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What’s the best hosting plan for a business website?

In today's digital age, having a strong website is vital for any business. One of the first steps, after registering a domain name, is choosing the right web hosting service.However, the wide range of options out there can be confusing. And if you’re not that tech savvy, you might not even know what web hosting is.

So, in this article, we clarify the jargon. We also break down the most common types of web hosting to help you decide which type of hosting is best suited to your business’s needs.

What is web hosting?

Every website is made up of data. This data includes everything from the site’s words and photos to its code.

Stack of servers that hold websites

In order for people to be able to view this data anytime day or night, it has to be stored somewhere — and that somewhere is a server.

Web hosting is a service that “rents” server space on a server so a website can store all its elements. Without hosting, no one but you would ever see your website.

Why are there different types of web hosting?

Websites vary in terms of their storage needs and the number of visitors they entertain.

A basic business website that gets 30 visits per month doesn’t need the hosting power that a gaming website with 10,000 hits per month needs. Hence, the different options.

With a web host like GoDaddy, you never need to worry — if your website outgrows its hosting, there’s always a more powerful option to keep your site running at peak performance. You can see all your hosting options here, from basic to advanced.

GoDaddy web hosting options

What are the different types of web hosting?

Below we list the five main types of web hosting. It’s worth noting that you can do away with choosing a type of web hosting all together by launching a website using a website builder product, as site builders like GoDaddy’s have hosting built in.

1. Shared Hosting: Shared hosting is an entry-level option where multiple websites are hosted on a single server. Think of it like separate apartments in a building, all sharing the same resources.

Pro: The benefit of this sort of hosting for small businesses and start-ups is that it tends to be one of the most affordable options.

This is an excellent choice to start, as you can upgrade your hosting if/when your traffic picks up or your storage needs increase.

Con: With shared hosting, resources are shared between all the websites stored on the server.

This means the performance of your website can slow when any other website on your service has a significant spike in traffic or resource use.

You’ll usually be given a ‘control panel,’ which is a dashboard that lets you carry out tasks like:

  • Linking your site to a domain name
  • Installing a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla to design and tweak your site
  • Managing your security options

    These control panels are usually pretty user-friendly, but they can still be intimidating to complete technophobes.

Best for which types of business? Shared hosting is best suited to informational websites, personal blogs or small businesses with low to moderate traffic. 

2. WordPress Hosting: WordPress is a content management system that lets you design a one-of-a-kind website. WordPress hosting is optimised for websites built using the WordPress CMS by including WordPress-specific security features, automatic updates and specialised support.

Page loading speed has a lot to do with your hosting plan

Pro: WordPress has an endless number of themes and plugins to allow a high degree of customisation.

Con: There is a learning curve to WordPress if you’re not a web developer. If you’re not willing to spend the time to learn using the many, many tutorials available, this might not be a good choice.

Best for which types of business? This type of hosting is ideal for bloggers, small businesses that want sites with custom features, people like photographers who want to create a portfolio site or anyone building a website with WordPress.

3. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting: Because shared hosting isn’t enough for some websites, there’s VPS hosting. With VPS hosting, a physical server is divided up into ‘portions’ and each of these portions has its own resources and can be configured in their own individual ways. With VPS, your resources are walled off from the other websites on your server.

VPS offers a middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting.

Pro: The private resources ensure heightened performance and security. Your site is less likely to slow or go down completely, no matter what is going on with the other sites on your server.

Con: VPS hosting tends to be more expensive than shared. Managing a VPS also requires a higher degree of technical knowledge, especially if your plan is self-managed. These plans are typically managed by web designers, developers and system administrators.

Best for which types of business? VPS hosting is suitable for growing businesses or websites with moderate to high traffic volumes. It’s also good for businesses that run multiple websites.

4. Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting provides an entire server exclusively for your website.

Pro: Maximum control, flexibility and performance.

Con: Dedicated hosting is expensive and requires a high degree of technical knowledge to manage.

Best for which types of business? This type of hosting is ideal for large businesses or high-traffic websites that demand optimal performance and security. Ideally, you’ll want to have an IT expert on your team to help you make the most of this sort of hosting.

5. Cloud hosting: With cloud hosting, a number of servers are interconnected to make a network of servers. Resources from all these servers can be distributed across all the websites on the network.

Pro: Because cloud hosting utilises multiple servers, resources are less finite than on a standard shared server. This sort of hosting offers automatic resource allocation, meaning it can usually handle sudden spikes in traffic.

Con: Because cloud hosting relies on the internet, your site may be unavailable if the connection is interrupted. When using a public cloud service, your IT team will not have full control over the company's infrastructure. There are also additional security concerns with this type of hosting. Source

Best for which types of business? Cloud hosting suits businesses of all sizes, from startups to large enterprises, as it ensures reliability, redundancy and easy scalability. 

Web hosting jargon

When it’s time to compare plans and pricing, you’ll come across the following terms quite regularly, so it’s handy to know what they mean.

Backups: A backup is essentially a copy of your site’s data that can be used to restore your site should anything go wrong. Regular backups are a best practice.

Bandwidth: This refers to the amount of data that can be transferred to your website’s users in a certain amount of time.

Think of your website’s data as water and bandwidth as a pipe.

The greater the pipe, the more water can be delivered. The more bandwidth you have, the quicker you’ll be able to deliver content to your site’s visitors at peak times.

GB: The acronym for gigabytes, this is the amount of storage space that’s included in your plan. 25GB of storage space should be enough for simple informational sites and basic blogs but you’ll need more for an ecommerce store or more media-heavy websites.

RAM: More commonly found on VPS and Dedicated hosting plan descriptions, RAM is a form of memory that holds temporary data when your site is running multiple processes at the same time.

SSL: An SSL certificate can be added to your website to protect it from hackers. Note that hosting providers like GoDaddy include SSL encryption with every annual hosting plan.

Web hosting wrap-up

Selecting the right web hosting solution is crucial for the success of your online presence.

  • Shared hosting is an affordable option for new and small, non-ecommerce websites.
  • WordPress hosting caters specifically to WordPress sites.
  • VPS hosting provides more control and resources (for less than dedicated hosting).
  • Dedicated hosting offers maximum performance, security, and customization for resource-hungry websites.
  • Cloud hosting ensures scalability for growing websites. 

No business that expects to grow can do without a website. But a website is only as good as its hosting. Choose wisely.

By Sage Becker for GoDaddy


This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by GoDaddy .

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