Choosing the right Hosting company is one of the first decisions any entrepreneur or online business owner has to make. It is important to find the right balance between affordability, reliability and speed. Setting up a website is an exciting experience and most people can’t wait to get going, however you first need to make the right decision regarding which Hosting company to use, in order to save yourself headaches and problems in the future.
What is Hosting?
Web Hosting or ‘Hosting’ is a service provided by a vendor which offers a physical location for the storage of web pages and files. It is where the files that make up your website are kept, and where they are served to your visitors from. There are a variety of types of Hosting and package sizes, and which to choose depends on the amount of information on your site and the number of visitors you expect to receive. In this guide we will explain what the different types of hosting are and what you should take in to consideration before choosing who to go with, whilst trying to decipher some of the jargon around Hosting.
The Different Types of Hosting
There are 3 main types of hosting which almost all available packages fall in to, these are shared web hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and dedicated servers. Each of these gives a greater level of performance than the last, but also comes at more of a premium than the last. We will now explain exactly what each of these 3 types of Hosting are and what they entail.
Before we begin, while we promote various solutions for different situations we now offer our own hosting solution which can be tailored specifically to each websites needs. To find out more go to Pixelloop Hosting – Fast, Affordable and Search Engine Optimized.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting, with many websites hosted on the same server, is the most common form of web hosting service. Numerous clients websites are housed together to share the same resources (processor, memory, bandwidth, software), and the number of sites per server can be up into the hundreds. This means that the popularity of other sites on the same server may impact the speed of your site. However this is the most affordable form of Hosting and a great place to start your site before perhaps moving on to one of the other types of hosting as your site grows in popularity.
In recent years, this hosting option has dynamically grown to become the most popular one.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
A Virtual Private Server (abbreviated as VPS) is a dedicated section of a server that is divided or partitioned into several parts to operate like multiple servers. Virtual Private Servers are usually the next step up from shared hosting, and they’re a step below dedicated hosting.
Virtual Private Servers give you your own completely dedicated section of the machine, which acts as its own operating system. This means the popularity of other sites on the server won’t impact the speed at which your site loads, whilst still being more affordable than dedicated hosting.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated hosting is the renting of a server from a web hosting provider. The server is not shared by anyone else, which gives you full and complete control of the machine. This is the best and fastest form of Hosting, although obviously you can expect to pay a little more the dedicated service which you receive.
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*Bluehost offers all of the above package options and is our host of choice due to its balance of good service, great uptime stats, value and brilliant support.
WordPress Specific Hosting
There are also hosting companies which now offer their service exclusively to WordPress websites. This gives them and you as the customer a lot of benefits. It allows them to streamline their hosting technology by only focussing on the nuances of WordPress and create the best possible configurations on a server wide basis so you run into minimal hiccups with not only WordPress itself but the plethora of different extensions for WP which come in the form of Themes and Plugins. These plugins and Themes are often pushing the boundaries of WordPress in new directions and rely on a powerful and fast server setup to function to the best of their abilities. With a service like WP Engine you get all of this and super fast speeds as a side effect, a positive one of course. It is a little more expensive but we feel it is a perfect middle ground between basic shared hosting solutions and going for a dedicated server which is dramatically more expensive. So if your currently a shared hosting customer and feel your WordPress site could be faster then WPEngine is perfect for you!
Mature Content Hosting
Now another great hosting solution is HostGator for a few different reasons firstly it also has great support for WordPress and a one click install process which always speeds things up, it also uses the widely adopted and familiar CPanel for your hosting management which is very user friendly and most web developers will be familiar with this if you are hiring help. The other main factor is that HostGator unlike Bluehost and many other large hosting companies actually allows mature content such as gambling, adult toys, and other content from the adult industry. Something a lot of people think they must go to a dodgy host to build a website of such content however that is not true and often dodgy hosts are exactly that “dodgy” and offer a poor service as a result.
Disclosure: We receive compensation from the companies whose products we review. We tested and reviewed the web hosting sites and services listed here. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.