Getting hosting for your website is a difficult decision, especially if you haven’t bought a hosting account before. Essentially, web hosting means paying for access to a custom-configured web server that’s designed to serve web pages out to web browsers on computing devices that have requested them.
Web servers aren’t designed to operate the same way that a home PC would; they cut out the fluff to streamline all processes to improve their efficiency in delivering as many web pages as possible per hour.
There are different hosting accounts for different purposes too. It depends what you need one for (online games hosting platforms, Saas projects, websites, etc.) and how powerful it is required to be. We’ll cover a few basic differences between these types now.
Web hosting is necessary to host a website on the web and have it load when visitors click a link to it or type in the URL. Faster hosting is better for online marketing companies because if a web page takes longer than three seconds to load, visitors will click away in droves to go somewhere else.
The basic type of web hosting is a shared hosting. Shared hosting crams hundreds of sites onto a single low-powered web server. The performance is usually sluggish with a greater number of visitors causing most sites on the server to slow down dramatically.
A cloud hosting package ensures that the site is hosted on multiple servers so if there’s a hardware failure on a single web server or hard drive, the website stays online via the secondary servers. Cloud servers are situated in different parts of the States and sometimes abroad too, to speed up loading times even more.
A VPS is a virtual private server where fewer sites are hosted on a private web server usually with root access within the virtual server environment offering greater control. Additional processor cores, more memory or disk space can also be added as needed.
Lastly, a dedicated server is a server just for one customer. The benefit of having your own managed web server is that no other site will slow it down, but the downside is both high cost and overreliance on a single server to host the site.
Software as a Service (SaaS) projects tend to be hosted in a modified cloud environment that’s been specially configured to handle the type of traffic that a typical SaaS product requires. Most SaaS products provide mobile app access (and sometimes web app access too). Rapid access to databases and login information is necessary, but other resources like video streaming are not usually necessary. Servers are configured to provide the highest level of resources to the areas that are needed for faster SaaS management, with other services disabled to give the best speeds possible on the server specifications being paid for.
Custom gaming servers are created for online games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and other popular titles. These let 32, 64 or sometimes even hundreds of players connect at the same time to play together. Data necessary for each player to connect to the server securely and play the game is transmitted in real-time. Again, servers are configured to provide online services and features only necessary for game server hosting and no more, to deliver the best speeds.
In each case, buying hosting that’s suitable for what it’s needed for and with an IT hardware specification that’s fast enough is necessary to get the best results. An underpowered server or one that’s hosting too many other accounts will perform poorly.