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Today You Will Find a Wide Range of Hosting Options

Jan 10, 2008
The choices and sophistication of website hosting plans has been raised to new levels in recent years. The choices vary from hosting websites on your own equipment that is managed entirely by you, to webhosting on remotely based servers that are managed completely by outside sources. To determine what type of web hosting best fits your needs, you need to understand the strong points and weal points of each package.

Shared hosting (alternately called virtual hosting) means that you are sharing a server with other users at that web hosting provider. The host manages all the functions required in operation of the server and your responsibilities are only related to administration of the website. The costs of the server are thus shared by several users and this contributes to lower pricing for that type of service.

As you can see then, you are sharing those resources with several other users. The significance of that is the fact that if one of the users sharing the resources with you publishes resource hogging applications, it can affect the performance and speed of your website activity.

Sometimes you will not even be allowed to publish certain types of applications to these servers. An example would be a blog that sees heavy traffic and runs ping operations frequently. These types of applications when traffic is too heavy may cause temporary shutdowns for that server to free up bandwidth.

Co-located hosting means that you buy a server from a hardware vendor, like Hewlet Packard or Dell, and you arrange delivery of this server to the webhosting provider. The Web host manages installation to their network. This provides the benefit of their experience in server administration and use of all their backup systems for data and power reliability. Additional benefits of this server arrangement may also include support by them to your hosting subscribers.

If you have selected a company providing theses services, it will free you of all the headaches of administration of the server and eliminate the need for technical experience related to servers.

Unmanaged dedicated hosting is similar to co-location. In this arrangement you will simply lease a server from the hosting service provider. The range of support for these services varies considerably. It would be wise to clarify the support agreement prior to contracting for these services. Some services only provide limited general support. This would require you to possess a high level of knowledge related to server administration. You must be clear about services provided by them and services that you will need to be experienced enough to administer yourself.

Managed dedicated hosting also means leasing a server from a webhosting provider. The primary difference in this type of service relates to support levels. Typically these companies provide a high level of support and maintenance on the server and normally they will be backed by specific guarantees of quality of service. This maintenance typically includes services such as server uptime monitoring, a hardware warranty and security patch updates.

Again, it is wise to be very clear about the service you are contracting for. Managed hosting and unmanaged hosting are very similar. The service expectations are the biggest variable. Ensure that your dedicated host is specific about its managed services so that it does not simply provide an unmanaged dedicated offering as a managed dedicated server. Be vigilant, these issues rear their ugly head all too often in the competitive markets today.
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