You don’t have to learn a brand new language just to choose a hosting service as long as you have an idea of what  web hosting is  you can make an educated decision.

What is Web Hosting?

A web hosting service is simply a service that will host the pages of your website on servers that make your site accessible through the internet. There are three basic types: dedicated web hosting, co-location web hosting, and a virtual web hosting.

Which Company Is Best For Me?

The best option for you is to consult with someone who specializes in these services, not cousin Joe, Jack of all trades master of none. Once you find the provider that you are interested in it’s important to find out how many years they’ve been in business, the number of clients they have, their reputation, backup options and the other services they provide. A company that has 5,000 clients can’t really give you personalized attention in a natural disaster. If this is important to you it’s probably best to go with a smaller company that offers a more personalized approach, preferably a company that owns their own infrastructure and not a reseller.

What is Co-Location

In the case of co-location, the website owner continues to own their hardware and leases space at a colocation facility  where it shares a rack with other servers. co-location makes sense if your hardware is not yet outdated and provides maximum use of network access points. Co-location also provides the owner the ability to choose their own telecommunication lines. If your site requires high bandwidth this helps to significantly lower the cost of service. The role of the hosting provider is simply to provide the power supply as well as the IT support. co-location services  are provided by data centers and companies that lease server space from a co-location hosting reseller.  It can be more costly to co-locate towers that may not fit the dimensions of the racks however servers that do fit tend to be cheaper.

What is Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated is exactly what it sounds like it’s hosting that is dedicated to your site and leased out to the owner of the site. The hosting company is responsible for making sure your site is backed up and secure as well as anything software related. If you have a website that uses e-commerce software or has a lot of incoming traffic dedicated is probably the best way to go for you due to your bandwidth needs.  By choosing dedicated hosting, the speed of your website often increases.

When you use a dedicated server as opposed to a shared server you get better speed since you aren’t sharing your server with other sites. However, colocation hosting and shared servers tend to be cheaper in comparison. Keep in mind since the server isn’t owned by you the security of your data can be an issue to think about.

What is Virtual Hosting?

Virtual or shared hosting is a very cost effective hosting solution. With this arrangement, the hosting provider will lease out the service, bandwidth, and the web hosting server to a group of websites. If you have a small to medium site with limited bandwidth needs and low traffic, you may benefit most from a virtual hosting solution.

You must take into consideration what your site requires to function at it’s very best when determining which web hosting solution is a better  for your business. Usually E-commerce stores with high traffic volumes fare better with a dedicated host. If you are running a blog or a smaller website virtual hosting may be a better fit. However sites with sensitive data and require customization may see more value in a  colocation solution.

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