Hosting. Explained.

Dedicated Hosting is offered, which is usually $45 and up per month elsewhere.  I offer Virtual Dedicated Hosting starting at just $20/month.  I also include maintenance with my hosting rather than charging a seperate fee.  And rather than charging you an hourly rate for updates you may want in the future, I include it in your hosting.  Where other companies charge you their hourly rate ($30+/hr) for an update that takes 5 mins, I do it for free as a part of your hosting package.


Why Give Dedicated Hosting So Cheap?

I get it at wholesale. So the savings are passed along to you. I do have an ulterior motive though... Once your site is complete, it saves me enormous amounts of time and headaches if I can move your site from development to production on servers that I have complete control over and have configured myself. You can't put a price on peace of mind. ;-)


Shared vs. Dedicated Web Hosting

Your Web hosting company can be your site's best friend or worst enemy - depending on the level of service and responsiveness. A successful Web site depends on a good Web host, but it's just as important to select the right kind of hosting account.

Are you willing to share space on a server with other sites or do you need a server of your own? Know the answer before you start shopping.

Unique And Shared Addresses

Every server connected to the Web has its own IP address. The IP address uniquely identifies that server much like a membership number or driver's license number identifies a particular individual. IP addresses are also tied to domain names. This relationship means that Web users can either enter a domain name or an IP address in a Web browser to access the information on a Web server.

The basic difference between Web hosting accounts is whether a site has its own server or shares one with other Web sites. That arrangement determines whether the site has its own IP address or shares one with other sites.

Most small to medium-sized sites use a type of hosting called "shared hosting" where a number of Web sites reside on the same server. Because the sites share a server, they also share an IP address.

Large and/or busy sites usually can't share server space because the volume of Web traffic from many sites would quickly overwhelm the server. Those sites either operate their own servers or select a "dedicated hosting" option from their Web host. Dedicated hosting means that your site is the only site residing on the server and so you aren't sharing an IP address with any other site.

Which type is best for you? Let's look at the good and bad points of both.

Share The Risk With Shared Hosting

The best thing about shared hosting is price: it's usually really low. Depending on your site's technology, storage, and bandwidth requirements, shared hosting can cost anywhere from $3 to $20 per month. It's even possible to get free hosting in return for displaying ads from the hosting company or one of its partners on your site.

If price is your main concern, then shared hosting may be right for you. But make sure you're aware of potential problems:

  • Know your neighborhood. Sharing an IP address with known spam sites or adult sites raises a warning flag with search engines. Spam sites try to trick search engines into giving them an underserved high rank, so some search engines like AltaVista respond by banning the entire IP address from their index.

    Check your Web host's terms of service page to see what sites are allowed on their servers. Also ask if they offer an individual IP address for different sites on the same server. Some hosts do, but make sure the IP address and domain name resolve correctly before you start promoting the site.

  • Slower server response. A server receives requests for files and serves up those files in the order the requests are received. It's like a line at the bank: if you're second in line you get served pretty quickly but it you're twelfth in line you'll wait much longer.

    Ask your host how many sites reside on each server and how much traffic those sites get. The sheer number of sites isn't the only issue. Response time may be slower if you share space with 100 busy sites than if you share a server with 250 sites that only get a few hits per day.

    Slow server response can hurt site promotion by frustrating visitors. In extreme cases, pages may timeout and never load: not a good idea if that happens when search engine spiders crawl by!

  • More server crashes. Most Web hosts strictly limit the type of CGI scripts allowed on their servers, and with good reason! A poorly-written CGI script can quickly run wild and consume most of the server's resources, even crashing it.

    Your site could be slowed or brought down entirely due to the action of a neighboring site.

Don't get scared by these concerns. The overwhelming number of Web sites use shared hosting and never experience any problems. You just don't want to be the exception! Evaluate the host carefully before you sign up for an account.

Own Your Home With A Dedicated Server

Dedicated hosting costs more, but offers more features and benefits. With dedicated hosting, you're the only site on the server and have your own IP address. A dedicated IP address used to be a requirement for SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption, but some hosting companies now offer it as part of shared hosting packages.

Because you have the server to yourself, dedicating hosting is more expensive. It's like owning a home instead of renting an apartment. Like any homeowner, your costs will be higher, but there are benefits to the arrangement:

  • More control: You don't have to worry about someone's bad script slowing or crashing the server. You have only yourself to blame if that happens!

  • Faster response with high traffic loads. Because the server only responds to request for information from your site, visitors won't have to wait in line to view your Web pages and images.

  • Easier setups. It's easier to set up the server to handle anonymous FTP and SSL encryption if the server has a dedicated IP address. This isn't impossible with shared hosting, it is more difficult.

    Many shared hosts don't offer it or charge a premium if they do. If the host offers SSL encryption with a shared hosting account, make sure they set it up for you!

  • No bandwidth/disk space penalty. Shared hosting accounts usually offer a certain amount of bandwidth and disk space per month to each site on the server. Sites that go over their allotment get charged extra. But dedicated hosting generally has no such restrictions because it's assumed you need a lot of bandwidth and disk space if you require your own server.

Those are great benefits, but they usually don't justify the extra cost for smaller sites. Evaluate your needs and your financial resources before you sign up for hosting and choose your host carefully.  And remember, you get Dedicated Hosting for Shared Hosting prices at BoatMoney Web Design!!