The main purpose of a web hosting site is to provide a place where webmasters can display their content for the entire internet to see. And with millions and millions of people now turning to the internet for all their information and entertainment needs, web hosts have become an important element of it.
Most of the best web hosting sites around can be commonly classified into three different types: free, shared, and dedicated. While they all share the same purpose, their difference lies in the features they offer.
Free - There are some sites that offer a free, virtually costless web hosting for your basic needs. As the name implies, it’s their biggest advantage, and simply registering is enough for you to get started on your website. However, “free” doesn’t necessarily mean the best. The drawback of free web hosts is that most of the time, advertisements are placed on your finished website (to pay for the costs), which can be a nuisance for readers of your site. Also, some free webhosts are commonly criticized for their lack of needed features, security issues, as well as limited support; though some free web hosting providers are doing their best to solve these issues based on customer demand. Regardless, free web hosting is the preferred choice for anyone who wish to create and maintain a personal website for themselves or for a small group of people.
Shared – Some of the best web hosting sites offer a shared package, in which you and several other webmasters share all the resources provided by the host, including bandwidth and disk space. This also means that server upkeep costs are also shared between several people, making shared hosting a very attractive and affordable choice for users who need extra functionality for their site. The only drawback of this is that, since everyone shares the same server, one small error made by one can also affect the others. For example, if one sites in the same host experiences a huge boost in traffic, your own site might experience a slowdown. If a scripting error is committed by one user, it can also affect the entire server, and all of the sites hosted in it.
Dedicated – This type of web hosting is suitable for large businesses, especially when even shared hosting isn’t enough for their bandwidth and disk space needs. Most of the best web hosting sites offers this kind of dedicated hosting, which not only guarantees superior bandwidth and disk space over the other hosting types, but also added features, superb security as well as excellent and dedicated customer support. Also, since they’re built with business owners in mind, some web hosting services also come with an SEO management tool that monitors several aspects of their website, including inbound traffic, lead-in generation, etc. The obvious drawback of all these benefits is that it’s the most expensive type of web hosting around. Moreover, business owners need to have some technical experience, especially in server administration, in order to manage all the aspects of the web host. This can easily be mitigated by availing of a managed hosting service that allows the provider to handle all the tasks associated with server management while you focus on your business website itself. However, a managed hosting service may cost much more than normal, but with additional costs come improved service, so you are really getting your money’s worth.
Based on the features provided by each of the web hosting types, it can then be concluded that, if you’re only going to make a website purely for personal or family use, or just to teach yourself the basics of creating a website, then a free webhost is enough for your needs.
But if you’re a business owner, and you’re looking for the best web hosting sites that scales as your business grows, then a dedicated hosting solution is the right one for you.