HostingGreen web hosting packages
TutorialsBeginners guides to SEO & hosting
Beginners guide to Web Hosting
Shared hosting/ Virtual servers and Dedicated servers
Shared Hosting: This is by far the most common type of hosting that websites use. One server is configured to serve hundreds and maybe thousands of websites and because of the large volume of sites to each machine, this service can be offered at a very low price. The more sites hosted by a single machine will result in less “run time” for each website and so overloaded machines can cause a site to load slowly or fail to deliver a page to every request. However, as long as the hosting provider does not overload the machine and the sites on the machine do not attract too much traffic, this is a good solution for most websites. Cheaper offerings tend to cram more sites onto the same machine and so, again, you get what you pay for. Another drawback to this style of hosting is that if you want to run some special software, you may not be able to install it as you may not have the appropriate access permissions- and if these permissions are given, another sites software errors may cause the whole server to go down bringing your site down with it. In short, for a simple site with low traffic a good shared hosting provider is the best value for money. For more information on this subject, please read the previous section: memory,and speed.
Dedicated Server: By contrast, this is where an entire machine is rented in the providers premises for you to use as you wish. Technically this is the ideal situation since you have complete control over the machine; you can load whatever software you require, an enormous amount of memory is available, the bandwidth allowance is usually very high or unlimited and other sites cannot affect your sites. Since you have the whole machine at you disposal, the sites that you host can be served very quickly (unless of course you overload the machine yourself!) and you will have “root permission” which means that you can install and configure anything you like on the machine. The two main disadvantages to this style of hosting are cost and you will need a greater degree of technical knowledge to set it up. Normally you are responsible for all aspects within the server so you would have to schedule your own backups, monitor the server’s uptime and configure your ownand IP addresses. A dedicated server is normally used for either companies that are providing hosting themselves, high traffic/ volume websites or specialised internet services such as gaming, file transfer and secure transactions. If you think that you may need to go down this road we can provide the technical support necessary to manage and maintain the server should you not have the technical expertise in house. We can also provide redundant server hosting (where more than one server is used so that if one machine goes down the website is not affected) which is described in more detail later in the guide. Contact us if you would like to discuss your requirements further.
Virtual Server: In a way, this is like a hybrid of the two options above. One physical machine is divided up into seperate independent servers to provide you with a smaller “mini server”. This gives many of the advantages of a dedicated server such as root access permission but since a few virtual servers are on one physical machine it costs less. Often this is a good compromise and is becoming increasingly popular. You will still need a greater technical understanding to setup, manage and maintain the virtual server as opposed to shared hosting but the monthly charges can be less than half that of a dedicated server. Again, if you are interested in this solution but require some technical help, we can provide a setup and management service- please contact us.
Next section: Domain names, IP addresses and DNS
Index of all our tutorials: Wight Hat tutorials