What is hosting? The Which-What-Why

Selecting a website hosting option for your new or existing website can be a daunting task. Which hosting plan is best? Where can I find fast, reliable website hosting? What company should I host with? Is it difficult to set up a website hosting plan? These are just some of the questions we find clients trying to answer. We'd like to give you our own unbiased opinion. We want you to get the best website hosting your online endeavor requires. Certainly we want your business, but we also think there are many good hosting companies available. The goal here is to enable you to know what are the right questions to ask. And provide deeper insight into what makes a hosting company work.

What is a hosting company?

A hosting company hosts websites, mobile/phone applications, data and any type of media that can be accessed on the World Wide Web. A hosting company provides the systems that allow a browser to render website content. From your desktop computer to your tablet and phone.

A hosting company can provide the systems that send and receive email. An email system is dependent on a server and an assortment of software layers that work in concert with "the internet" to effectively and securely deliver personal email data over the World Wide Web network. The hosting company allows your devices to access email, stored on the hosting companies server(s) through a browser or an email client. An email client is any email application that runs on your device or computer.

Think of a hosting company as an online resource providing the systems that allow a web designer, web developer to build and publish content on-line through the website or application they have set up.

A web hosting company will have a selection of hosting solutions or packages that allow your idea, application, website to be created. Not all hosting packages are the same. At least not in the amount of storage, memory and processing power offered. Let's take a look at a few options.

What hosting package is best for my needs?

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is best for new websites or small business websites where nothing is being sold on the website and traffic is below an average of 5 GB per month. We are talking websites found in local search. A blog with at most moderate traffic. Upgrading is easy. When in doubt, select the lowest shared solution and go from there.

If you already have a website and it is not performing well (ex: slow to load), talk to us first. We will gladly set up a version of your website on our server so you can test out what is creating the issue and no charge.

Shared hosting is the most popular hosting package. Shared hosting is a way of allowing multiple websites to share the resources of a single server (simply put). This allows cost saving to be passed onto the customer. For example, let's say we have a server that has 164 GB of memory, 3 Terabytes of storage. When we consider the average web page is 3mb, and a basic small business website can contain 5 pages (like carpet cleaning business) including the front page, about page, contact page and info page, maybe 20mb of images, a CMS (like WordPress) at 12mb, add additional features like forms, plugins and image presentation enhancements adding an extra 100mb, we can say a website can be at least 147mb. That's relatively small in todays world of 2020. So how many of those websites can we add to that server where all websites are sharing server resources? Exactly 20,408 websites. Now, that volume wouldn't leave the server with any room to manage resources like processing power. Memory could be maxed out. So we would limit the server to 80% of that volume if we are really managing resources in your best interest. So we limit the total website count to  14,285. That's 14,285 paying customers sharing the same server.

We here at ParsonsHosting have nowhere near that on any of our shared servers, but we want you to understand that when a shared option is selected, there could be many, many clients on the same server. You, the customer, have little to no control how the neighboring websites are used. A customer may drive many thousands of visitors to their website, all consuming shared resources. Multiply that by a thousand websites and suddenly the server performance is compromised enough where website performance suffers for all. Because shared hosting is sold at a deep discount typically, there is almost no financial gain by the hosting provider to mitigate poor performance when profits are made through upgrading your account to select servers where strict limits are in place and the volume of websites are kept to a minimum due in part to the premium fee paid by you the customer.

But you say "I'll just find better shared hosting". Okay, that is true. But you also have to move your own data or find a company who is willing to do that for free in exchange for your business and that isn't an easy option to pursue. We at ParsonsHosting will move your website for free as we have the knowledge and resources to do it, but not all hosting companies want to or can assume that level of responsibility in exchange for a hosting fee. There are/can-be additional costs involved.

Customers do come and go in the shared hosting level of service. Not all websites are successful. Shared hosting provides a reliable entry level hosting resource for new websites or websites with modest data requirements manifest in visitor volume and processing requirements.

Punchline:

Our shared hosting options put a limit on the available bandwidth any one website can consume. If we detect your website is at a limit, we reach out to you to find out if you need to upgrade, if you are aware your website performance is spiking and in some select cases we take action to ensure nothing malicious is occurring like referral spam or other attacks by outside parties that can compromise your websites performance. We are preemptive in order to maintain the quality hosting experience for all accounts on any given server. And if your website is successful, lets put it on a package that better serves the overall performance and customer experience.

VPS Hosting

VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a server configuration where you are still sharing resources but the server behaves more like a dedicated server. A dedicated server being the most aggressive type of website/application hosting (see below for dedicated server).

A VPS is arguably the best option for WordPress and any other content management framework. What makes a VPS out perform a shared hosting environment is in how the resources like processing power, memory and even the software the server runs on is dedicated to your portion of the server. A VPS is essentially a shared server where resources are dedicated.

If your website is busy handling financial transactions or there are multiple contributors simultaneously publishing or submitting content, a shared hosting package all too often falls short of affording the performance that facilitates a fast, responsive experience.

The cost of a VPS is determined by the necessary resources. So, if you just need 5GB of disk-space and 1GB of memory and a single core processor, then your yearly expense could be less than 150.00 and performance will be far better than a shared environment that could cost as much as $70 a year or more.

Punchline:

A VPS is a "vanilla" hosting solution. You will need to load and operating system, Php, MySQL and an assortment of utilities that allow the server to not only deliver and website, but send notification emails from submitted forms. All requiring some familiarity with command line implementation.

Because the entire server is shared, performance can be impacted by performance requirements of neighbor applications. A VPS is ideal for an application requiring processing power where visitor traffic is sustained and not expected to spike sharply. EX: you are not the purveyor of Super-Bowl ticket sales online. If you're selling clothes, running specials and could have multiple transaction occurring at once, a VPS can handle your needs no problem.

We provide managed VPS solutions that include everything you need starting at $500 annually. We install and configure everything you need to have a great performing e-commerce or busy news  website.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a hard-metal system entirely yours. The entire disk, all memory and processors. A good choice is when security has to be better than established standards. If large volumes of traffic must be balanced and distributed then a dedicated server is your best option. An additional reason for a dedicated server is your application requires custom development of server software for managing large subscription based applications, shared content or social media.

If you expect rapid growth from 1 visitor to many thousands then a dedicated server is your best option. Try to avoid having to upgrade from a VPS to a dedicated server at all costs. The process will cost a tremendous amount of money in addition to all the business lost due to an insufficient server.

Fees for a dedicated server are typically billed monthly as the size and requirements can vary based on demand.

Our dedicated server options start at $176.00 per month. Come with a fully managed option. We provide ongoing support as needed. We work closely with you and your team providing the most reelable and efficient ground-level application support available.

Punchline:

A dedicated serve is best for those who expect or are currently managing large volumes of traffic measured in the hundreds, thousands or more. Maybe you have an IT staff who can and will provision the server but you need a back system of support.


Let us know what we missed. Talk to us with any questions. We love to help you out and provide knowledgable service.

Note:

Under the hood, all website hosting companies are the same. We all run the same software, provide the same or identical provisioning systems. We all connect ti the same internet. What makes one different than another?

The difference lies in how systems are managed. Hoe the shared servers are managed. The difference lies in how large or small the hosting company is. Generally, the smaller the company, the more service conscious and the better the tech support. That's not to say larger companies don't provide great service or have competent technical support. The challenges in managing a massive customer base of customers in the millions versus a small company with customers in the hundreds can be drastic.

As a smaller hosting provider, we are passionate about web hosting and how your experience prevents web hosting from becoming an after thought.

We look forward to reading the server log reports and helping clients get past website performance issues server side.

We keep our shared servers running smooth and fast operating well below capacity. You hosting option should serve your hosting needs until it's time to upgrade. Not because performance is suffering.

You can always expect to reach the same people at ParsonsHosting as long as you are online. That is, if one of us doesn't die first! Seriously.. you can always call and ask to speak with Chris Parsons anytime. He will take almost all calls and if not, he'll get back to you same day.

Let us know what you think.

 



Sunday, February 23, 2020





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