Web Hosting – Which Type is Best?
In order to create a Website with WordPress, or any other type of Website software, you’re going to need Web hosting. I’ve talked about this before; Web hosting is simply rental of drive space on a computer that is connected to the Internet. When you upload the files that make up your Website to a Web hosting company’s server, your site will be publicly accessible from the Internet. It’s a basic service that every Website needs, and there are many options available for how to obtain Web hosting – some are free, some are inexpensive, and some cost hundreds of dollars a month, but all have their advantages and disadvantages.
When you’re starting out in your attempts to work online from home, you’re likely going to be on a budget, and you’re going to want to start out as inexpensively as possible. That makes sense, but the cheapest possible option may not serve you well. What you want to find is the Web hosting plan that works best for you, given your budget. Saving money for the sake of being cheap won’t necessarily help you, and neither will buying a more powerful or robust Web hosting plan than you actually need. Below, I’ll go over some basic options to help you decide which type of Web hosting may work best for you and your budget.
Web Hosting Types
Web hosting types can basically be broken down into three categories – shared, VPS, and dedicated. I’ll talk about each of them below.
Shared Web Hosting – Shared Web hosting is a system where you and an unknown number of people are sharing the same resources on a Web server. You will likely be sharing an IP address with other Websites that are unknown to you, and your site will also be sharing the computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM) and Central Processing Unit (CPU) with these other sites. There are advantages and disadvantages to using shared Web hosting.
The biggest advantage of shared Web hosting is the price, which is quite inexpensive. In fact, in some cases, you can even get shared Web hosting for free. The free hosting often has a number of strings attached; you may not be able to have your site hosted by using its own domain name. In addition, your site may be forced by your Web hosting company to display advertising over which you have no control. I strongly discourage using any free Web hosting plans, especially since paid shared Web hosting often starts at less than $5 per month.
Paid shared Web hosting plans will allow you to have your own access to your site, files and email settings, usually via a control panel known as CPanel. It’s easy to use and there’s lots of documentation on the Internet if you need help. I’ve seen shared Web hosting plans starting at as little as about $2.50 per month if you’re willing to pay a year in advance, so this can be a great place to start if you’re just starting out with affiliate marketing.
There are several downsides to using shared Web hosting. You have to share system resources with other sites, so if any site on the system starts drawing more traffic than the system can support, the performance and load times of all the sites on the server can suffer. In some cases, it’s possible for a single Website to cause all of the sites on the server to stop working. In many shared Web hosting systems, all of the sites share a single IP address. This can become a problem if one of the sites on the server is sending out spam email messages. This may result in some Internet Service Providers (ISP) to block that IP address from their systems, meaning their customers may not be able to access your site or receive your email. Shared Web hosting is a great place to start if you’re new to making money online, but if you’re going to use shared Web hosting, it’s a good idea to see if you can get a plan that allows you, for a few extra dollars per month, to get a dedicated IP address. This will protect you from the possibility of other users on the system tarnishing your own IP address.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) – A VPS system is sort of a shared Web hosting system, in that there may be more than one user on a single server. The difference between shared Web hosting and a VPS is that with the latter, each user is assigned their own separate set of system resources. When you sign up for a VPS system you will be assigned a certain percentage of the server’s CPU, RAM and hard drive space, and your resources are isolated from those of other users on the machine. That will always ensure that you have a minimum set of system resources available to you at any given time, making it much less likely that some other user on the system will compromise your Website in any way. It’s also common to get a dedicated IP address with a VPS, which also protects you from other users on the system. A VPS costs more than shared Web hosting, and may start at $50 per month or so, but you get a lot more resources than you do with shared Web hosting. I’m currently using a VPS for this site, as well as about a dozen others that I own.
Dedicated Web Server – As the name suggests, you have your own computer, sitting on a rack at the Web hosting company’s data center. It’s a complete machine, and no one but you uses it for anything. A dedicated Web server is quite configurable; you can decide what kind of processor the system will have, the amount of memory and drive space it will have and what kind of software will be installed on it. As you might expect, a dedicated Web server is the most expensive Web hosting option, typically costing several hundred dollars per month. On the plus side, you’ll have lots of performance and no problems with other users on the system. You likely won’t need a dedicated Web server unless you’re drawing tens of thousands of visitors to your site each month or you have a hundred or more Websites that you need to host.
Web Hosting Summary
For most new affiliate marketers, shared Web hosting will be a good place to start. I highly recommend that if you’re going to use shared Web hosting, you should get a dedicated IP address. Ask your Web hosting company about this before signing a contract. Once you start to grow your online business, you can expand to a VPS later. Perhaps, if you’re really successful, you’ll eventually need a dedicated Web server.
For now, start with the Web hosting system that works best for you. To learn more about Web hosting and making money through affiliate marketing, you should consider joining Wealthy Affiliate. You’ll receive comprehensive training, but the best feature of Wealthy Affiliate is the free Web hosting. You can learn, earn and get your hosting all at once, and you can sign up for free.