Website hosting can be the most underappreciated part of the Internet world. Everything you love about the online world – memes, tweets, podcasts, articles, online gaming, websites, Netflix – goes to a server that a company or an individual is paying to run and keep up so that users can access it.
Website hosting is an invisible but an essential element of every user’s online experience. For example, if you are considering launching a website, there are some fundamental web hosting aspects that you need to know or be familiar with before starting a project.
Although it is technically easy to sign up, as well as use a service provider’s website-building software to create a functional and attractive front end, there are some related concepts and terms to wrap that people need to know and understand. As you will soon see, some of these concepts and terms are quite confusing, if not contradictory. Here are what people need to know about website hosting before trying to open an account.
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There is a big difference between different types of hosting
If you have spent a lot of time on web hosting websites, you have probably heard about Virtual Private Server, shared, cloud, dedicated, resellers and WordPress. They are terms that represent the different types of web hosting, but not every service provider offers them all. Not only that, these hosting types differ from each other in a lot of ways.
Most, if not all, service providers offer shared hosting, one of the cheapest forms of website hosting. With shared ones, your site shares a server, as well as their resources with other websites. If you want to keep your budget small, and you do not expect a lot of traffic, these types of hosting are the best type for you.
You should expect to pay more or less $10 every month. The level of service is best suited for small companies that do not need a significant amount of bandwidth. Since you are sharing all the resources with other companies, you need to be prepared for occasional downtime or slowdown in case one of the sites that are sharing the services starts to gain a lot of traffic.
Big businesses that expect a lot of traffic or users in their sites need to use a Virtual Private Server instead of a dedicated server. Both offer a lot of server specification power. Virtual Private Server is like a higher-powered version of the shared server, except that there are only a few websites share the server’s resources.
Virtual Private Server is also more segregated. VPS is more expensive than their shared counterpart, but you need to pay less than a hundred dollars every month. Dedicated hosts place the website on a server by itself, that is why it can use their full power. It is the most expensive type, at least $100 every month. If you want more raw power, you need to pay more.
Resellers let owners start their own brand or identity of web hosting business without worrying about building new infrastructure. WordPress enables owners to create a website in a domain that caters to the world’s most essential and most popular CMS or Content Management System. Cloud is an entirely different kind of beast.
They will let you scale the power of the site across different servers a lot easier. Although at this moment, not every service provider offers them. The prices for these tiers are not that organized yet, that is why people need to shop around to make sure business owners will get their money’s worth.
What is bandwidth and how it works? Click here to find out more.
Bandwidth and data transfer are not the same
Data transfer and bandwidth are usually interchangeably to determine the amount of information that your site serves to your visitors, but technically, the terms don’t have the same meaning. Bandwidth represents the amount of information that is being transferred at one point and time, while data transfer is the actual amount of data that people can use over a certain period of time – usually data used for a month.
Think of it this way, the hosts can have a five-gigabyte bandwidth at most but depending on the plan that the businesses avail, your website can only be allowed to transfer or use one gigabyte of data transfer every month.