Cloud, VPS, Dedicated…
These terms may seem like a different language to you at first, but I assure you after this article you will know everything there is to know about all the types of servers for web hosting. So why do you need to know these terms? Well, if you are a small business you are likely to buy or develop a website. In order to put the website on the internet, you must host it on a server.
When looking for the best server to host your site on, there are a few important things that you should look for. We are going to go through all the types of servers and what they do.
There are 5 main types of WordPress hosting servers:
1. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is the most common web hosting since it’s the cheapest. Hosting your website on a shared server means that you share a server with a large number of other users. This makes the price really low, but also the performance. Since there can be upwards of 1,000 people on a single shared server, everyone is sharing resources that can cause latency.
Don’t let the idea of sharing a server with a bunch of people shy you away from getting shared hosting. Shared hosting is a great choice for smaller websites that you don’t get much traffic or are just starting out.
If you are hosting your first website, then starting out with a shared hosting account is probably the best option. Once you start getting bigger you can move to bigger and bigger servers.
2. VPS (Virtual Private Server)
VPS (also known as virtual dedicated servers) is a low-cost alternative to the more pricey dedicated server. A VPS is like a dedicated server but each user has a virtual instance on the dedicated server.
A VPS is split up into parts for each user that is on it. If there are 20 users, 20GB of RAM and 400GB hard drive space on the VPS, then each user could use 2GM of RAM and 40GB of space. This way you get to use all the resources that are allocated to you, unlike a shared server where everyone has those resources available.
VPS is also a cheaper option than a full-on dedicated server. They are also very configurable, allowing you to install any software your add-ons you need like a dedicated server, with a much lower price point.
3. Cloud Hosting
This type of hosting has become one of the most popular ways to host your website online. Cloud hosting allows you to only pay for the resources you use on a server. This is the best server type for scaling a business as the bigger you get, the more resources you can allocate.
Cloud hosting pulls data from multiple servers, so if one goes down, another one can automatically replace it. Some big companies are starting to offer great cloud services like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
Pricing for cloud hosting is quite cheap to start out. You only pay for what you use, so pricing can be anywhere from $10-$1000/month but it’s probably the best route to go for any web hosting because of the affordability to benefit ratio.
4. Colocated Hosting
Colocated Hosting is a service that allows small businesses to place their own servers and hardware in someone else’s rack or data center. You can manage your servers anytime you want at the facility and they often times have high security for protection.
One of the biggest advantages of colocated hosting is the cost of bandwidth. The reason is that when you put your servers into someone else’s data center the bandwidth is shared across the colocation.
There are a slew of disadvantages like physically accessing your servers (have to drive to colocation, etc), it’s usually more expensive than normal hosting, colocation providers are difficult to come across and if you move locations you will have to move your server.
5. Dedicated Server
Dedicated servers are the biggest and baddest of the bunch. A dedicated server means that you will have your website hosted in a server just for yourself. It’s dedicated to you and you alone!
Dedicated servers are not only one of the fastest server types, but they are also the most expensive. Since you are taking up an entire server at the datacenter you will have to pay the price.
The benefits you get from having your own server are speed, full administrative access, unlimited use of software and apps. Dedicated servers are great for sites with high traffic and large platforms that need speed and storage space.
If you are not a server pro, you should make sure that you get a managed dedicated server so that if someone goes wrong, there is an expert there to help fix the server.
Whether you need to host a static page or an entire platform, there are many options for you to host your website online.
Shared hosting is the cheapest but cloud hosting is scalable and redundant. Make sure that you start out small and grow with your business or website. Most people don’t need a dedicated server when they are starting out.