There are thousands of web hosting companies on the internet offering a wide range of services for all types of small and large websites. With the development of virtualization technology and reduction of hardware prices, companies are now offering dedicated and virtual private servers (VPS) hosting. A dedicated server offers more power and security but it is not always the best option to choose for hosting of your business website.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is often confused with Internet Service Providers (ISP). There are, however, not many ISPs that provide web hosting services and even less web hosting companies providing ISP service. ISP companies provide the Internet access itself, for example, connect your home computer to the Internet. Web hosting companies, on the other hand, keep and maintain websites that you visit using your ISP Internet access.
Shared hosting is the most common and the least expensive type of content hosting. It’s called “shared” because multiple websites and multiple database and email users share the same server hardware. Hosting technology is very well developed and allows single servers to be shared among many customers without breach of security of individual websites. Normally clients use a “control panel” that allows them to add domains, create websites and access their files from a browser.
Dedicated hosting is more expensive than shared, purely due to the fact that instead of hundreds of customers sharing the same server, the server is dedicated to one client. This client has full administrator access to the server and is normally responsible for server security maintenance, updates and server backups.
Shared is Better than dedicated.
Unless there a specific need for a dedicated server hosting, shared accounts is a far better option for many websites. With shared hosting customers get more support, free server maintenance, server backups and server monitoring. Let me clarify this a little further. With shared server, web hosting companies are responsible for the uptime of all websites hosted that each machine. And to maintain that, they normally perform the following maintenance tasks on shared servers:
* Hardware monitoring, for example watching out for RAM failure, hard drives, etc.
* Software monitoring – making sure that web server, database, email services continue to run.
* Service monitoring – if web server becomes unresponsive, failed services are automatically restarted and service logs investigated in order to fix the problem and prevent it from happening in the future.
* Powerful account management tools, including data backup and restoration features.
There are some companies that offer managed dedicated hosting, but additional services are usually included in the price that customers pay for their servers. Normally, at its best, dedicated servers only include hardware maintenance, and even that, customers need to know what failed before they can request a fix. So, with dedicated server customers need to organise the following service for an additional cost:
* Hardware monitoring (how will you know if your ram is faulty or the whole server is overheating?)
* Service monitoring. If your website goes down, who is responsible to login and bring the site back up?
* Security maintenance. If the server is hacked, who will login to investigate the problem?
* What about backups? How backups are preformed and what is the procedure to restore them on a new server?
As you can see, shared hosting is a better option for most of business and personal websites. Unless there is a specific need for power and security and the client has appropriate budget for security and backup maintenance.