Types of Web hosts

How to Choose a Web Host

When searching for a hosting service provider to host your website, you will probably notice that most hosting providers have more than one web hosting plan. The plan you choose will depend on your hosting needs.

If you are just starting out with your first website, a shared hosting plan is usually a better choice. Shared hosting is, mostly, much cheaper than other hosting plans. Unless you have a specific need to hire a dedicated server, a shared hosting plan should do the job for your website.

Here is more about the different types of web hosting:

Free Hosting
Some service providers offer free web hosting. Free web hosting is best suited for small sites with low traffic, like family sites or sites about hobbies. It is not recommended for high traffic or for real business. Technical support is often limited, and technical options are few.

Very often you cannot use your own domain name at a free site. You have to use a name provided by your host like http://www.freesite/yoursite.htm. This is hard to type, hard to remember, and not very professional.

Just about all the free web hosting available is extremely limited when compared to paid hosting. Free web hosts generally require their own ads on your site, only allow web-based uploading and editing of your site, and have very tight disk space and traffic limits. Still, most people get their start via free web hosting.

Shared Hosting
Shared hosting refers to when your web site is hosted on a server along with many other customers websites. Your site is still configured as a separate website on the server and has its own domain name. It is simply sharing the server with other web sites.

Dedicated Servers
A dedicated server is a server that hosts only your web site(s). It can help in ensuring that other customers websites will not impact your website. Using dedicated servers is much more expensive than shared hosting, but if your site receives lots of traffic or you have other requirements (such as extra security requirements), a dedicated server could be for you.

Virtual Dedicated Servers
Virtual dedicated servers are a low-cost alternative to dedicated servers. The web host can put many virtual servers on each machine, therefore reducing costs. When you log in to the virtual server, it appears as though you have your own dedicated server.

Managed Hosting
A managed hosting solution is where you have a dedicated server and the website hosting provider manages your server for you. Typically, the hosting provider will be responsible for the hardware, operating system, virus protection, patch management, and such. You still have total control over the machine. Managed hosting is usually a lot more expensive, and in some cases, costs will be negotiated between the two parties.

Regardless of which type of hosting plan you choose, you will want your web host to provide you with a good level of technical support. More about technical support next.
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