If you have been thinking about having your own website then the one of the first decision to make would be choosing a hosting plan. While many businesses obsess, and rightly so, over choosing the perfect domain name, not enough attention is paid when it comes to choosing the right hosting plan. This is a mistake and many businesses have paid the price for the same.
Not choosing the right web hosting plan means you can suffer losses in multiple ways including downtimes, slow speed, and monetary costs. However, the good news is that with just a little bit of knowledge about the pros and cons of each hosting plans, you can settle on one which is best aligned with your budget and anticipated growth.
Shared hosting plans
As the name suggests, shared web hosting services refers to plans where the service provider hosts and supports a number of websites through its servers. In other words, your website would be sharing resources such as disk space, memory, and computing power with others. Shared web hosting is without a doubt the most popular on account of their cost and ease of operation. There are a number of service providers offering truly cheap shared web hosting plans. For small businesses and websites for personal usage that do not expect major incoming traffic, shared hosting makes the most sense.
- Cost: Since server resources are shared among multiple users, the total running, and maintenance costs are divided up among them, making it an affordable option.
- Ease of operation: Shared hosting means that you would not have to worry about acquiring webmaster’s technical skills. Every aspect including maintenance and security is handled by the dedicated team of a shared hosting service provider.
- Security: With shared hosting plans, you do not have to worry about firewalls and other security measures as it taken care of by the service provider.
- Control Panel: cPanel or Plesk is usually included for free to manage your website.
- Limited space and bandwidth: As mentioned earlier, on shared hosting plans users share the server resources such as overall disk space, bandwidth, memory, and CPU speed. This may at times result in slow loading speed for your website or down times.
- Server Blacklist: Sometimes ISPs and search engines blacklist servers on account of objectionable content or spamming activities. This means that your website may suffer from such action due to activities of another website hosted on the same server as you.
- Control: A shared hosting plan does not offer users the control to customize their operations by using specific software, scripts, and apps.
Dedicated hosting plans
Dedicated hosting plans are typically for users who expect a large volume of traffic to their websites. As opposed to shared plans, dedicated hosting entails a server which is used exclusively by one user. In other words, there is no constraint on you in terms of resources such as bandwidth, processing speed, memory, and disk space.
However, dedicated server price is also considerably higher than shared hosting Although there are several relatively cheap dedicated hosting plans available. In addition, dedicated hosting means you would either need to have specific webmaster skills or hire someone carries out maintenance and security operations.
- Abundant bandwidth and space: With dedicated hosting, you do not have to share limited resources and your website’s performance is limited only by the specs of the server being used. In other words, the website would load quicker, and you could upload a lot more files on your website.
- No threat of blacklisting: Since your website would be the only one operating out of the dedicated server, there would be no threat of being blacklisted by ISPs and search engines for spamming and other forbidden activities performed by other websites.
- Customization: With dedicated servers for web hosting, you can easily customize by installing your preferred software, scripts and apps.
- Costs: As mentioned above, dedicated hosting server means that you would be solely responsible for all the maintenance, operating and security expenditure. This makes dedicated website hosting a much more expensive prospect than shared hosting plans.
- Technical skills: Dedicated website hosting plans mean that you would need to have technical skills to take care of all aspects of server operations and maintenance or hire someone with those skills.
- Security: Users with dedicated web hosting plans have the responsibility to install all the security measures by themselves as opposed to shared hosting plans.
Cloud hosting plans
Cloud hosting is an entirely different beast compared to shared and dedicated plans. Cloud web services entail a network of connected servers, called a ‘cloud’, that collectively host a number of websites. They are different from shared plans in terms of their ability to handle high traffic volumes with ease and very little down time. While both shared and cloud hosting services host a number of the website together, the technical resources and capabilities of cloud hosting are much larger.
1. Cost: While more expensive than shared hosting, cloud web hosting products offer significant savings when compared to dedicated servers. From software, apps, security to physical space, you do not have to worry about incurring extra expenditure.
2. Ease of use: One of the big draws of cloud web hosting services has been the ease of use they provide. For example, users get a 100% uptime reliability with Cloud Hosting.
3. High Availability: Cloud Hosting offers you the highest availability for your services which neither Shared Hosting or Dedicated Hosting can ever provide. Cloud Hosting can make sure your website never goes down.
1. Compromised Bandwidth: Bandwidth in cloud computing can become an expensive affair. Since there are multiple servers involved in handling a Cloud Infrastructure there is more bandwidth consumption.
2. Resources: Scaling is certainly the most crucial element of Cloud Hosting, however, with this feature the cost for computing and memory can drastically increase overnight depending upon your applications.
It should be clear that all three plans described above offer unique benefits and suffer from a few drawbacks. As a customer, your goal should be to be clear about your website’s needs and requirements, as well as your budget, so that you can zero in on a plan that meets your goals.