What kind of hosting should I purchase: shared or owned?

To be accessed on the internet, any website must “live” on a server, meaning you need to choose a hosting provider that will take care that your website stays always online.

There are two types of web hosting you can purchase: shared hosting, and owned hosting (also known as dedicated server, VPS-Virtual Private Server etc.). We will try to explain the two in simple words, so you can identify your real hosting need.


Shared hosting

Using a shared hosting service means having your website placed on a server together with other websites. You will all share the server’s services, and as long as neither of the websites will use resources excessively, there will be no problems.

Shared hosting works by renting a part of the disk space, which is usually what is being paid. Price offers might differ depending on the disk space you are purchasing. Disk space is the only resource that you own, because all other elements, such as processor and memory, are being shared with the other users on the server. Sharing a server in the online world is almost the same as sharing an apartment in the offline world: you own a room, your housemate owns another room, but the kitchen, the bathroom and the living room area are used by both.

The benefit of using shared hosting is that prices are cheaper, as you pay only for a part of the server. When your website is at the beginning of its journey, it doesn’t need so many resources. The disadvantage of sharing a server is that you don’t have any control on what might happen, if the server is down or if the other websites placed on the same server with yours use too many resources and make your access speed decrease dramatically. That is why you need to find a trusted hosting provider.


Dedicated/owned hosting

Another option you can use for your website hosting is having a dedicated server. Simply put, this means having a server only for your needs, and all its resources are yours. The dedicated server is actually a virtual machine created on a physical computer, whose parts of the hard drive, memory and processing power have been allocated to your specific needs.

The advantage of the dedicated server is that the resources allocated to your virtual machine run only for you, so resources are no longer shared with other users, thus your website is better protected.

Server resources are defined by the web hosting package you buy: if you pay more, you get more.  Depending on the complexity of your website, you will choose what kind of server you need. But there is another issue: if shared hosting administration is done by the hosting company, having a dedicated server implies administrating the process yourself.

The dedicated server has the disadvantage that it requires more management knowledge than the shared server, since the shared server has all the administration and the troubleshooting of the firm you rented your disk space from. The dedicated server can be bought without administration services, which is cheaper, but more complicated, or together with the management provided by the company from which you are purchasing your hosting, which adds to the budget.

In the end, your hosting need is described by the size of your website, the popularity of the content you publish and the number of online visitors that you expect. If you have an online business with hundreds of thousands of views per month, there is a big chance you will need a dedicated server. But if you own a small website or blog, there is no real necessity to buy anything other than a shared server hosting. In any case, whenever you need hosting, you can find the best webhosting services at Sibername.

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