The term hosting may seem confusing initially, but it simply refers to the ownership of the server where the website files are stored. Servers handle all of the memory and processing that is needed to run a website and can build cyber-security measures and other protocols into their infrastructure. The owner of the server therefore becomes the website’s host.

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There are several types of service available, and the right choice will depend on your business and its own unique needs, which can be explored when you are looking for web hosting . These boil down to four main options: shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud hosting.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting means that your website’s files are held on a server along with the files for many other websites. It is an entry-level option which is ideal for personal or small business websites and certainly the most affordable web hosting option, as the server running cost is split between all the subscribers. It’s not best for high-traffic sites, however.

VPS Hosting

Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the next step up and offers more benefits. Although your website will be stored on the same computer as others, it will be run on its own virtual server. There are far fewer websites held on each machine and clear usage boundaries in place to prevent overuse of resources. VPS hosting allows customisation and is more scalable as your business develops and traffic grows.

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Dedicated Hosting

This is an expensive option, as it gives your website its own physical private server with all the associated running costs. You will enjoy extensive customisation, down to the hardware and OS, but it also requires that you or your staff have specialist knowledge to maintain it.

Cloud Hosting

This is similar to VPS hosting, but here the virtual server takes advantage of a cloud-based system. This means it is the most scalable option and offers greater security too. This option looks set to be the most popular web hosting choice in the future.

When you’re looking at setting up a website, you’ll soon realise that there are several options available when it comes to hosting. Each level of hosting has its pros and cons, so it’s important to fully explore the services and packages available. Your choice may ultimately come down to considerations such as budget, ease of maintenance or the ability to customise.

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