No two web hosting services are alike. Free web hosting is a great concept, but it’s really only designed for the beginner web designer, or someone who just wants to have their own little space on the web. Free web hosting sites are usually bombarded with pop up ads, banner ads, and other advertisements, which are all usually a turn off for visitors. If you’re creating a website to make money, it’s a good idea to steer clear of free web hosting services.
Let me clarify before I move on. When I say ‘web designer’, I am referring to YOU or me as the website or domain owner. Most of the people that I work with are designing, editing and uploading their own web pages and not really ‘paying’ for someone to design their sites. Don’t get me wrong, there are people out there that are making lots more money online than I am and can afford to pay for someone to design their sites/pages, but for purposes of this series, the web designer is you or I.
You can more than likely get ‘free’ webhosting from your ISP (Internet Service Provider), but I would definitely steer clear of that, since the ‘domain’ name will almost always be something like this:
Hmmmm…that doesn’t work very well if you want to put up a website dealing with golfing or PLR or whatever niche you want to get into, does it?
Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is probably the most popular form of hosting. It’s much better than free hosting, but it’s also not quite as effective as some others. Shared hosting basically means that the website is on a shared server that ‘shares’ space with other sites. While this is effective for more most sites, it might not work well for larger, database/ecommerce types of websites or web pages with tons of visitors. Shared hosting is a good choice for people who want to set up their website but don’t have the resources or funds to be hosted on a dedicated server. It’s also the most affordable and there is enough flexibility for most customers.
Reseller hosting has everything a shared hosting plan has, the only major difference is that as a reseller plan account holder, you can sell web space as if you own the hosting company. Another major difference is that a reseller plan allows unlimited domains (although, depending on the shared hosting plan, you may be able to host unlimited domains also). A reseller is able to create accounts for their sites or their customers using the WHM (Web Host Manager).
A VPS, or virtual private server, is a different option for web hosting that allows each server to run on its own, with its own dedicated machine. If someone needs to perform some updates to one particular server, this can be done easily without interrupting any other servers. This is also a great choice for web designers and webmasters who want to have a lot more security. Without having to share servers, the risk of information getting into the wrong hands is definitely lessened.
Of course, the dedicated server option is by far the best, and in most cases the most expensive. A dedicated server means that the Webmaster owns and controls the server completely themselves. Any updates or changes are done ‘in house’, on site by the web designer or web designing and hosting team. Most of the time the server is stored at a data center or what is known as a co-location center.
Dedicated servers can also handle much larger amounts of bandwidth, which means that the website can handle more traffic or more visitors. A dedicated server usually has intrusion detection and other serious methods to help maintain the security of the server and the information it handles.
While each of these web hosting choices are viable, some may be a better fit than others for the web designer. It really depends on the person’s need for speed, ability to handle the flow of information, and the bandwidth needed to sustain the website.
Most newbies will decide to start slow, using shared hosting and then build their way up to a dedicated server some day. Think of it as a seller of goods who lists their items on eBay one day, and then has their very own e-commerce web store the next.