Back in 2008 when I stared Blogging, I had no clue about Webhosting, domain or even What it takes to start a WordPress Blog. Over the time I learned things like Webhosting, cPanel, FTP and so on. Thanks to my engineering background, I learned many things by reading and many things I learned with the help of friends. No matter how you learn, but if you are one of those who are working online (Blogging, IM, Freelancing), there are many things that you ought to know. One of them is Webhosting packages. I’m not talking about companies which offers Webhosting space, but generic hosting types offered by these companies.
For beginner it might be confusing to differentiate between different Web-hosting types and what does shared, VPS and such hosting packages actually means. Here in this guide, I will be giving you basic over view of some of the common hosting packages type, that you will see or read about every day and you will have better understanding when you are reading any hosting related article on Internet or planning to get yourself a Webhost for your new Website.
Most Common Webhosting Packages:
There are few things which I will not talk about here like Windows or Linux hosting, as these are platform based hosting. Some of Web apps works best with Linux based hosting and some of them work great with Windows based hosting. For example, WordPress works best with linux Hosting. I will be talking about common hosting packages type: Shared, VPS, dedicated and so on. Since most of the Webhosting companies offer different offer based on these packages only.
Shared Hosting package:
This is one of the most common and cheapest hosting package type. For any newbie Blogger, this is most affordable package type as it starts from $2-$15/month depending upon which company you are opting for. Shared hosting package can further be classified into limited and unlimited hosting. Many Webhosting companies offer different shared hosting packages based on limitations. For example, Popular hosting company Hostgator offers Hatchling plan/baby plan/and business plan under their hosting package and difference between them is feature and price.
Companies like Bluehost, Dreamhost offers only one shared hosting package which comes with unlimited resources. Though, this unlimited resources on any Webhosting companies are also limited to fair usage policy, so if somebody is misusing unlimited hosting package resource, these companies have right to terminate the account any time. But in real world sense, the limit is so high, you might never need to face it, until you are consuming high CPU or offering illegal downloads or streaming.
In a shared hosting environment, your Website will be hosted along with many (10-200) other Websites. Which means, all these Websites will have the same I.P and all of them will be sharing a given resources. One of the limitation of shared hosting is, if any site starts consuming high resource, it may affect other sites hosted on the same server. Though, such issues happen once in a while and for a beginner, Shared hosting is the best place to start with. If your WordPress site is hosted on a shared hosting, you can run a reverse site lookup to see, what other sites are hosted on the same server.
For further reading:
VPS : Virtual Private Server
VPS is another most common hosting package offered by many companies. VPS is based on virtualization and unlike shared hosting, here your Website will get limited but dedicated resources. VPS are costlier than shared hosting but work perfectly when your site requires dedicated resources all the time. VPS is also most commonly known as Virtual root server/virtual dedicated server. One most common myth is, moving to VPS will solve your Website down issues, but here is a tip: Common shared hosting package offered by Bluehost, Hostgator offer better resource than what offered by entry level VPS package. Virtual private server bridges the gap between dedicated server and shared hosting server. Despite of sharing the same system with other Websites, your Website will have dedicated I.P., Dedicated computing resources and you will not be affected by any faulty Website on your Server.
There are two most common type of VPS packages : Managed VPS and unmanaged VPS.
- Unmanaged VPS: In this package, you will be given root access and you will be responsible for doing everything on your server. Which includes installing new script, updating packages and so on. Linode is one of the best unmanaged VPS which I have used and certainly one with the most competitive price.
- Managed VPS: This package is perfect for Blogger and people who are non-technical. You will have the root access and you are free to do anything on your virtual box and at the same time, hosting support team will assist you for everything. For example, if you wish to install a new package or addon, you can ask managed VPS team to do it for you. Right now, ShoutMeLoud is hosted on Knownhost VPS which is also a managed VPS. Managed VPS are little costlier than unmanaged packages, but still worth it, since you don’t have to get your hands dirty with codes and commands.
This is for resource hungry Websites and Web apps. There are certain Web apps or Websites, which need a dedicated pool of resources all the time and you don’t want your system to be sharing anything with anyone else. Dedicated servers are usually costliest one here and they also come with managed and unmanaged dedicated server plan. In Simple words, when you purchase a dedicated hosting from a company, you are renting a system under their infrastructure. Depending upon Webhosting company package and policies, you will be offered limited or no support. Softlayer is one of the most popular name among dedicated hosting provider. Here are some resources from the past which will give you more information about dedicated hosting server:
It’s been more than 3 and half year and I have tried variety of Webhosting companies and various hosting packages. I started with Dreamhost in 2008 and used them for one year, later on due to plugin glitch I moved it to Knownhost. Later, I moved to Hostgator, Linode and so on. Of all the hosting packages, I got best uptime with Hostgator and linode. Though, on Linode I had one technical guy to assist me and take care of my server. I was paying $125/year to the tech guy to manage the server and probably that was the best and cheapest investment I could ever get.
Now, there are more Webhosting package type especially for certain Web apps. For example, We have managed WordPress hosting for WordPress blogs, which are perfect but again comes with higher cost and something which an inidvidual blogger might not like to afford. Though, such packages are perfect for any business site or for someone, who prefer peace of mind over the money. Here are some more resources from our Webhosting archive, which will help you to learn more:
- Things to consider before buying Web hosting
- Best Webhosting company: Guide to select best of the best
I will be sharing more such guides in coming days and if you have question about any particular hosting package or type feel free to let me know. Also, let me know which hosting type and company are you using right now to Host your Website?