Web Hosting Options
When it comes to web hosting there are 3 basic categories virtual hosting, VPS (virtual private server) and dedicated. The biggest differences between these web hosting categories is server resources, server access and price.
Before we get started in breaking down the different hosting options, what’s more important is that you purchase the proper hosting platform. To run WordPress you need to buy a Linux web hosting package with access to a MySQL database. I’ve heard of programmers running WordPress on a Windows server but we’re not going there.
The most popular common hosting option and the most affordable is Virtual Hosting. This type of hosting has its limitations as access to the server root but things like that aren’t a big deal.. you just need to go through support to get things done. Virtual Hosting is named so because they take one big server and split into multi “virtual servers” with equal share on the server resources. There are typically 250 plus hosting accounts running on a single hosting server.
Personally I wouldn’t pick a Virtual Hosting company based on price.. I would base it off of their level of technical support. The downside to virtual hosting is that if you have someone screws up and leaves their hosting space vulnerable to hackers and they get taken down, it’s likely the whole machine goes down. Some of the better virtual hosting companies are Yahoo! Web Hosting and www.GoDaddy.com.
VPS (Virtual Private Server)
A VPS is kind of like Virtual Hosting mentioned above but on Steroids. You get deeper access to the server and more control. You most likely get more of everything.. bandwidth, server space, allocated RAM and so on. There are generally less hosting accounts on a VPS machine and your side of the server usually isn’t affected by someone elses misdoings. VPS plans start out around $40.00 a month. One of the great things about a VPS is that you have most of the controls that you would with a dedicated server but its typically fully managed, maintained and supported by the hosting company. They’re the ones responsible for keep the server up. I personally use ServInt.
A dedicated server is exactly that, an entire server dedicated to you. There is no sharing of resources just you. You have total control of what runs on your machine, how it’s configured and you are responsible for keeping the server up. For many companies this is the only option and for some other companies probably not necessary. Dedicated servers start in somewhere about $160 a month.
So Which One Is Right For You?
If you are just starting out then by all means keep some coin in your pocket by going with an inexpensive Virtual Host like GoDaddy.com. As your site grows and your traffic you will start hitting CPU limits and receive server time outs. At that point you are ready to move up to either a Dedicated or VPS.. probably a VPS.