What are different types of web hosting?
Web hosting is simply the hosting of websites. In order for a website to work there needs to be at least one copy of the website somewhere that can #serve the website. But what are the different ways can that be set up? What one is the best solution for you?
Over the last 20 years virtually everything about the way people use the internet has changed. Instead of people having to use their phone line to access small amounts of text and image data, people can now stream high definition video to and from a device they can fit in their pocket. But what makes it work?
Website hosting is literally the “digital land” that allows you to connect with computers and devices around the world to share pictures, text, images, tools, and all sorts of other things. The type of hosting required for projects depends on a number of things if you don’t want to overpay.
Shared hosting – your website is on a server with other websites.
Dedicated hosting – your website is the only website on that server.
Managed hosting – your hosting provider handles all of the software and hardware management of the server.
Semi-managed hosting – your hosting provider manages some of the software and usually all of the hardware management of the server.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) – you are renting a piece of a server and have dedicated space, but you are not the only customer on that server.
Do-It-Yourself – you have your own hardware and software and you manage it.
Of all the types of website hosting, shared hosting is probably the first level most businesses and people would use. At the time of writing this, BigTB currently offers three shared hosting plans ranging from $19.92/month to $62.50/month. Most of the time a website server (the computer that hosts websites) is “ready” to send information (when people visit the website), but the computer doesn’t have much to do unless people are accessing it (or the computer is running some script or other operation). So in general, hosting multiple websites on the same servers allows for significant savings as opposed to dedicated hosting (which is both more expensive and more complicated).
Some of the advantages of shared hosting include it generally being easier and less expensive. Most shared hosting providers also will provide some form of documentation to help you with “basic” technical challenges you may face. Because most of the support is available in existing frequently asked question material the website hosting providers generally do not provide much support outside of that.
Disadvantages to shared hosting include that other users on the server could experience high traffic and it could interfere with your uptime. One of the ways budget shared hosting providers will “cut corners” is to either put too many customers on any individual server or failing to keep customers from disrupting the services of other customers. At BigTB we do not overcrowd any servers and we have built in protections to make sure all of the customers are able to receive the best possible uptimes we can offer.
Managed hosting is a category of hosting where the website host is managing all of the operating system work, managing firewalls, managing software updates, and taking care of all or virtually all of the technical work to maintain the ongoing operation of the server. If anything breaks on the server itself then it is generally the responsibility of the host to make the repair (and do it in a timely manner). This is more expensive, but it also allows business owners to focus more on their business.
Semi-managed hosting is a category of hosting where the website host is responsible for some of the managing of the server, but not all. For example, the website host will generally provide the hardware and bandwidth, but they may not do anything outside of provide automated operating system installs and leave the customer responsible for any additional technical work.
With a DIY website hosting solution you are responsible for everything which would include providing the server, the bandwidth, installing the operating system, and all of the support. The biggest disadvantages to this include that it requires a lot of technical expertise and/or a significant amount of time.