No matter what kind of website you are building, there is one thing you will definitely need: web hosting. Web hosting gives you the platform you need to get your website online.
But web hosting in and of itself is not enough to set you up for success. Different kinds of websites need different kinds of hosting. Depending on the purpose of your website, you could be targeting a thousand visitors or millions. You need to choose hosting that supports your particular expectations.
There are 3 main types of web hosting you need to know about.
1. Shared hosting
Shared hosting is the most basic type of hosting plan available. For around $3 a month, you get what you need for a small website for which you don’t expect tons of visitors. You get space on a shared server, with a number of other websites. Bandwidth is on a first-come-first-serve basis, but usually this should not be a problem.
However, if you or another website on the shared server sees a sudden surge in traffic, all websites will be affected, with low speeds and possible downtime. Furthermore, if you want to build a more complicated, data-heavy website, you will be limited by restrictions on the shared server.
Shared hosting is great for most blogs, local business websites, and portfolios.
2. VPS hosting
If you need more space on a server, but do not need a dedicated server for yourself, you can use VPS hosting. VPS stands for virtual private server. VPS hosting allocates you a certain amount of “space” on a server. Instead of bandwidth on a first-come-first-serve basis, you can be sure you will always have the processing capacities you need.
VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but it is a lot cheaper than renting a dedicated server. If your website really takes off, you might need to move to a bigger hosting plan, but a VPS will serve most websites.
3. Dedicated server hosting
If you are running a website for a big company, or a website that requires high processing power, you might need dedicated server hosting. With a dedicated server, you rent the entire server just for your website(s). The hosting company will still run the server and provide support, but you will have more control over your experience.
Dedicated server hosting is good for big companies, websites that hope to attract millions of visitors, and websites that host high quality media and interactive content. It is a lot more expensive than a shared hosting plan, but very affordable for companies expecting the kind of traffic it supports. Read more about them here.
When choosing hosting, you will get the opportunity to decide between traditional and cloud hosting. Cloud hosting offers the same kind of hosting plans, but instead of confining hosting to one server, it hosts websites across servers. This makes it more reliable, and it can also be faster for visitors from different parts of the world.
Choosing the right hosting will ensure your website always runs reliably and is cost-effective. Only go for what you need, but don’t skimp if you are expecting high levels of traffic.