30 January 2015

So you hired a web development company to create a website for you, and they did it nicely. Now you need to host your shiny new website in a web server, so that the entire world can come and see your awesome website.

There are three types of web servers available for you to choose from.

  1. Shared Servers,
  2. Virtual Private Servers (VPS), and
  3. Dedicated Servers

Each of these offers various levels of control and customizability. And each of them are best suited for various situations.

Shared Servers, aka, Shared Hosting

Shared Servers are the cheapest among the three. It will place your website alongside dozens of other websites. This is often called “Shared Hosting” as well. This solution is more suitable if what you have to host is a simple website that expects a low amount of visitors. Some hosting services provide shared hosting with beefed-up system resources as well.

Dedicated Servers

Dedicated Servers are the most expensive solution. Hosting service providers will provide you with your very own actual physical machine to host your website with. These monsters are useful when you have got a website with extensive traffic or a web application that got to do some serious processing. You might have to use one of these if you happen to have a website that gets some large number of visitors from a few countries.

Virtual Private Servers, aka, VPS

Virtual Private Servers, aka, “VPS” sits between humble Shared Hosting and grand Dedicated Hosting. You get total control over your “server” just like you do when you get a Dedicated Server — the only difference is that your “server” is only an illusion made with software, hence the term “virtual”. Your hosting service provider hosts a couple of VPSes in same hardware. Performance is better than Shared Servers and less than Dedicated Server, as you might expect.

Keep in mind…

One thing to keep in mind is that although we can clearly separate these server options based on the technologies used to provide them, performance of these depends on the hosting service provider you choose. There might be some VPS providers whose service is better than some Dedicated Servers.