The Deep Gray Ocean of Web Hosting Choices
Most people don't know or care much about the sometimes fickle usually complex world of Web Hosting. Ones first encounter is usually when embarking on any sort of website development project.
Perhaps a business venture, or a personal undertaking... there's no choice in the matter, they ALL need some sort of "hosting". "Web Hosting" basically refers to a place for your website to "live", for people around the world to connect to and browse.
There are plethora of choices and options available to the customer. Usually offering a bunch of services and features you're not sure if you need, or want. If you've ever so much as Googled the words "Web Hosting", the confusion has likely begun. You have literally tens of thousands of companies, thrusting their finely tuned marketing spiel your way... what to choose?
you have choices...
I've spent over a decade fiddling, tinkering, playing with, maintaining and building large and small companies private and public web servers and 3rd party hosting arrangements. I hope to demystify some of the options, and explain some of the pitfalls and advantages of different web hosting options available to the online consumer.
This is by far the most popular type of hosting out there. And with good reason... It's cheap. Cheap for the company providing it - which means cheap for the customer.
Why is Shared Web Hosting Cheap?
These are the $9 per month deals that seem too good to be true. Why so cheap? It's quite clever... There is ONE physical server, which hosts MULTIPLE websites. Sometimes thousands. From the customers point of view, they get their website, they get the control they need, and the website looks and feels exactly like any other site on the net. The hosting provider manages the server - and hands out small chunks of control to users. Nothing more than necessary.
What You Need to Know About "Cheap" Web Hosting!
But it's not all roses. There are some very serious compromises in any shared hosting platform. Every client is sharing their server resources (RAM, Disk speed, CPU and Internet speed) with each other. If one website sees a rise in traffic (called a "Spike") every other website suffers. It can take hours, or days for the network support teams to rectify an issue like this. Remember, you're only a $9 per month customer; that they can afford - and factor in the likelihood of losing.
You need to take into account that you're plonking your hard work, private content, customer databases, emails and countless other keystones of your business, on a server that you have no real control over, and are sharing with countless others, whom you don't know. A security breech caused by anyone else, means you pay a high price.
SEO is Search Engine Optimization; basically how Google, and other Search Engines rate (rank) you, in comparison to others. This is very important. Virtually all valuable customers are coming to you from search engines. But search engines are smart, and getting smarter every day. They know a shared host when they see one, and you may be penalized in various ways for having your website here. You're website shares an IP address with other sites that may or may not be doing the 'right' thing on the internet.
Shared hosting is great for a new blog or small business that is just starting out. But it can be very quickly outgrown.
This is the 'Mercedes Benz' of the hosting world and is in direct contrast to Shared Hosting.
There is a Significant Difference!
Here you get your VERY OWN physical server. That means, complete security, complete control and a high-speed internet connection and access to virtually infinite storage (at a cost). This sort of arrangement can provide for very high-traffic website, with virtually any custom requirements.
The hosting company provides power, air-conditioning, physical security and other "bare bones" services. None of these get you on the internet however. You need some serious expertise to install an operating system, software, implement security and many other high-level requirements just to get going.
Security, Reliability & Control
So what you gain in security, reliability and control needs to be paid off with expertise and ongoing support. It's costly to hire someone to maintain your server, and very difficult when you don't actually know the finer details of what you want. All you want is a website that works!
There is one technical variation on Dedicated Server Hosting; that is the VPS. Virtual Private Server. This means one physical server, multiple clients, but separate operating systems per client. This arrangement provides the best of both worlds. It's cheaper than fully dedicated hosting, with greater control and security but you have full control over YOUR system. You still need to manage your own security and any problems however.
Dedicated hosting is great for a large company with dedicated and experienced IT staff who can maintain and manage the server constantly
custom fit online
Here at Custom Fit Online, we know how frustrating this all can be to a business manager. After all you just want a website. And you want it always online, fast and secure. That's why we take care of ALL of the above for our clients. It's a cost effective arrangement for us and our customers.
We don't provide just hosting. We take care of the entire internet experience. From website design, security, content, SEO, marketing, social media, email and everything else. We look after our customer's requirements as our number one priority, and we believe the technical jargon above should be left to the geeks (like me) who typically dwell in dark corners, doing server updates at ungodly hours; keeping your critical data safe and secure, fast and available.