Category Archives: Web Hosting For Beginners

The Difference Between Shared, Dedicated, VPS and Cloud Hosting

So, you know you need a web host provider for your business website, but you’ve just realized there are a lot of different options. Or maybe you’ve had a web host, but you’ve just discovered that there may be a better fit for your website. Let’s discuss the difference between shared, dedicated, VPS and cloud hosting

Shared web hosting

Shared web hosting is exactly what it sounds like. Several different users share space on one web server. This option can usually be considered the cheap web hosting option because all the users sharing the server help with maintenance costs. Shared web hosting includes a sysadmin, or systems administrator, to maintain the server – which is great if you’re looking for something cheap, but it can be a big drawback for those who want to have control over their website. If your website requires intricate software beyond the standard options, or if you consider yourself a power user, this is probably not the best option for you.

Dedicated web hosting

A dedicated hosting service is one where a user rents an entire server for his or her own use. It’s a wonderful option for the user who wants to be in full control – everything can be customized to your website’s needs. With dedicated hosting, sysadmins can and generally should be added on. At GlowHost this is called a “Managed Dedicated Server.”  The are others who use dedicated web hosting that prefer to do their own server maintenance. Usually, clients who select more expensive dedicated web hosting options like a dedicated server do so because their websites draw a large amount of traffic, or their business depends on the reliability of their web site and email service. If you expect to have an extremely popular website, or your web site is critical to how you earn your income, and want the ability to add customizations beyond the basics, then dedicated web hosting is one of the best ways to go.

Also, a major bonus that comes with dedicated web hosting is extreme security. Because you’re the only client on your server, you can make it as secure as you want. On the other hand, if you do not know what you are doing, it is often better to opt for a managed server where securing and ongoing maintenance of the server is handled for you. New hacks come out every day and one of a good web host’s primary job functions is to know about and patch the server for these potential issues before they become issues.  GlowHost’s managed dedicated server service handles all aspects of security for you from installation security tweaks, kernel updates, managed firewall configuration, and ongoing patching.

VPS web hosting

VPS stands for virtual private server and runs its own copy of an operating system within the main server’s operating system. This means one physical machine (or “node”) can have many virtual machines all running the same, or different operating systems than the physical server that houses them. One huge benefit of VPS hosting is that the user gets administrator or root access to that operating system. Typically, a VPS has little, to no redundancy and can be a very inexpensive way to have your own private server on the Internet. VPS can easily be scaled up or down in regards to resources like CPU, RAM and disk space. Usually, VPS hosting is offered in addition to shared or dedicated hosting. VPS hosting can add a layer of security because individual servers are kept separate from one another, and each can run its own operating system. On the other hand, VPS can suffer the same security issues as an unmanaged dedicated server.  If you are not a talented sysadmin and not making regular security checks, it is highly likely that your VPS will become compromised at some stage in it’s life.  You may want to consider a managed VPS if playing sysadmin is not your thing.

Cloud web hosting

The newest form of hosting is known as cloud hosting.  While the word ‘cloud’ is thrown around in many circles to simply mean ‘The Internet’ that is not really what a cloud is. True cloud servers are groups of dedicated servers (or “nodes”) which have been connected to each other so that they can share resources from a common resource pool.  Once the cloud is communicating with itself, then it can begin creating Virtual Machines, or VM for short.  Virtual Machines are similar to VPS in the sense that you have administrator or root access and are easy to scale, but they primary difference is redundancy.  When you have a traditional VPS, if the primary node goes down, so do all the VPS! With a true cloud server, if one of the dedicated nodes goes down, all the other nodes in the cloud will carry it’s weight until it can be repaired and put back into service again. This means the Virtual Machines will keep on running just as if nothing ever happened. Another benefit is that resources like RAM, CPU and disk space can often be added or removed from a Virtual Machine without the need for a reboot, further increasing overall uptime.  Virtual Machines are the same as VPS and dedicated servers when it comes to security; it’s best to go with a managed solution if you are not a sysadmin, but need the power and flexibility offered by a cloud-based VM.

Ultimately, you have to decide how much power, stability and control you want over your website and data in order to decide which type of web hosting is right for you. There is a lot of difference between shared, dedicated, VPS and cloud hosting, and with that, the capability to customize the type of hosting you need.

How to Choose the Best Web Hosting Provider

Most companies today know they want to have a website for their business, but many don’t know much else. One of the most important things you should do is pick a web host, or web hosting service provider. In simple terms, if you use a web host, you are renting space on a large server in order to house your website. But how do you choose the best web hosting provider?

Know your business needs

The first thing to consider when you choose the best web hosting provider for you is the needs of your website. If you are using your website to blog, you would want to choose a web host that specializes in blogging, and provides all your blogging needs. You might decide you need Windows applications, and thus you need a web host that can provide them. Do you need any special software for your website? If so, you need to make sure your web host offers that. Once you know what your website requires, you can start comparing different web hosting companies.

Server reliability and speed

Another important factor to think about when you choose the best web hosting provider for your website is server reliability and speed of access to your website. A server is  “a computer program or a device that provides functionality for other programs or devices.”  Your website will be stored on a server, and you choose the best web hosting providerneed to know that that server will be working 24/7. If the server fails, people will not be able to access your website. A 99.5% reliability rating is recommended. Anything under 99% is unacceptable. In rare cases, web hosting companies like GlowHost offer a 100% uptime guarantee and SLA to back it up.

You also want to make sure that the server speed is fast. When someone wants to visit your website, you don’t want them to have to wait forever while it loads. Often times, people will get tired of waiting longer than a few seconds and abandon attempts to reach that particular site. Compare server reliability and speed and determine what your website needs. Keep in mind dedicated servers are always going to be faster and more reliable than a shared hosting package, but they also cost more. Dedicated servers are recommended for businesses who are serious about speed, uptime and email availability.

Bandwidth

Another critical component of a web hosting service is bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data any digital communication medium can carry. For example, if one person is trying to access a website at a given time, very little data is being communicated across a web hosting service. When 5,000 people are trying to access the same website at the same time, your web hosting service requires much more bandwidth to transmit much more data at the same time. If your web host does not offer enough bandwidth, your website could crash or stop working. Often times, you see websites crash due to lack of bandwidth when they are offering big sales or new, exclusive products that are in high demand.  The best web hosting provider will offer enough bandwidth to account for your website’s needs.

Data Transfer

It is important to not confuse bandwidth with data transfer. Most hosts advertise “bandwidth” but what they are really offering is data transfer.  Bandwidth is the speed at which data can be transferred. Data transfer is how much data is allowed to be transferred. Decide how much traffic you think your website will receive, and work from there. Some web hosting services offer “unlimited bandwidth,” while many other web hosting services have limited bandwidth.  GlowHost provides both types of packages. Unlimited transfer hosting plans should typically not be used for business sites as unlimited servers usually have the most web sites sharing the same physical machine. This means more web sites competing for the same resources. Limited plans usually cost more than unlimited plans and the higher price point allows a host to make the same profit on a server, but with less sites on that physical machine. This means better performance for each site because less sites are competing for the same resources.

Tech support

A final important thing to consider when you choose the best web hosting provider for your website is how good the web hosting service’s tech support is. When someone else is in charge of keeping your website up and running, you need to have access to tech support in case something goes wrong, and you want to be able to reach them 24/7. Some companies only offer tech support via phone, and that may not work when your website is having problems at 3 a.m. The more ways you can get in touch with someone for technical support, the better chance you can always keep your website functional. GlowHost offers 24/7/365 technical support via phone, live chat and helpdesk.

There are several things to go over when you choose a web hosting provider. Ultimately, there is no one right web host for every company. Find what your website needs, and choose the best web hosting provider for you.

Benefits of Selecting a Web Host

web host

If you have a business, you have probably realized how valuable a website is in today’s world. As you prepare to create a website for your company, you also need to decide on a web host. There are several benefits to selecting a web host over trying to manage your website in-house.

Biggest bang for your buck

Selecting a web host like GlowHost allows you to concentrate your capital on your most pressing business needs. First of all, if you hire a web host, you don’t have to shell out the dough for servers. Your web host provides the servers, so you can use your capital to take care of your primary business needs. You also get a predictable monthly cost for web hosting services. If you are running your own server, you have to budget for any possible mishaps and repairs. Putting this kind of liquid capital out of use for most business would be unheard of and harmful. You definitely get the biggest bang for your buck by selecting a web host.

Helps you extend your resources

Selecting a web host will also allows you to extend your resources as much as possible. You won’t have to pay extra IT employees to manage and maintain the server. For the most part, a server would run well, however, for that random time when your server crashes at 3 AM, if you don’t have someone on hand to fix it, your website won’t work. Wouldn’t you rather hire a web host like us to handle server mishaps? If you hire a good web host like GlowHost, when there is a problem with the server, it is almost always fixed before you even notice. You are also able to take advantage of all the new technologies without having to spend man hours or money to train. Your web host trains their own employees on how to utilize the hottest new technologies, and then they offer it to you. You can use your capital on more immediate business matters such as inventory, promotions, or advertising.

Helps you manage risk

Selecting a web host will help you manage risk within your business. Since you don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts on a server, you could use some of that money to store away for unexpected emergencies. Having an excellent web host also just about guarantees you will always stay online. There are (supposed to be) experts running maintenance checks on our servers at a web host, and if anything goes wrong, there is someone ready to do the necessary repairs and get your website up and running as quickly as possible. At GlowHost we have those guys working 24/7/365 including holidays to make sure that happens. A web hosting service also allows you to make changes as your business grows. You might sell a product that has overnight success, and your bandwidth allotment might go from a small amount to an extremely large amount. If you have web hosting service from GlowHost, it can be as simple as calling your new favorite web host and requesting an upgrade, or even simpler, use live chat or a support ticket. You can also add new technologies without much trouble as your company grows. The flexibility of what a web hosting service like ours can do will benefit your company greatly.

If you haven’t learned by now, you NEED a web hosting service. Why not try GlowHost? We’ve been in the business since 2002 and have excellent reviews online. Selecting a web host like ours will benefit your company in many ways in which you don’t want to miss.