Web hosting is one of the most important aspects of any internet business. However, it’s commonly misunderstood. There are so many web hosting companies, and each one offers different types and plans. It gets confusing, and shopping for the best one can take days or even weeks. Since 1999, I’ve used over a dozen web hosts, and each one is different. However, most reputable web hosting companies now offer three types of hosting: shared, VPS (virtual private server), and dedicated. Regardless of the hosting company you choose, you should understand these three types of hosting before signing up for a plan.
- Shared hosting:With shared hosting, many websites (sometimes hundreds) share the same server. This reduces costs, but performance and security suffer. For example, if one site on the server gets Digged, then it will probably bog down the entire server. Remember, 99.9% uptime still leaves about nine hours of downtime per year.
Cost: $15 per month.
Best for: Small businesses who receive moderate levels of traffic.
- VPS hosting:VPS hosting is a great stepping stone between shared and dedicated hosting. A single physical server is partitioned into multiple virtual private servers, and each VPS gets a dedicated amount of CPU and memory resources. Therefore, even if a VPS on the same server crashes, your VPS won’t suffer. Also, a VPS gives you more control over server, software, and security configuration than shared hosting.
Cost: $60- $100 per month.
Best for: Small and medium businesses who need special server configuration and secure eCommerce capabilities.
- Dedicated hosting: With dedicated hosting, you get the entire physical server to yourself. You can customize the server configuration, including software and hardware.
Cost: starting at $150 per month
Best for: Companies who outgrow VPS hosting, or new companies who have the need and budget.
LiquidWeb.com hosts my websites, and I’ve been very happy with their uptime and customer service. Since LiquidWeb offers shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting, they’re a good fit for most of my clients. Plus, they offer a clear upgrade path. You can start with a shared hosting plan, then, as your server requirements grow, you can easily upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server. Most importantly, they manage the server for you, and they offer free 24/7 phone support.
For most serious businesses, I highly recommend starting with VPS Plan 1. It’s normally $60/month, but LiquidWeb currently offers $10 off the monthly fee, plus free disk space, memory, and bandwidth upgrades. It’s a great deal.
If you need high-quality hosting for a fair price, consider signing up for LiquidWeb’s VPS Plan 1 for $50/month now. Offer expires July 23, 2008. This is a shameless plug because I’ll get a kickback if you sign up through this link. But I’d recommend them even without the commission. Yes, they’re that good!