What is Hosting?
Web Hosting is the service that’s provides space on the Internet for websites.
When you make a website and want other people to see it, you will need to publish (or upload) it to a web hosting service.
Web hosting services work by providing high-powered computers (web servers) with a high-speed network for your website to live on. When someone types in your web address (such as www.vivoodigital.co.uk) they will be connected to your web server where they can surf and download the pages of your website.
Types of Hosting
As technology has progressed different types of web hosting have appeared to meet the different needs of websites and customers:
- Shared Web Hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Servers)
- Dedicated Hosting
- Managed Hosting
Shared Web Hosting
Shared Web Hosting is the most common type of web hosting, and is also the easiest to start out on.
Shared Hosting is a service where one server is shared between many customers. This typically offers the following advantages and disadvantages:
- It’s cheaper – you don’t need to pay for the whole server upfront
- It’s easier to use – the server is preconfigured with the most popular options and your hosting company will take care of any maintenance and security updates for you.
- You share the server resources with your neighbors – if one site becomes really busy it may affect (and slow down) all other sites on that server.
- It can be less flexible – like living in a shared apartment block your neighbors need to be considered. Similar to exclusions on keeping pets or throwing wild parties (but less fun), you probably won’t be able to block a specific port or modify a core component.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Servers, and is essentially a half-way house between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.
VPS customers still share the physical server hardware with other VPS customers, but special virtualization technology partitions the server so that each partition has its own dedicated resources and can be configured almost like a full dedicated server.
This typically offers the following advantages and disadvantages:
- Your website will have partitioned resources such as CPU and memory – so noisy neighbors sharing the same hardware as you will have less of an effect.
- Less customers occupy the same server – so your website will have more resources at its disposal than shared web hosting, but your monthly fee will typically be higher.
- The virtualization software provides much more freedom to configure your server, but it also assumes a higher level of technical experience.
Dedicated server hosting is where customers have an entire server and all its resources dedicated to their personal use. Dedicated hosting typically offers the following advantages and disadvantages.
- Flexiblility & customization – customers can choose the exact hardware and software specifications of the server to meet their needs.
- Dedicated resources and guaranteed performance – customers don’t share their server resources with anyone else.
- Full control – customers have full root access to their servers and can configure and tweak their setup to meet their needs.
- Prior technical knowledge is required – unless a server management option has been selected it will be your responsibility to manage and configure the server.
- More expensive – the cost of the server isn’t shared with any other customers..
Managed hosting gives customers all the benefits of a dedicated server without any of the server administration overheads.
Depending on the server management package chosen, the system administrators of your hosting company will perform a variety of server management tasks on your behalf.
These may include:
- Rebooting your server
- Keeping your operating system and or control panel up to date
- Installing security patches
- Monitoring the performance of your server
- Installing 3rd party applications or configuring your server from scratch