What is web hosting used for?
If we consult dozens of web pages every day, it is sometimes difficult to imagine the whole process that makes it possible to do so simply. Concretely, a web page is created from lines of code, written in different programming languages, which a web browser copies in the form of texts, images, buttons, etc. These lines of code are bundled together as files containing data, hosted on servers that are able to retransmit the information once the request is made. Each server has a memory, hard disk, and operating system.
In other words, web hosting solutions give access to a website for all the users who want to come back to it. Thus, these platforms allow you, for example, to host a website, reserve a domain name, or even install a CMS solution with ease.
To host your website, there are 4 solutions:
- Shared or shared hosting
- Hosting on a dedicated server
- VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server)
- cloud hosting
To find out: There are also free web hosting solutions, but they have many limitations, and many disadvantages: insecure site, limited design, imposed ads, bandwidth and disk space limitations… For all these obvious reasons, we do not advise you to choose this type of accommodation.
Different types of web hosting
As the name suggests, shared hosting means that one server hosts multiple websites. Concretely, the host will divide the server into several parts, in order to lease them to different clients: bandwidth and physical resources are thus shared by all accounts on the server. This type of hosting is one of the most widely used types of hosting, as it has two main advantages:
- The price : It is a very economical solution, because the resulting costs are shared by all users on the server.
- Management : The host takes care of the entire technical management, and then it becomes very easy to use and monitor their storage space. With this type of web hosting, you don’t need any technical knowledge.
However, shared hosting also has drawbacks such as:
- the performance : Your website may have accessibility issues, because the interconnection of the sites affects the power of the server. For example, if another website hosted on the server is consuming a large amount of bandwidth, your site will be directly affected.
- Non-allocation: The server cannot be configured to your needs, in terms of operating system or RAM for example.
This type of web hosting is recommended for display websites, online stores or blogs that are facing a low volume of traffic.
Hosting on a dedicated server
This type of hosting consists of renting out an entire server for its own needs, thus completely removing the risk of being affected by resource consumption from other sites. The host is still responsible for the physical hardware, but you can control their configuration. Among the advantages offered by this solution are:
- Personalization : You are the only master on board! So it is possible to completely customize the characteristics of your server: the amount of memory, the choice of the operating system, the size of the hard disk, the security protocol, the content management system, etc.
- Security : Your data is not shared with any other account, ensuring complete control of your information.
Among the disadvantages of using a dedicated server:
- Cost : You must bear all costs related to server rental alone.
- Management : You are responsible for configuring the server, which requires a good knowledge of system administration.
This type of web hosting is recommended for sites with high traffic, such as online stores that offer several thousand references.
VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server)
This type of hosting is a good compromise between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. In fact, a VPS is to make several virtual servers available, on a single physical server. This solution is useful regarding the following:
- Personalization: You can configure your virtual machine according to your needs (RAM, disk space, operating system, etc.).
- Cost : Hosting on a virtual private server is a bit more expensive than shared hosting, but more affordable than dedicated hosting.
Disadvantages of VPS hosting:
- Management : Again, you will need a good knowledge of system administration to be able to configure and keep your server up to date.
- the performance : It is possible to encounter some performance issues in case of very greedy sites, because you are sharing the actual server with other clients.
Hosting via a virtual dedicated server is a good solution for websites that receive moderate traffic, and users are looking to customize their server without having to pay a large amount.
Cloud hosting is based on the same principle as VPS hosting, except that it is based on a network of multiple physical and virtual servers. Concretely, this makes it possible to increase the power of the servers, to reduce the impact in the event of a failure, and to more easily manage peak site traffic. Here are the main advantages that this type of hosting provides:
- Reliability: Cloud hosting offers a flexible infrastructure that can support wide variations in resource requirements.
- Cost : Customers only pay for the resources they use each month.
- Accessibility: You can access your cloud from anywhere, and collaboration is much easier.
- Management : Maintenance of cloud systems is handled entirely by the web host, and there is often 24 hour support available.
Regarding the disadvantages of cloud hosting:
- Security : Your data is stored outside your company, and entrusted to a third party service. So, there is, by default, a higher risk of a security breach.
- the performance : To make the best use of the cloud and easily access your files, a fast internet connection is a mandatory factor.
Cloud hosting is suitable for all businesses that want maximum flexibility, and that expect rapid growth, for example.