The Web Hosting Package
How to choose the best web hosting solution for your needs
Web hosting package offerings are big business nowadays. No organization can really afford to be without an internet site if it wants to be taken seriously, and an increasing number of individuals are creating personal sites as well. It's hardly any wonder that there are so many hosting companies in the sector all clamoring to get you to choose their web hosting solution!
Choosing a good web hosting company can be a time-consuming and complicated process. Knowing what type of web hosting package will be best for you will help make this process that bit easier. Hopefully, after reading this, along with our web hosting package reviews, you'll have a clearer idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each option and will be a couple of steps nearer getting your site launched.
The most basic web hosting solution is the free hosting option. Now, before you get too excited, remember that there really is NO such thing as a free lunch! Free hosting is offered by the majority of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as part of the package you take up for your own internet access. It's also offered by some hosting companies. So, if they allow you to have your site hosted for free, what are the drawbacks? Well, this isn't a bad option if you have a personal site to host or want to try the hosting water before you move on to a better option. But, if you're running a business, then it won't help you look that great. For a start, you'll probably have to agree to have the hosting provider's advertisements and banners pop up on your website.
You'll also have to take on a domain name that is based around that of your hosting provider. So, if your business is called stevesgolfclubs.com and your ISP is XYZ.com, your web address will come out as something like: www.xyz.com/sites/stevesgolfclubs/index. Apart from the fact that your URL will hardly roll off the tongue, you'll also be telling the world that your business is hosted on a free site! And, the chances are you'll be limited in what you can do with your site in terms of size, web design, and development.
The next, and probably most popular, web hosting package is shared hosting, also known as virtual hosting. In this option, you pay a hosting company to publish your site for you. However, you keep your costs to a minimum by allowing it to place your site with other websites on one server. This is a great (and very cost effective!) choice for small- to medium-sized businesses and individuals as long as you find a reliable hosting company that knows its stuff. Here, you cut costs by sharing them between multiple sites. If your hosting company doesn't know its server management 101, however, then you could come across problems with access to your site.
If your website has a larger volume of traffic and is bigger than the average site, then you really need to be looking at a dedicated server web hosting package. You've basically got three choices in this scenario:
You can choose to do it yourself in-house; this is generally only really cost-effective for big corporations as equipment, as running and manpower costs can be extremely high.
Alternatively, you can lease your own dedicated server from your hosting provider. This brings most of the advantages of an in-house operation without the associated costs. Your server can be tailored to your needs but you may still need some external technical help depending on the services on offer from your hosting provider.
Finally, you can also take up a managed hosting option. In this scenario, you lease the server, but also buy full management and administration back-up services from your provider. This closely mirrors an in-house operation, but as you can imagine, this web hosting package may well work out much cheaper in the long-run.
The key thing to remember is that the chances are that your site will evolve over time and you may need to change or expand the type of web hosting package you choose. If you have any doubts about the right package for you, talk to a couple of hosting companies, and ask their advice. They'll be able to help you make a decision on the right web hosting package for your current needs.