A server is basically a big, fast computer that is always on. Companies keep their websites on servers, and when customers type the website address into their browser, then are sent to the copy of the website on the server. While a large company can afford to have it’s own server, Web Hosting companies usually host the bulk of websites on the internet, as they rent their server space to customers for a fee. They are obviously in the business of making a profit, so if you are looking at getting Web Hosting, you need to be aware of how it works.
There are 3 types of Web Hosting available: Dedicated, VPS, and Shared. To explain the differences, imagine that the server is a pie, and it’s split into 100 pieces. We are going to call these resources. Each of the different types of hosting gets a different share of the pie. How much are you getting?
Dedicated – You get all 100 resources to yourself, hence the term dedicated, as the server is 100% dedicated to your business. This is very expensive of course, and is only good for extremely large businesses.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) – The server is split into exact amounts. It could have 2 portions of 25 each, and 5 portions of 10 each, to total 100. You get exactly what you pay for, and can choose a bigger or smaller size, depending on your needs. It’s almost the same as your own Private Server (Dedicated) as you know what you are getting, hence the name Virtual Private Server, because you virtually have your own small server.
Shared – This is the most common form of hosting, as it is dirt cheap. But there is a reason for that. Using the example of the pie, a Dedicated server might be $100 for all the pie, VPS is $25 for 1/4 of the pie, and with Shared Hosting, they give the pie to 100 people at $1 each. While that might seem fair on the surface, they don’t guarantee you a 1/100 slice of the pie, and instead it’s a free for all to eat as much as you can. Someone can have 100 websites on their share, and you only have 1 website. So out of the 100 resources, 1 person might take 30, another takes 20, the next 8 people take 41 resources, leaving the last 90 people to squabble over 9 shares, getting 0.1 each. Shared Hosting is great for people who know how to eat more resources, and the amateur website owner is always left getting a bad deal.
So unless you are on a really tight budget, you should NEVER get Shared Web Hosting. Always go with VPS for your Web Hosting needs, so you can guarantee you are using a server which can deliver your website fast and efficiently to your customers.
Personally, I was a customer of Bluehost for about 3-4 years, but have now been with Hostwinds for close to the same amount of time. While Bluehost are still better than most, I find Hostwinds servers are better quality, crash less often, provide more protection against hackers, have much better technical support staff, and even with all these factors, they are still cheaper.
To start using Hostwinds Web Hosting, CLICK HERE and then go to VPS, then Budget Linux. They then list a number of Tiers for you to choose from. I find that Tier 2 is generally sufficient for most business owners. If budget is an issue, go for Tier 1, and if you know you have a large volume of website traffic on your site already, then go for a higher level.
Personally, I am on the top tier package, as I have about 10 websites, and they get a fair amount of traffic. I want it to be loading fast at all times, as it has been proven that faster loading websites lead to more sales. In fact, even Google likes faster loading sites too, as they have admitted that its part of their algorithms and they rank them higher in their search results.
When choosing which package suits your needs, remember that there is also a $13 per month charge for cPanel, which is an almost essential software to run your website on. If you are in doubt, go with Tier 2. It will come to around $30 per month including the cPanel fee, and is really a small cost for anyone who is serious about their business. You get a faster website, leading to more sales, and a higher ranking on Google. It really is great value, and you will love Hostwinds as well.