on a budget, as the costs will be far lower than the other options available. Another plus is that you will be able to take advantage of the hosting providers support team too, vital for those with little or no technical knowledge.
However, shared hosting does have its drawbacks. If you are anticipating huge traffic right from the start, or if you are launching a huge, bandwidth hungry site, shared hosting probably won’t be able to cope with your demands. If you have the technical know-how and intend to hit the ground running, one of the other options may be a more appropriate way to go.
Dedicated hosting is a more expensive, bespoke way of hosting your website. Your site will be placed on one single server and you will have full control over both its administration and usage. In order to have dedicated hosting you can do one of two things: either rent a server from a hosting provider which will be stored on their premises or purchase your own server which can either be held on-site or stored in a designated server facility.
Larger startups will see the benefit of dedicated hosting, but for more medium sized businesses, dedicated hosting may be a little too much too soon. Setting up dedicated hosting can be a significant investment and you will also need to have a team in place who can handle any hiccups along the way, as you will generally have full responsibility for the health of your server. As extended periods of downtime can effectively kill a business, this is something that you will to give serious consideration to before committing to a dedicated server.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
The third option available is somewhat of a cross between the two aforementioned hosting options. VPS hosting – e.g. VPS servers provided by Host1Plus – gives businesses a dedicated server, but one that is shared by multiple users. The key difference is that the number of other users is limited and you receive a specific portion of the server to work with.
Choosing to use a VPS gives businesses much of the control associated with a dedicated server, without the hefty initial outlay. Technical support is also available from many VPS hosting providers This will give you peace of mind should anything go wrong and you will have a point of contact to go to for help.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that as you will only have a percentage of a server to work with, you will be limited by the size of that portion. Should you experience a spike in traffic you may not have the necessary resources in place to cope. Speaking to your prospective provider will give you an idea of their contingency plans for such occurrences.
While there are other options, such as private cloud, these three will cover the majority of startups needs. Choosing one is strictly on a case-by-case basis and making the right selection depends solely on your own business needs. However, the more you know about each type, the more you’ll be able to make an informed decision for your burgeoning business.