Hosting companies these days are trying to make things as easy as possible to attract new customers. Bronze, Silver and Gold packages are common in order to differentiate standards and levels but what about the actual packages themselves. What is a shared account, do I need a VPS, reseller and should I put my website on the cloud? What is all that? What does it mean? I just want to be able to host my website and give my domain name to people. Well, don’t fear. In this article we’ll explain it all and hopefully you can make an informed, educated decision on what is going to be best for you.
This, as the name suggests if where you share resources with other users. Imagine your web host as a computer on the Internet and when you access it then visitors will see your website. With shared hosting, the resources (cpu, disk space, memory, bandwidth) that this computer has will be shared with other customers of the hosting company. A single server may host thousands of clients websites all from the same machine. This is a very cheap way in order to get a web hosting account as you’re not paying for services you don’t need. Unfortunately, you may experience performance issues too given the resources are shared. If you have a small low traffic site then shared hosting will most definitely be enough for you. If you have something that’s heavy on resources though you’ll really need to consider a VPS or even fully-dedicated.
VPS hosting or virtual private server in full is exactly that. It’s a private server meaning that you do not share resources as you would with shared hosting. The resources you’re allocated are yours and yours alone. This doesn’t mean you physically have a 3GHZ CPU or 16GB of RAM to yourself. It just means that the computer your website is hosted on will assign you these resources to use as you see fit. This means that you can be sure your website performance won’t suffer. If you know your website requires X much RAM or X GB of disk space, you’ll always have it right there at your disposal.
This is a relatively new technology and it is quite similar to a VPS although you’re not being assigned resources from a given machine, you’re being assigned resources from several. Let me explain. Imagine you had an extremely busy site and an extremely quiet site. If you had 10 web servers, you wouldn’t want to put 1 site on 1 and the other on the other. What you’d really want to do is interconnect 9 servers to run the busy site and 1 server to run the small one. That would be the most efficient way of doing things wouldn’t it? Well, the cloud allows this. It will interconnect however many computers on the network and simultaneously share all of the resources at its disposal. So if you had a traffic spike and you needed more power than a single server could handle – the cloud would pull resources from another machine so there was no loss of performance. Take disk space, if you had 100GB but needed to upload 110GB – on a single machine, it’s physically impossible. With the cloud, it’s not, the resources would be used and shared accordingly. Easy!
Which is right for me?
Deciding which solution is best for you is really going to come down to what you’re using the web hosting for. As mentioned above, if you’re hosting a single, low traffic, low resource website then a shared hosting account will be more than good enough. If you’re running something slightly more resource heavy then a VPS is probably right up your street. Given the resources are assigned virtually, this also makes the solution scalable so you can grow your hosting package as your site grows. This is something you can’t do with a traditional shared hosting setup.
Finally, the cloud. If you really want scalability then the cloud is really the only way to go. You can acquire almost unlimited resources to power your website.
So hopefully from the above you have a better idea on the types of packages available to you. There is much more than bronze, silver and gold when it comes to web hosting so be sure to choose something that is going to fit your sites specifications rather than just looking at the price and thinking that will suffice. The last thing you want is your website going down because you’ve chosen a package too low on the resource front. Equally, you don’t really want to be paying for more than you need. Cloud services can really become quite costly so make sure you know what you need before you enquire.