If you are new to building a website, you may not realize that web hosting comes in many forms. There are four basic types of web hosting, such as managed, dedicated, shared, free, plus a type called dedicated but unmanaged.
The first one you want to know about is free web hosting. You read it right – free. Free web hosting offers limited services and will often attach advertising to your website with no revenue sharing. If your website won’t be managing a lot of traffic, free web hosting could be right for you. If your intention is to grow your website, you are probably better served by another type of web hosting.
The most commonly used web hosting is shared web hosting. This type of hosting gives you your own address, but the physical server is shared with other websites. Shared web hosting will usually offer enough advanced features for most websites like disk space and adequate bandwidth. Be aware, however, that since you are sharing the server with other websites, it is possible that these sites could draw bandwidth away from you, and drastically slow down your site.
Dedicated server hosting provides you with your own server. With your own server, you will not be slowed down by traffic on other sites, and you will have plenty of storage and bandwidth. All the special features, like database access, unlimited emails, advanced security, and an array of design tools, will be available to you.
Managed web hosting is when a dedicated host manages the site by providing administrative services for you. If the site is dedicated but unmanaged, you become the system administrator. That’s fine if you have enough experience, knowledge, and time to administer the system. Otherwise, the dedicated, managed site is a better choice.
When choosing the type of web hosting you will want, begin with your website. Think about all that your website does and all that you will want it to do in the future. Objectively consider your abilities and your time constraints in deciding what type of web hosting will most benefit your site.
Once you have a clear idea of what type of web hosting you want, begin your search for a web hosting site by looking up online reviews of web hosting providers. This will dramatically reduce the number of web hosts you will have to consider than if you were just browsing results from a search engine. It will also give you a head start by recommending some of the best providers in a given category, now that you have learned that web hosting comes in many forms.