There are many web hosting options available nowadays: free web hosting, shared hosting, dedicated server, and the list goes on. All these options serve the same purpose, which is hosting your content so that it can be accessed and viewed by people on the Internet. The major difference is how each is structured as well as the benefits they offer.
Let's have a closer look at each of them.
Free Web Hosting
What can be better than a free web hosting plan? This is a great option for someone who wants to create a homepage or small website to share with friends and family. While free web hosting has received criticism for its lack of features, security and customer support, there are a few reliable free web hosting providers that you can trust. However, keep in mind that free web hosting is more geared for giving you a taste of having and maintaining a small, personal website. If you want to establish a powerful web presence with an online business, you will need to consider a paid hosting service that offers more control, security and reliability.
As the name implies, shared hosting is an environment where you are sharing space on a web server with other users. As clients are sharing the cost of the server, this is the most affordable and popular solution for personal users and small businesses as companies to set up blog, e-commerce and other advanced applications. However, when hosting on a shared server, you are exposed to all the activities of your neighbors. If someone makes a huge scripting error, the entire server can suffer. If someone experiences a sudden burst in traffic, your site might run slower. If the server goes down, so does your website and ultimately, your business.
When your business takes off and requires more than the typical sharing server resources, it's time to move up to the dedicated server. Now you're in the big leagues with an entire server dedicated to your hosting needs. However, without any experience, succeeding with this hosting option is nearly impossible - those who require a dedicated server but don't know a thing about server administration can get by with managed hosting. In this scenario, the hosting service provider handles all the management tasks which frees you up to focus on other areas of the business. Keep in mind that a managed service requires is generally more costly.
What is the Best Hosting For You?
The best advice we can give about hosting is to know what you're getting into. Free services are geared for personal sites, shared hosting is suited for small businesses and a dedicated server is designed for larger hosting needs, yet is far more expensive. By knowing what your site requires, it will be much easier to determine which is the best solution.