Wizard of Digital

Types of website hosting and what to choose?

There are multiple website hosting service providers and it’s often difficult to choose the correct one – and now what is “correct” at all. With this short intro I want to inform you and help you choose the best service provider for your individual needs.

Types of hosting

As there are multiple types of hosting available in the market – shared, managed, cloud, unmanaged and many in between, some services even taking some features from other types of hosting, so in order to be less confusing – the way I’ll slice the choices is in terms of resources.

The usual resources offered in hosting plans, such as unlimited traffic or hard drive space, sound great, but are not the determining factor on whether the website works well or is for some reason slow to respond. The resources to take into consideration are often obfuscated in the offering – how much processing power, RAM you get for your money.

In terms of these resources, we can slice the offerings this way:

shared hosting* – where you share a limited amount of server resources with multiple other websites and website owners. Sound great on paper as the processing power of these is greater than you could probably afford, but any action your users take will share the same queue with other websites (both yours and owned by other people). By far the cheapest, yet often performs badly, but has one benefit – you need not worry about managing the server at all – it’s managed by the service provider.
cloud hosting services* – Hostinger, a service provider I often recommend nowadays, at least this plan, currently offers a hosting option that’s best of both worlds. Although more expensive, you do get your own dedicated resources (there’s only your users in the queue), and the server is managed by Hostinger itself.
– unmanaged dedicated servers (virtual or completely your own) – where you get way more resources compared to the above, and it’s your own server, but the caveat is all the server management and setup is in the hands of the purchaser. Often cheap, falling around the same price as the cloud hosting above, but requires a dedicated server manager (and often, expensive licenses if you want to use a control panel of some sort). Best for IT proffesionals, not for casual people.
– managed dedicated servers – the most expensive hosting type, as not only are you getting the best performance, but need not worry about setting up the server or taking care of backups. Usually starts at around 30 eur / $ per month.

* Should you choose to purchase via the links provided, I’ll be getting a comission.

What to choose?

Which hosting to choose depends on the size and goal of the business:

– for small websites, such as informational static websites – shared hosting is great; it’s cheap, offers backups and high uptime;
– for ecommerce websites, the impact of performance is much higher, so having a slow website will literally lead to less sales, as people are often unwilling to wait for websites to load. If your ecommerce site is somewhat new or niche, a cloud hosting plan is the best way to start, as it can be easily scaled up.
– for huge corporate websites or ecommerce sites where even the most expensive cloud plan starts failing too often – an expensive managed dedicated server is the way to go.

As WordPress, the CMS I use, is easy to move between servers, I often get to move projects around when they outgrow the servers purchased – and in some cases the hosting service providers even offer to do that themselves. So whichever path you choose – maybe based on unwillingness to spend right now – you can always upgrade.

If you still have any questions or would like to discuss the creation of your own website, send me an email to vilius@wizardof.digital. Good luck!

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