What is web hosting and why do we need to buy expensive web hosting plans for our website, web hosting services will provide you with the right environment and the resources and features for your website to work correctly.
There are four types of hosting services available and each type serves a purpose to a particular type of website, each web hosting service will provide resources and features that are tailored to your websites demands, these types of websites range from small personal websites through to large resource hungry website like business, corporate and eCommerce websites.
Web Servers And Location
All these files combined together form your website which can viewed in a browser, and to function correctly your website files need to be stored in a secure environment, your hosting provider supplies a web server which stores all the files and information then delivers these files to your website visitors by the browser they are using.
New Zealand websites that are targeting visitors only in New Zealand may benefit the most by choosing a web hosting provider that has a server location within New Zealand, if your webste is targeting customers or visitors at international locations like the United States you are better of choosing a provider with a server location within that country this allows a faster website loading speed as the data only needs to be deliverd within that country and not sent around the world.
Linux Or Windows Operating Systems
Just the same as your personal computer needs an operating system so does the Web Server, these servers run on a Linux system or a Windows system, the Linux system is the default system used when you sign up for a web hosting account and is the most common used by all web hosting providers world wide for shared hosting, VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting, the Windows operating system is only used when running specific applications that require this system to work correctly.
Managed Or Unmanaged Web Hosting
One important decision to make when looking for a web hosting plan is knowing the difference between managed and unmanaged hosting services, a managed service as the name implies is fully managed by your hosting provider all the system software, server and system updates.
With an unmanaged account you are responsible for the running of your server and supplying some of the software, all shared hosting plans are fully managed, VPS plans and Dedicated plans can be fully managed or unmanaged depending on your choice.
There are two reasons hosting providers offer managed and unmanaged accounts, not every one has the knowledge and capability to run there own servers so most customers will purchase a managed hosting account.
A few customers will have the knowledge and capability to run there server and this gives them the freedom to setup there server how they want so they purchase an unmanaged account, the unmanaged account is significantly cheaper than the managed account and some dedicated servers can cost a small fortune to run each month so these customers can save on there hosting plans.
Bandwidth And Data Space
The two most important considerations are bandwidth and data storage space, bandwidth is the amount of traffic that will be flowing through your website the more visitors you are experiencing the higher the bandwidth you will need some web hosting providers offer unlimited bandwidth but this is usually not what you get, data storage is given in GB the more files you have on your website the more data space you will need, this will only be a problem if you have many websites on the same account taking up a large amount of disk space.
Your websites security is a very important factor to consider, and there are many factors that make a website secure like SSL Certificates software and the type of hosting account you have.
A shared hosting account is the least secure and delivers the slowest page loading speeds as your files are on the same server as many other websites and you are sharing the same resources that the other websites are using so a shared hosting plan is not suitable for a large company but would suitable for a small personal website like a hobby website or a small personal blog, a shared hosting account usually provides limited resources and features that other hosting accounts can provide.
VPS Hosting accounts or (Virtual Private Server) are more secure than any shared hosting account and also alot faster in delivering you website pages through a browser, so a VPS Server is more suitable to larger websites like small businesses, medium sized online stores and higher traffic flow websites like forums or popular blogs, a VPS hosting account is more expensive than a shared account as you are allocated more resources.
A dedicated server is the most secure and the fastest at delivering your web pages as you are the only website on your server, all the resources are available at your request and usually you get all the features that are available, so a dedicated hosting plan will be suitable for large businesses, corporations and large online stores selling products to customers, a dedicated server is the most reliable and secure hosting plan available and also the most expensive of all the hosting accounts.
A great alternative to a dedicated server is a cloud hosting plan, less expensive than the dedicated plans you get great security and a very fast page delivery, cloud hosting works with a cluster of servers spread over locations around the world when a web pade is requested the server closest to your website visitor serves the page to there browser.
Cloud hosting is ideal for large businesses and corporates, online shops and high traffic websites you get a great balance of power and speed for any website with a cost effective price compared to the expensive dedicated servers.