The Internet has become an essential part of everyday life in the modern world. The latest news are uploaded daily on the websites of various publications, students and teachers exchange homework submissions and grades online, and businesses advertise their wares and accept orders via online commerce.
Since anyone with a working computer and a basic knowledge of how the Internet works can now manipulate it for a variety of purposes, knowing where to start is important. And choosing the right hosting platform for one’s needs is a good place to begin.
There are generally three kinds of hosting platforms available to those who want to put up their own website: shared hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting, and dedicated hosting.
Shared hosting, which is usually offered for free by several providers, is ideal for those who will not be needing too many resources such as CPU time, memory, and disk space, for maintaining their websites. Opting for a shared hosting platform means sharing the server’s available resources with the other accounts registered with the service. Internet users who opt for shared hosting are usually those that only look to put up personal pages like blogs, online photo albums, etc.
VPS hosting and dedicated hosting, on the other hand, are for users in need of something a little more heavy-duty.
VPS hosting is derived from a main physical server split into several individual servers. The main server’s general resources are still shared by all the accounts registered, but unlike in shared hosting where users avail of such on a first-come, first-served basis, VPS hosting allots definite amounts of resources for each user. Also, unlike shared hosting platforms that are usually free of charge, VPS hosting platforms come with a price, although plenty of companies also offer managed hosting plans.
However, while managed hosting plans are significantly cheaper than their higher-priced counterparts, they are still miles ahead of shared hosting services. Managed hosting platforms simulate the benefits of a dedicated server, allowing users to restart services, modify server files, or create other hosting accounts.
A handful of managed hosting platforms also allow their user accounts to install their software of choice, so long as these don’t take up too much of the allotted space on the account. So long as they don’t carry out any actions or install any programs that endanger the resource allocations of other VPS accounts, VPS clients can exercise a greater deal of control over their websites at minimal cost.
For the really heavy-duty users who need multiple databases and multiple hosting accounts (such as banks, financial institutions, or big universities), dedicated hosting is the way to go. Currently the biggest hosting platform available, dedicated hosting, as its name suggests, grants a single user its own powerful, physical storage and hosting platform. Dedicated hosting clients have complete and exclusive access to their platforms’ resources, extending well into where the hardware is concerned since additional units of hardware storage can be arranged for a fee.
Unlike VPS platforms that can only allow software programs of a limited size, dedicated hosting platforms give the client complete freedom over both the quality and the size of the programs they wish to install onto their domains. The only cause for concern here would be if the program in question were to affect the client’s other users or accounts registered on the site (if there are any).
Still, the one setback of opting for dedicated hosting services is that they cost more. Since the client will be having their own physical server (and perhaps a corresponding support team to boot) along with custom specifications for their intended purpose, a bigger budget would be necessary for the site upkeep.