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What Type of Web Hosting is Best for You?

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Copyright Dave Summits. You can distribute this article, but you must keep the author box which is included at the bottom.

How to Choose the Right Type of Web Hosting
by Dave Summits
Are you confused with all of the different types of web hosting? Do you know which type is best for you? This guide will try and help you to find out which type of web hosting best suits your needs and budget.

First of all, here are the different terms that will be discussed:

Shared hosting
Reseller hosting
VPS (virtual private server)
Dedicated server
Colocation


What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting is the most common type of budget web hosting. You are hosted on a server with different websites, that you share the server with. One abusive site can slow down the whole server, and on an unsecured server, a malicious user can gain access to your files. The number of sites hosted on a server depends on the web host, and the size of the plans. Users on shared servers often experience slow speeds, due to overselling. Many shared server web hosts oversell their servers. Overselling is assuming that most users will not use up all of their resources, so they put more users on a server than it could hold if every user used up all of their alloted resources. This isn't too big of an issue if web hosts know what they're doing, and oversell responsibly. Shared hosting can start very cheap, as low as a couple dollars per month, but I suggest going with something a little more costly.

What is reseller hosting? Reseller hosting is very similar to shared hosting. Reseller hosting takes place on a shared server. The difference between shared and reseller hosting is that with a reseller account, you can create shared hosting accounts. Depending on the host, you can create an unlimited number of shared users, but of course you cannot use more space and bandwidth than you are alloted. With reseller hosting, you can start your own web hosting business, give hosting away to friends, or make many accounts for yourself. Overselling can still be an issue with reseller hosting, because you still share the server with other resellers and shared hosting users. Reseller hosting usually costs a little more than shared hosting, starting at around $15-20.

What is a VPS?
A VPS is a virtual private server. Also known sometimes as a VDS, or virtual dedicated server. A VPS is very similar to a dedicated server, except that you are still sharing the server with other users. However, with a VPS, you are in an isolated environment. Each VPS user has its own partition of the server, and therefore an abusive user does not effect other users on the VPS. You get root access to the server, and can install your own software. You also have the ability to create reseller accounts. With a VPS, you can do everything that shared and reseller hosting users can, as well as complete control over your slice of the server. VPS costs more than shared and reseller hosting, with usually starting around $40 a month. I can recommend PowerVPS.com with firsthand experience, I am very happy with them. Their lowest price for a cPanel VPS is $44.50 a month with 10GB storage and 150GB bandwidth. I also recommend (without firsthand experience) LiquidWeb.com, which starts at $60/month with 20GB storage and 200GB bandwidth.

What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is very similar to a VPS, except that you get the full server. You get full root access and complete control over it. With a dedicated server, however, comes a lot of responsibility. You need to make sure that the server is fully secure. A managed server means that the company you are getting the dedicated server from will manage it for you, but the amount of management that you receive depends on the company. If you are interested in a managed server, you should ask the host ahead of time about the amount of management that they will provide. You can also outsource the management. There are numerous companies out there that you can outsource the management to. The one I've seen with the lowest price that has good reviews is FastServerManagement.com, which is priced at $29.99 a month for full management. I've also read some good things about Rack911.com, but they cost more. You can always manage it yourself, but if using a Linux server you will need a lot of Linux experience, or with a Windows server there are a lot of security flaws that need to be fixed. If managing it yourself, I recommend getting a security scan on your server done to ensure that it is fully secured. For the hosting provider, I recommend ThePlanet.com, a very large hosting company which owns 2 datacenters in Texas. They offer servers with a minimum amount of management starting at $199.99 a month (or sometimes more, when they're not on sale). They also have a cheaper line of servers, starting at $99/month, at ServerMatrix.com. You may also want to look at Ev1Servers.Net, which starts at $99 a month, or LayeredTech.com, which starts at $60/month. You could always also do a Google search for "dedicated servers" and get lots of results.

What is colocation?
I won't go to much into depth here, because I have no experience with colocation. With colocation, you own a server and you pay a datacenter to hold it for you. They will provide the space in the datacenter, bandwidth, IP addresses, etc. Some hosting companies that offer colocation provide on-site staff, but others will require you to have your own staff.

This wraps up my summary of the different types of web hosting. I didn't recommend any shared or reseller providers because there are so many out there. I recommend going to WebHostingTalk.com to read reviews about different web hosting companies. I didn't recommend any colocation providers because I have no experience with any. I hope that I did a good job explaining all of this.

About the Author

Dave Summits is an expert in the field of web hosting. He runs two web hosting information websites, Web Hosting Insider and Hosting Insider Blog

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