Where does your Website Live?

You have invested time and money building the website that best represents your organization and now it is time to find a home on the Internet. For many that decision came before the web design when the domain for the website was selected. Why?

Free.

Crafty advertising for many web-hosting providers will offer a free domain when you select one of their hosting packages. Is this the best fit hosting for your website? In this article I will share the different types of web hosting and some of the pros and cons to each one.

Today an important reason for selecting the correct hosting is speed. Website speed determines if the web surfer is going to continue viewing your website or click to the next website. It is also an important factor for search engines like Google when they look your website to place content in their search engine. In short, no one likes a slow website. Also other factors should be carefully evaluated such as: reliability, ease of access to customer service and knowledgeable technical support.

Shared Hosting:
Think time-share? Here your web hosting is shared with others on the same server. On average providers place several hundred to over a thousand websites on the same server. If the server is powerful enough and managed properly there will be no problems with performance speed. However if a couple of websites have a dramatic increase in web traffic or have problems that affect the server performance then everyone on that server suffers.

I had a site that I use for testing on a cheap shared hosting only to find out later this website was on a server shared with over 77,000 other websites. No wonder it was so painfully slow.

If you go with this option then I recommend investing in the best package they offer. They will usually place your hosting on a less crowed server and offer goodies like CDNs (Content Delivery Network) or dedicated IP addresses that helps in connect speeds.

Virtual Private Server:
Virtual private server are shared with other private servers but you are allocated a configured amount of resources to run your website. This ensures your website will always perform in a consistent manner and isolates the problem sites. Some technical knowledge of hardware configuration and server administration is required to know how to manage this. These are great for small businesses and ecommerce sites that demand better performance than shared hosting. Be sure to select a hosting provider that has the flexibility to scale up your virtual private server when your business grows.

Dedicated Hosting Server:
If you need more power or have a high amount of web traffic a dedicated hosting server is in order. Here your website sits on a dedicated server so you have overall control of the hardware. Extensive experience on web server administration is required for setup and management of these types of servers.

Cloud Hosting:
Newest to the hosting community is cloud hosting. Here you site is placed in the cloud (a collection of servers located in different places). The purpose for this is two fold: users access your website to the server closest to them for speed and placing your website on multiple locations provides redundancy in case a server goes down. Cloud hosting also provides scalability so as your website grows in size and traffic so does the hosting. Setting up and administrating a website requires an individual with knowledge of cloud computing and its components. Hosting providers are quickly catching up with developing easier to use interfaces.

Managed WordPress Hosting:
Many providers provide web hosting specifically designed for the WordPress platform. These servers are specially configured to get speed out of WordPress and some provide daily backups of your site. A big feature is automatic updates of WordPress to the latest version so you are constantly up to date with the latest security features for WordPress. A problem with this feature is almost all sites that use WordPress also use 3rd party theme layouts and little programs called plugins. If these programs are not up to date with the current release this could cause your website to not work correctly to crashing. Also some managed WordPress hosting does not include email configuration and storage. That will be extra.

Selecting the best hosting for your organization’s website is dependent on many business and technical factors. Success Media Services can provide analysis of your organization needs and recommend a clear unbiased hosting solution. Let us know how we can help.

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