Digital Pacific: The Beginner’s Guide To Web Hosting

Hosting Breakdown

The first thing anyone new to the hosting sphere will notice is that there are a lot of options. From shared hosting, cPanel hosting, reseller hosting, WHM hosting, VPS hosting and Dedicated Server hosting – each company has its own way of naming all the options – but what do they all actually mean and which one really suits you best?

We decided to break down each level of hosting to point you in the right direction for what your business may need.

Shared hosting is one of the most commonly offered hosting types on the market. It generally represents a simple, singular hosting account on a shared server where, depending on available resources, you may have several hundred neighbours all with their own hosting accounts on that same server. These accounts are commonly using the cPanel platform. cPanel is easily the current leading control panel software that the vast majority of web hosting companies offer to allow you to control/use their services.

Pros: Very affordable, quick to set up, fully managed (no need to worry about configuring or maintaining the server).

Cons: Limited control/customisation, resources are being shared with several hundred other websites (possible performance issues and generally the slowest hosting option).

Best suited to: Small businesses, new businesses, personal blogs.

Where to buy: Digital Pacific offers two levels of shared hosting with Personal Hosting plans and our Business Hosting plans. Business Hosting plans offer increased resources (such as storage space and memory) to better handle larger and/or busier websites.

Reseller hosting is essentially the same as shared hosting, except rather than just having one account, you have many hosting accounts. You are generally given access to an additional control panel that will allow you to manage all of your hosting accounts.

Typically, this control panel will be called “WHM”. Logging into WHM will allow you to create, edit and terminate cPanel hosting accounts, among other various functions. You will usually be given overall limits such as a total of 100gb of disk space. You can then divvy this 100gb up as you see fit among all of your hosting accounts.

Pros: Affordable, quick to set up, fully managed (no need to worry about configuring or maintaining the server).

Cons: Still very limited control/customisation, resources are also likely being shared with many other resellers on the same server (possible performance issues and generally the slowest hosting option).

Best suited to: Freelance web designers, small web hosting companies, someone who wishes to run 5-10 websites or more.

Where to buy: Digital Pacific offers two types of reseller-style hosting options. The first option is a Web Hosting Reseller plan. These plans work on the basis that all of the hosting accounts within your reseller account stay under your management and billing control. The second option is a Web Hosting Affiliate account. This option means you will receive a custom link that you can advertise on your own website/blog/social media. Anyone who uses this link to sign up to their own hosting product will earn you a commission. Any hosting accounts signed up using this method will be their own standalone accounts and you will not be responsible for the management nor the billing of those accounts.

VPS Hosting is the next step up from the shared hosting environment. While you still will be sharing a physical server with a few other people, it will be substantially less crowded than shared hosting. You will also have resources that are reserved entirely for you, and therefore performance won’t be affected by your neighbours. VPS hosting is a substantial step up from shared hosting in terms of speed and power.

VPS hosting can generally be broken down into two or three sub-categories; unmanaged, managed and fully managed. Different hosting companies offer different levels of management for VPS hosting, with of course the less management involved coming with the cheapest price tag.

These management tasks still need to be done however, so it depends on your own knowledge and skill level as to whether you can perform the management yourself and save on costs, or whether you are better to leave the management in the hands of the hosting company, and have the peace of mind that your server is being well maintained and secured (for the extra cost).

Pros: Huge speed and performance improvements over shared hosting, far more control over the hosting environment. Ability to customise the hosting environment very specific to your requirements. Far fewer neighbours on the same physical server.

Cons: VPS hosting can be a considerable jump up in either level of knowledge required, or monthly cost (if you opt for management services) when coming from shared hosting.

Where to buy: Digital Pacific offers two levels of VPS hosting. The first level is Self Managed VPS Hosting which is best suited to those who have the technical know-how to set up and maintain their own VPS environment. The second level is Managed VPS Hosting, which means the VPS will be set up and maintained for you by our in-house experts – no need to worry about running updates, patching security holes or tweaking performance as it will all be handled for you, allowing you to get on with running your website.

Dedicated server hosting means that you will have an entire physical server all to yourself – absolutely no neighbors (though some companies do offer you the option of only inhabiting 25%, 50%, of 75% of the server to bring costs down, but you will then have 1-2 neighbors, thus not making it a truly dedicated service).

Dedicated server hosting is generally very scalable, so you can add more resources as and when you need them. You can host either several hundred websites or a fewer number of much larger/busier websites on a dedicated server.

This type of hosting best suits large, busy companies that would have thousands of visitors use their website every day, or an agency who owns or manages several hundred websites for others.

Pros: Ultimate speed and power. Scalable if you find you need more disk space or memory etc. No neighbours.

Cons: Dedicated server hosting can be a considerable jump up in either level of knowledge required, or monthly cost (if you opt for management services).

Where to buy: Digital Pacific offers a range of Dedicated Server Hosting options depending on your requirements. Management can also be added on if you would like our experts to manage the set-up and ongoing maintenance of your server. Our solutions specialists are on-hand to assist you in determining your requirements and will recommend the best server option for your needs. You can get in touch by filling out this form or calling 1300 694 678.

Feature image Credit: Freepik

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