Web Hosting Services
Buying the correct web hosting services is as essential to having a successful web site as is cutting edge design and search engine optimization. Should a webmaster purchase a hosting solution which allocates the site too little resources, potential customers will be cut off from seeing the web site, and sales are lost. On the other hand, should a webmaster purchase a web hosting solution which is meant for bigger web sites, the cost will quickly eat into the online marketing budget, disallowing the web site proper promotion through other necessary avenues.
There are also many other factors to consider when vetting host server programs, which will be discussed below.
Below, the different types of web hosting services will be discussed.
The Shared Web Host
The definition of a shared web host is a web host that services many web pages on the same physical server, all connected under the same operating system. Changes to the operating system affects all web pages which are hosted on the shared web server. Problems which affect one web site also have the potential to affect other web sites on the web host, and malware and malicious attacks are often difficult to find and eliminate on a shared server because of the freedom that the program has to move about the different web pages.
Shared web hosting is meant for personal web sites and small businesses who plan to move on to a more professional web hosting solution in the near future. Shared web hosts are also good for hosting affiliate pages of a main hub site in conjunction with one of the other web hosting solutions.
The least expensive of all web hosting programs, the shared web host could even be free of charge to a webmaster. However, the shared web host comes with the smallest available bandwidth of any web hosting service. The shared host is also the most vulnerable of any hosting solution. Since the problems of one web site have the ability to affect all other web sites on that operating system, the shared web host is usually not a good option for business oriented web sites.
The Virtual Private Server
The next expensive technology, and the most widely used for purposes of business, is the virtual private server, or VPS hosting solution. The virtual private server uses virtualization technology to emulate the functionality of a dedicated host server, even though many web sites are hosted on the one physical server.
More expensive than shared hosting, the virtual private server nonetheless offers many features which are quite attractive to business oriented web sites. Web pages on the virtual private server are kept separate from each other down to the root of the operating system, which means that problems with one web site do not affect another. Also, each webmaster is able to customize his or her own operating system with any software that that operating system is compatible with. A webmaster on a virtual private server also has the ability to customize the operating system itself without affecting the operating systems of any of the other web sites hosted on the same physical server.
The virtual private server also comes in managed and unmanaged solutions, and metered and unmetered. The unmanaged solution and metered bandwidth are the less expensive options; however, with the unmanaged solution, the client is responsible for the maintenance of the host server, and with metered bandwidth, the client is limited to a specified amount of web data. The managed solution contracts the host server to perform maintenance on the server, and an unmetered plan gives the client of a virtual private server access to the maximum bandwidth of that server.
The Fully Dedicated Server
Large businesses are usually the clients of the fully dedicated server, which is a server that is dedicated to only one client. As the virtual private server emulates the fully dedicated server quite effectively, the only reason to purchase one would be for the increased resources and enhanced customer service. However, a fully dedicated server does allow for the maximum in bandwidth available in a single hosting solution.
Collocation services are hosting plans in which a server bought by the client is physically located in a physical location along with the servers of other businesses to create a web node, or a point which is more conducive to obtaining faster bandwidth than any one of those servers could achieve alone. Collocation services also provide redundancies for their clients to immediately redirect observers of a web site to a mirror site in case a main site becomes unavailable. Collocation services are the most expensive of any web hosting service, as they provide the most bandwidth and protection to a business of any web hosting solution that is available on the market today.