Getting a webhosting account is going to be the easiest part of this. We’re going to go over the details of an average webhosting account, so that you can decipher what it all means.
Types of Hosting
The key responsibilities of a web hosting company are to provide server space, web services and maintenance of servers which host websites owned or controlled by individuals and companies. Most web hosting companies offer shared hosting and dedicated hosting, which are explained in detail below.
- Shared Web Hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) Managed
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) Unmanaged
- Dedicated Server Managed
- Dedicated Server Unmanaged
Another name for shared hosting is virtual hosting. It works as follows: your website, content, images and videos are placed on a server which is shared with other customers who also use that web host. The equipment and server are owned and managed by the web host provider, with technicians on hand to monitor and manage the servers.
Companies choose to go the shared hosting route because it is much cheaper and it works well. It may be worth your while to ask about shared hosting management tools which will allow you to use shared hosting, but still get the benefits of a dedicated server (described below), It is important to review the control panel which the hosting company provides you. Although popular, shared hosting has its restrictions.You’ll need to find out what your data limits are, what the overage fees are, and whether or not they allow adult content.
A brief word about Disk Space and Bandwidth. Your website provider will offer you an account with, for example, 50 gigs of disk space, and 1000gigs of bandwidth. This means, that all of your images and videos, would have to be under 1 gigabyte in size, when you upload them to your account. Each time someone visits your website and downloads images or videos, that gets added up towards your bandwidth. For example, say you have a 100 megabyte video on your website, and you have 1 gigabyte of bandwidth. This file could only be downloaded 10 times before you were over your limit and forced to pay higher overage fees. MONITOR YOUR BANDWIDTH ! You could always make it easy on yourself and get a provider who offers unlimited bandwidth, or bandwidth so high that you don’t have to worry about tracking it.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Unmanaged
A VPS or Virtual Private Server is a great step up from a shared hosting account. A VPS is basically a server but instead of having an entire server to utilize a server is broken up into, normally, four parts and each part is setup as its own virtual private server.
Basically the client will get access to all the functions of a real server and anyone on the server will think they are on a fully dedicated server, but in all actuality they are only using part of the server and around four or so other people are using the other half.
When we speak of unmanaged servers we are referring to the type of management that is included in the server. Unmanaged would mean that the provider doesn’t offer any assistance with running or keeping the server updated, they will of course make sure it stays on with working hardware and also a working connection, but they will not keep it updated, fix or resolve software errors or anything dealing with the software side of the server. The client is responsible for making sure the software side of the server stays running.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) Managed
The managed portion of a VPS is basically the complete opposite of the unmanaged. Everything that they wouldn’t do on an unmanaged server they will do on a managed server. Normally they keep it up and running, monitor it incase anything happens to it and will resolve anything with it if it does go down. They also keep it updated with the latest software patches and fixes and will install most any software if the client asks.
Virtual Private Servers are a great upgrade from a shared or reseller account and can also be a great way to learn how to utilize a dedicated server.
Dedicated Servers – Unmanaged
Dedicated servers are as good as it gets as far as webhostins is concerned. Dedicated severs range in speed and space and the specifications of the hardware are the determining factor of the monthly price. Dedicated servers can do anything web related. There was a time when servers were very costly, nowadays you can get them for as little as 50.00 per month.
The only draw back a user may find with a dedicated server is the fact that they are leased and not actually owned by the renter, meaning that when signing up for a dedicated server service, a user is actually renting the server monthly instead of purchasing or leasing the server to own it. In few cases providers allow rent/lease to own service. Many users do not like the idea of not owning the server because all of their valuable information is contained within it.
Next thing we need to factor with a dedicated server is the fact that 90% of them are unmanaged and most will not state they are unmanaged; they will only state they are managed if they are. So if nether is stated assume that it’s unmanaged. A dedicated server takes a good bit of experience and knowledge to get up and running and keeps it running safely. There are quite a few factors to take into consideration while running a dedicated server and for that matter some experience in it is normally required.
Dedicated Servers Managed
Dedicated servers that are managed are the best bet if you do not want to learn how to manage it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.. Managed dedicated servers are basically the exact same as an unmanaged server but just how the name implies, it’s managed.
Now with managed service there is a lot that is taken care of, but not everything is actually taken care of. Setting up the server, installing some software and making sure it’s updated and secure is basically all managed service will provide. Some providers offer a tiered managed service and the more they manage the more expensive it will become. Basically you’re hiring one of their guys to take care of the server for you, but it’s cheaper then hiring someone full time to manage the server.
Colocation is one of those things that shouldn’t really need to be explained, if you’re in the position of needing collocation you probable already know exactly what it is. But for the sake of this article, we’ll explain it in lames terms for the rest of us that are unsure about collocation.
Colocation is for those websites that need more physical accessibility to their servers. You would put your own servers in the provider’s data center and connect to their high speed network. The provider provides a safe, clean and stable environment to run the server 24/7.