In today’s fast-paced world of internet business, many people realize that they must have an online presence to survive. To that end, many people starting out online are not sure if a shared hosting is the right choice for them or if they should choose another package such as a VPS or dedicated server.
If you are running a small business and you have decided to take the plunge and set up a website, here’s what you need to know when you decide what type of server you will need.
First, a Warning
Before we begin, let’s talk about what you should absolutely, positively avoid. Many hosting providers are trying to draw people in with offers of “Free Hosting.” First, it’s not really free. Many of these come with hidden fees or long-term contracts that will wind up costing you more in the long run.
Secondly, they are generally the lowest tier/sub-standard when it comes to quality. And finally, if you are not really sure how to run a website, you will not be well served here because you won’t be able to count on technical support. In this case, let the buyer beware.
With a shared system, your website and its data will be placed on a server along with other websites that have paid for your same level of service. All of you will have access to the resources on that server, but it’s not going to be a fifty/fifty split. Instead, the resources will be used up as needed by all of the websites.
So, if a website has a huge run on traffic and eats up a lot of bandwidth, then your website will probably suffer by slowing down significantly.
Additionally, if you are planning to run an e-commerce website that needs encrypted data to protect your customers’ information, then you should not choose a shared host. These are not as secure as some of the other options. Really, a shared hosting is great for personal websites or for companies that just want to dip a toe into the waters and get some online presence. But when you are ready to dive in, you are going to need to look at the upper tiers.
The next level that you should look at is a VPS. If you are serious about running a business, this should be the minimum level of provider you are aiming for. A VPS costs slightly more than a shared hosting provider but it has your website on a shared server that has been “blocked off” into miniature virtual servers. Basically, you will not have to worry about the other sites on your server compromising your website and making it less secure or run slower.
However, the resources are still limited by the hardware it is kept on. It will still not run as quickly or securely as the next step up. This type of server is more secure than shared hosting and, if you decide to run an e-commerce storefront, you can get an SSL certificate to encrypt your data for protection from hacking.
This is the highest priced tier, but you can see that it is for websites that are serious about taking care of business. On this type, you have a server all to yourself. You don’t have to share resources with anyone and your website will run as fast as possible on that particular computer.
Additionally, you’ll be able to count on top-notch customer support should you need it. For larger businesses that expect a great deal of web traffic, this type of server is essential for your success.
When it comes to choosing a shared hosting, a VPS, or a dedicated server, the type you choose should ultimately be determined by your site’s personal needs. Larger businesses will want to choose a more dedicated server. Regardless of which platform you choose, you should look closely before you make a final decision.