Website Hosting

What is Website Hosting and Why Do I need it?

If you are a business owner, an offline service provider or hobbyist then you have considered owning a website.  During this research phase you learned the following is required:

  • Domain Name
  • Website Hosting
  • Website Design or Development

Domain Names

You do not own a domain name – what this means is you pick a name and check a domain name registrar to see if the domain name is available. If you are lucky enough to find what you want ( think brandable or easy to remember ) you can then register the domain name for yearly blocks of time. 1 year all the way up to 10 years is possible.

During this process these companies will offer you the moon (called up selling) but just keep in mind at a bare minimum you only need the following:

  • Domain Name
  • Website Hosting
  • Website Design or Development

You can consider “private registration” which means that anyone who looks up your domain name (website name) will not see your personal information. 90% of the time this is not necessary but in some cases you might want to hide your online business from prying eyes.

Scenarios like: Adult business, hiding from your employer, or just not wanting your personal information available online.

Some of the largest and well know domain registrars are:

  • Godaddy
  • Enom
  • Network Solutions
  • Tucows
  • 1&1

The following ranking report shows the registrars by market share and gives you some more informationdomain name registrars
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Website Hosting

After you purchase a domain name you will need website hosting this is not negotiable – it is a requirement. What this means is your website (the actual code, content, database and information) will live online 24 hours a day – 7 days per week and be available to anyone from anywhere on the globe. There are quite a few variables when it comes to website hosting and we’ll give you some of the high level things you need to consider below.

Types of Website Hosting

Shared – Which is the cheapest
VPS – Moderate priced
Dedicated – The most expensive

Note almost all of the domain registrars offer an up sell – website hosting. In many cases they offer shared hosting plans and offer them at low prices. The upside for you is the low price, but the downside is you share this shared hosting with hundreds if not thousands of other website owners.

Shared Website Hosting

This is really an entry level solution for website hosting. Costs for this can start at $3.00 per month and go up to $20.00 per month. You usually get smaller amounts of data transfer, less email addresses, less databases. Usually good for smaller informational websites and not data heavy sites that rely on dynamic interaction with a database.

Shared hosting would be good for:
3-8 page websites
Informational sites

VPS Website Hosting

This is for a user who has out grown his shared website hosting plan. Either their monthly bandwidth is exceeding the  shared hosting plan limits or they want to create a dynamic website that needs more resources or burst of data to give the website browser faster information. A VPS is a great option for a SME or a business with front end and back end solutions for its employees. Some smaller ecommerce businesses can be run on a VPS.

A VPS is a dedicated server that has been partitioned. VPS stands for virtual private server and because of the partition you do not share vital resources with other users. VPS users get their own operating system, disc space, and bandwidth – unlike shared hosting were everything is shared among all users. This increases page loads and the user experience for anyone coming to your website. The added benefit is you can scale up whenever you need it or reboot the server or use it as if it was their own dedicated server.

VPS hosting would be good for:
Larger websites with 20+ pages
Dynamic sites that talk to a database
Message boards/Forums
Ecommerce sites with 20-75 items

Dedicated Website Hosting

This is a different animal altogether; you get all of the server resources to yourself and can pretty much do whatever you want. You can run multiple websites, or many databases. A dedicated server is for website owners that expect or has large amounts of traffic, bandwidth or users. This allows all the resources of a dedicated server to be served to whatever lives on the server, nothing is shared or partitioned. Dedicated servers or website hosts allow large technology companies and businesses to fully manage and control every aspect of their online presences.

A dedicated server generally requires someone like a server administrator to manage it completely. Some of the dedicated server website hosting companies offer managed (more expensive) or unmanaged (less expensive) options. Knowing your business requirements & goals and having a plan can help you decide which option is right for your business model.

Dedicate hosting would be good for:
Larger websites with 50-100+ pages
Dynamic sites that talk to a database or multiple databases
Large Message boards/Forums with 500+ members
Ecommerce sites with 200 – 20,000 items