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How to decide which type of hosting you need for your website

By Alexandra Gavril - August 12, 2019

When you’re setting up your website, you’re faced with a multitude of decisions about domain names, extensions, content, design and functionality. In addition to all that, you need to decide where your online home will be. In other words, what type of hosting is best for your site.

While there are many types of great hosting, they aren’t one-size-fits-all. That’s what makes it so difficult to decide which one to choose for your website to ensure optimum performance, security and reliability.

Fortunately, there is a perfect hosting solution for everyone, whether you’re building a site to show off your portfolio, to market a killer blog or to sell products online.

In this post, we’ll break down the main types of web hosting that are available to you so you can have an easier time deciding which one’s right for your website.

Shared hosting

Great for: Beginners with little to no technical knowledge, your first website and small businesses, tight budgets, sites with low-to-medium site traffic.

Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like – you share the server with other site owners. Think of it as renting a room in a flat and sharing it and as well as the costs with your roommates.

So, for example, if you’re a blogger or a small business owner on a tight budget, and you need get your site online, shared hosting is your best bet.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • It’s budget-friendly. It’s the most affordable option to get your website online.
  • It’s easy to use. Shared hosting plans are usually created with beginners in mind. This means that you’ll be able to handle day-to-day tasks like setting up email addresses, adding users and installing apps from a simple to use control panel.
  • You don’t need to worry about the technical stuff. If you’re not experienced with managing a website or the technical aspects of hosting a site, with shared hosting you don’t need to worry about any of that. That’s because the server maintenance is completely taken care of by your hosting provider (i.e., a hosting provider such as 123 Reg).

Now, there are also downsides to shared hosting. Just like your roommates’ behaviour can frustrate or affect you, sharing a server with other users also means their site’s behaviour may affect the performance of your site.

For example, if one of the sites on the server goes viral and sees a sudden spike in visitors, it can cause your site to become slow and take longer to load.

In addition, there are also certain limitations on the types of things you can install or modify on a shared hosting account.

All things considered, if this is your first website or if you’re looking for an affordable solution to get started with a new website, we’d say that a shared hosting account is the way to go. Check out our 123 Reg web hosting plans that start at as little as £3.49 per month for the first year.

Managed server with dedicated hosting

Great for: Multiple small websites, high-profile blogs and busy ecommerce sites.

Unlike shared hosting, with managed hosting you’ll have an entire server all to yourself. This gives you solo access to every resource available. In other words, not only will your website be able to handle many more visitors but they’ll also enjoy a great experience on your site thanks to lightning fast page browsing.

At 123 Reg, we also utilise clustered cloud technology in our Premium hosting, which ensures your server stays online and is not prone to a single point of hardware failure.

But there’s another reason why managed hosting is a popular option, and that’s because you don’t need technical knowledge to use it. Add to that that that we’ll take care of server maintenance and backups for you so you can focus on other important tasks.

The downside is that managed hosting is more expensive than shared hosting. Since you’re not sharing the space and the resources, you also won’t be sharing the costs.

So, if you have a busy site that needs to be up and running properly, whatever happens, then our Premium Hosting packages are just what you need.

VPS hosting

Great for: Designers and developers, multi-site hosting and ecommerce, SaaS, applications, high-traffic sites.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS hosting provides a middle ground between shared and managed web hosting. While you share the server with other users, it’s technically partitioned into multiple, separate servers.

Each VPS operates independently without interfering with the VPS hosting of other websites on the same system. This means that there’s no risk of other users overloading your server or hurting your site’s performance.

On the contrary. The fact that the resources on your server are exclusively yours is what makes it more powerful than shared hosting. And by powerful we also mean faster page loading, which is key to providing visitors with a great experience on your site.

In addition, you have the freedom to install and configure what you want and how you want on your VPS.

The great news is that since it’s still a shared server, this type of hosting is much more affordable than managed hosting.

The not-so-good news is that you’ll need at least a basic level of technical knowledge to use it and make the most of it.

Bottom line, if you’re concerned about the drawbacks of shared hosting, or if your site has outgrown it but no so much that you’d need an entire server to yourself, you should try one of our VPS hosting plans.

WordPress hosting

Great for: Growing businesses, ecommerce, bloggers, WordPress hosting and multi-site hosting

If you’re a WordPress user but don’t want any of the hassle of having to decide between all types of hosting, then this is the perfect option for you.

In fact, when you get WordPress hosting from 123 Reg, the only packages you need to choose from are Business, which is great for small business sites with low-to-medium traffic, and Premium, which is ideal for large or high traffic WordPress sites that require superior performance.

WordPress hosting takes just a few clicks to set up, which means you don’t need any technical knowledge to get your site up and running. In addition, your domain name and email are both included in your package, free of charge.

The downsides? Since it’s dedicated to WordPress sites, you can’t run other software alongside WordPress.

Also, since it’s a specialised service, it does cost more than shared hosting but it’s still an affordable option to get your WordPress site online. For example, at 123 Reg WordPress hosting starts at only £5.49 per month for the first year.

Have you decided?

Web hosting can be a tricky world to navigate. Hopefully, this short guide will help you to make an educated decision so you can choose the type of hosting that best meets your needs, no matter if you’re just getting started online or already running a successful business.