If you just spent the last few months creating or redesigning a website, the last thing you want to experience is any sort of downtime caused by overloading the server from an increase in your number of site visitors. When it comes to hosting services, there are three basic options to choose from. Understanding the differences between the platforms can allow you to make the best decision for your specific business’ needs.
Shared Hosting: This type of plan can be thought of like a group purchase. Let us imagine that back in college, you and your three roommates bought a television for the common room. The cost to each of you was much lower since you all pitched in. However, you had to split the use of the television because you all were part owners of it. But, if your other roommates were not television junkies, then you made a pretty good deal, as it would not always be in use. The same fundamentals apply to shared hosting. You, along with several other entities, purchase the use of the same server to host your website. Fortunately, like your roommates, these hundreds of other websites may or may not have substantial use, or traffic, that ties up the server.
Virtual Private Hosting: This hosting option takes properties of both shared and dedicated hosting. If we refer back to our television example, we can relate the television to a single server. It is one physical machine. There is a virtual solution to the dilemma that may occur if each roommate wanted to use the television or have different settings, which is if the television’s software allowed the screen to be split into four different spaces. This would let you and your roommates watch what you each wanted and how you wanted, but in the confines of the one television. This is essentially virtual private hosting, splitting one server into multiple servers. Special software enables companies to purchase their own private space on a server, providing more control, but still limited by the capacity of a single server.
Dedicated Hosting: A dedicated server is one that you solely own, not shared by any other company. If you and your college roommates each bought your own television, you could consider it a dedicated television. Although the cost would be greater because you purchased it on your own, you are in control of the television and can customize it how you like. This is the principle behind dedicated hosting. This option is ideal for companies with high volumes of traffic, creating the need for greater bandwidth and more space. A dedicated server can create a better user experience by decreasing the chances of downtime and increasing performance speed.
These hosting options are like a luxury car line. You have the entry level car (shared) with the basics, a mid-range model (virtual) with characteristics of the low and high end vehicles, and then you have the flagship sedan (dedicated) which is the most costly but offers the greatest benefits. Deciding on a hosting server should be done after performing a thorough analysis of what your business requires. If you are looking for a hosting provider, Atlantic.Net has a variety of solutions that can meet the needs of your business. Give us a call at 1-800-521-5881 to learn more about our services.