Sooner or later, all would-be website owners face the same dilemma – should you go for this type of web host, or that type?  It can be a daunting decision.  There’s an almost overwhelming number of hosting companies eager to take your business, and they all promise great things.  So how do you choose between them?  Cost and flexibility are certainly things that you need to consider, but to make a really informed decision, you need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of all the hosting plans that are out there.  This article will help you to make that decision.

Virtual Servers and Dedicated Servers

There are basically two types of hosting plans; virtual server hosting, where multiple websites are hosted on one physical computer server, divided up into smaller virtual servers; and dedicated server hosting, where one computer server is allocated to one website.
Virtual server hosting is a good choice for individuals, and small to medium sized businesses.  Although you’re sharing server space with other websites, you’d never know it – the virtual servers are rigorously isolated from each other, so you never interfere with your neighbors and they never interfere with you.  To all intents and purposes, disk space, memory and processor resources are entirely your own.
Virtual server hosting offers economy of scale, and it’s designed for customers who basically want the same thing – small websites, easily generated content and user friendly webmaster tools.  As such, it’s the cheaper of the two options.
Dedicated server hosting is really for larger businesses, or owners of high traffic websites.  Having your own server gives you greater flexibility, and more in the way of security, bandwidth and technical support.  Dedicated server plans allow you to run your own custom scripts, applications and content management systems.

Choosing between these two options, then, is largely down to the sort of website you want to host and the size of your business or concern.  Going it alone is a costly business.  It’s not just a matter of building a pretty website, you have to look after all the hardware that puts that website onto the internet.  Big companies, of course, can afford their own servers and their own IT staff to look after them – not an option for smaller businesses.
Once you’ve decided which broad type of hosting you require, you then need to look further and choose a company offering a hosting plan suitable for your requirements.  Make a list of all the things you actually want for your website, now and in the future.  For example, do you want a simple online web page creation tool, or do you want to be able to upload your own HTML scripts?  How much storage space will your site require?  Remember that your site is likely to grow, so you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of room for it to do so.
Hosting companies offer different plans, pricing them according to things like the amount of web space, bandwidth and hosting features available.  Most plans require an initial set up fee, followed by a monthly fee, and may also charge for additional services, such as extra email accounts or storage space.
In the end, your choice will depend on knowing what you want to achieve, and finding the plan that best meets those needs.

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