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It doesn’t matter if you need to launch a website for a huge corporation that does millions of dollars in revenue a month or a personal blog that only your family and close friends will ever visit. If you have a website you need to have it hosted, requiring the service of a hosting provider.
It sounds simple, but there are several different solutions and options when it comes to getting (and keeping) your website online. It’s a topic that isn’t often discussed outside of super techy blogs, so I thought I would touch on it quickly.
My goal is to give you a brief overview and lay it out in a way that is so simple even a five year old child can understand it. Here we go!
This is the most common and most affordable option and most large web host companies offer some sort of entry level shared hosting option. For a few dollars a month they will host your website on one of their servers.
Why is it so cheap? Well you are limited with what you have access to as well as the resources provided, and you also sit on a server with hundreds of other websites. But, for most small businesses that are running a basic site or for a small blog this website hosting solution provides plenty of space, memory and speed.
Now, for larger websites that use a lot of resources and for apps and platforms that have a lot of users, they might opt for a VPS (virtual private server) or a dedicated server.
Setting up a VPS gives you more space and resources than a shared option, but it’s still not entirely yours. A dedicated server on the other hand gives you full control over the server because you are the only person to use it.
With a dedicated server no other files or websites use it. This offers the most security as well as performance. The cost is a bit more, but if you are needing the space and speed of a dedicated server than your website should be making money.
One of the most common blogging platforms is WordPress, and since so many websites use this most hosts will offer dedicated hosting packages specifically for WordPress-based websites. The point of this hosting option is to make the maintenance and upkeep simple.
You will pay a bit more than a regular shared hosting package, but you will typically get a server that is optimized specifically for WordPress websites, and special security and performance tweaks made to the server. You can get WordPress hosting packages for around $15 to $20 a month and if this is the platform you are running they tend to be worth the money.
There is also servers available for gamers, as many of the top video games require that players have adequate storage and power in order to play at the highest levels. A Minecraft server, for example, is something players of the wildly popular game set up so they can play from anywhere and access their saved information.
The cost is low, and the concept is the same as website hosts. Your data is stored by the host company on their servers, which are typically racks and racks of powerful CPUs in a climate controlled environment.
Hopefully this quick little intro gives you a good idea of the different hosting options available and their applications and uses.