There are many options from which to choose when it comes to web hosting, so it is often a challenge for companies attempting to choose the perfect hosting solution. Naturally, a blog site has different hosting requirements than does an online retail store. In turn, an online retail store has different hosting requirements than does a video download site.
If a business is seriously committed to building an online presence but currently is not ready to purchase its own servers, there are four general web-hosting options from which to choose. These hosting options are as follows:
Managed Hosting SolutionsManaged hosting enables a business to lease an entire server while outsourcing the configuration and maintenance of the server to the managed hosting provider. Though the business does not control completely the operation of the server, this hosting solution alleviates the necessity of hiring an IT staff for server management. As part of the hosting package, the hosting provider supplies all resources necessary for maintaining server uptime and performance.
Because managed hosting does not allow a business full control of the server configuration, this type hosting is not a practical option for businesses that develop proprietary or custom technologies. Managed hosting is more appropriate for businesses that have high-traffic websites powered by well-established platforms. Online newspapers and high-traffic blogs are perfect candidates for managed hosting.
Dedicated Hosting SolutionsDedicated hosting enables a business to lease an entire server and gain complete control over the server’s configuration and performance. Fundamentally, dedicated hosting is an option specifically designed for businesses based primarily online. These businesses rely heavily on internet technology for the success of their business operations.
Dedicated hosting benefits many companies and has several distinct advantages in its favor. First, by choosing dedicated hosting, a company receives access to a server allocated exclusively for its business. The benefit is that no other website’s traffic flows through the server slowing down its performance. This is of immense value for businesses that depend on server stability. Second, a business has no need to invest in the additional equipment and space required if the business maintained its own server. The hosting provider houses the server eliminating additional expense. Third, dedicated hosting gives a business the ability to configure and customize the server according to its company’s unique hosting needs. The only caveat with dedicated hosting is that a business needs in-house IT staff. This is a necessary expense with dedicated hosting. If a business cannot afford in-house IT staff, it needs a different hosting solution.
An example of a business that would benefit from dedicated hosting is an online retailer using a custom CMS that manages a huge inventory and must be able to handle thousands of queries each minute without lagging. Another example of a business that would benefit from dedicated hosting is an advertising company running an ad platform that manages numerous ad campaigns for multiple domains.
Cloud Hosting SolutionsCloud hosting enables the leasing of a virtual server by a business. The business can dynamically scale the server as needed. This form of hosting is perfect for tech start-ups.
Cloud hosting especially benefits tech start-ups relying heavily on web-based technology and those without the capital to expend on infrastructure. It also helps tech businesses that project significant growth spurts over the next few years.
A cloud server benefits the fledgling technology company by allowing it to adjust its hosting resources based on its changing business needs. This option gives the company budget flexibility because it eliminates costly investment in additional hosting services that the company does not presently need. Cloud hosting allows the company to divert those savings to other business operations.
As with dedicated hosting, the use of cloud hosting requires a business to provide its own IT staff. For most technology-based businesses, this presents no problem since those resources are already an intrinsic part of their business model.
Virtual Hosting SolutionsVirtual hosting enables growing online businesses to manage spikes in web traffic while maintaining peak performance. With this hosting option, a virtual server acts as an intermediary between the web users and real servers. Using a process termed load balancing, the virtual server allocates user requests apportioning the requests evenly across multiple servers. This ensures the required bandwidth is available during periods of heavy traffic.
Virtual hosting benefits businesses with extensive web traffic. It benefits businesses processing numerous server requests, and virtual hosting benefits businesses requiring speedy load times but lacking the resources to invest in dedicated hosting.
Businesses that allow user access to blogs, forums and webmail platforms all with a single login are excellent candidates for virtual hosting. Despite being a part of the same domain, each platform requires its own server. This allows management of simultaneous user queries for different databases without overburdening a single server. A user may initiate several different queries, but the virtual server sends each query to a different server to ensure a speedy response for the user. Though many processes are occurring, the user remains oblivious to them since there is no delay. Virtual hosting provides a seamless experience for the user.
Choosing a Hosting ProviderDetermining the hosting option best suited to a business is an easy task. A business makes its decision based on its unique needs. The challenge lies in choosing a hosting provider. The best approach to take is the approach of an informed consumer. Research various hosting providers and get to know the type services each provides. Some companies specialize in one type service while other companies specialize in another type service. Read any available reviews by current and former customers.
If choosing a hosting solution that requires a business to manage its own servers, be sure to consult the IT team before making a decision. The IT team knows the technology and is best qualified to determine the appropriate questions to ask the hosting provider. Relying on their advice will eliminate unnecessary frustration in the long term.