Web Hosting Types

Web hosting can either be free, shared or dedicated. On this page, we’ll take a closer look at each of these web hosting types.

Free Hosting

Best suited for small websites with low traffic (such as personal sites), free web hosting that’s provided by some ISPs may prove to be the best solution. Keep in mind that technical support and security / technical option are usually limited and few, so free web hosting is not recommended for high traffic sites or for sites that are business-related. AN example is the blog my friend’s Mom wanted to put up for her real estate blog in Australia. In it she gives simple homey advice with simple everyday examples. She only has five blog posts so far this year. I can’t really tell if this is going to be something that she does in the long term or not. But for the type of site this is, perhaps it is better that she started out with free hosting and then IF she needs something more robust, she can easily switch to a low cost hosting plan.

Some of the limitations may include that you can’t use your own domain name at a free site.

The good: it’s free
The bad: no domain names; limited or no database support; limited or no software options; limited tech support. s

Shared (Virtual) Hosting

Shared hosting is a very cost effective solution. Your site receives its own domain name, and is hosted on a robust server along with perhaps hundreds of other web sites. Typically, users are offered multiple software solutions such as email, database, and various edition options. Tech supports is usually fairly strong. This web hosting type is great for small, business-related sites that receive average traffic.

The good: Low cost that’s “shared” with others; your own domain name; good tech support.
The bad: Somewhat reduced security, since there are many sites residing on one server; traffic volume restrictions; restricted database and software support.

Dedicated Hosting

With this web hosting type, your site is hosted on a dedicated server. Of the three option types, this is obviously the most expensive option. The tradeoff is that you’ll get very powerful, secure web hosting with practically unlimited software solutions. Best suited for large web sites that get high traffic, or sites that use proprietary or special software. The dedicated servers are used by GiftTree.com in their successful online gift store. They offer personalized gift baskets of all kinds and inspiring corporate gifts for the executive marketplace. The volume of traffic and the data set for the products is significant enough to warrant a dedicated server environment.

The good: Multiple domain names; powerful email solutions/applications; strong database support; robust (i.e. unlimited) software support.
The bad: Expensive; requires higher skills.

Collocated Hosting

Collocation means that you can place your own web server on a internet server provider’s premises. It’s the same as running your own server in your office, but doing it from a location that’s better suited for it. Usually, an ISP will have great resources / tools that you can take advantage of, such as high-security against fire and vandalism, regulated backups, and dedicated internet connections.

The good High bandwidth; high up-time; high security; unlimited software options.
The bad Expensive; requires higher skills; harder to debug and/or configure.

One of the key considerations when deciding which option type is best for you is to make sure that you can upgrade to a better server or a dedicated server as your needs grow over time.

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