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[ Detailed ] Choose best hosting for your web application

While working with many entrepreneurs, start-up founders, business leader having less web technical knowledge we often got asked the question, ‘which type of hosting should we purchase to meet our need of having a high performance secured website ?’.

There are several web hosting packages available, such as shared hosting, VPS, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting. And your hosting requirements will depend on the kind of applications you want to run on your hosting account. For a less technical person choosing one is difficult. In this post I will be writing about all these hosting types and a guide to choosing one.

What is a Web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows anyone to post a website or web page on to the Internet. A web host service provider provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet. Websites are hosted, or stored, on special computers called servers.

Terms related to Web hosting

First let us understand common terms associated with a web hosting:

  1. CPU Core: CPU (central processing unit) is where all processing takes place. The more CPU core the server has the faster will be processing.
  2. RAM: RAM is random access memory available in the hosting.
  3. Disk Space / Hard Disk: The physical memory available for storage of codebase, database, email, multimedia and other files.
  4. Bandwidth: The amount of data transfer allocated to your web host.
  5. Up-time: The amount of time server will be available, the more the better. If the server goes down user will not able to access the web application. So most of the service provider offer 99.9 to 100% uptime.
  6. Dedicated, Shared IP: IP address provided for your hosting. If you have a shared IP then the same IP address will also be allocated to other website, but in case of dedicated IP the ip address is dedicated to your website. When you’re using a shared Ip there is a risk of getting blacklisted  by search engines because someone else on the server engaging in such practices as spamming may get the entire IP address blacklisted.
  7. Hosted Domains, Sub domains, Parked Domains: Hosted domains is number of domains you can host in the hosting. Sub domains refer to number of sub-domains like, that you can create and host. Parked domains refer to number of domains that are not in use and simply refer to primary domain.
  8. Server, Database: Server refer to the server installed in the hosting, like for example apache, nginx etc.The type of server you need depends on the programming language used in your web application.
    Database refer to the database that is installed in the server by default. The database you used should be installed in the package you choose.
  9. Data-center: Data-center refer to location where the server is located. The nearer the datacenter is to the point of access the faster it will be.

What is Shared Web Hosting ?

As the name itself suggests, in a shared hosting the host resources is shared among many users. The host has a predefined configuration (operating system, cpu, server, database) which cannot be changed, and it is partitioned into fixed disk space, bandwidth; and the cpu, RAM is shared among multiple users. So suppose if there is website using higher cpu time then you can expect a slow processing of your website.

Also the IP address is shared among all websites in the server. When you’re using a shared Ip there is a risk of getting blacklisted  by search engines because someone else on the server engaging in such practices as spamming may get the entire IP address blacklisted.

What is VPS Web Hosting ?

With a VPS hosting you are still on a shared resource, but you can configure the server according to your need. The overall CPU time and RAM are shared across all accounts on the machine, but at the same time, portions of those resources are always dedicated to each account. This allows for more power and flexibility than being on a shared account.

What is Dedicated Web Hosting ?

With a dedicated hosting you rent a server which is 100% dedicated to your needs. While purchasing a dedicated host you can choose the CPU cores, RAM, Disk space and Bandwidth. You will have root/administrative access to the server, so you can install operating system of your choice and customize the setup.

Advantage of dedicated hosting is all resources are used by your application, so if the host is properly chosen and configured then the application will be secured and fast.

What is Cloud Web Hosting ?

Cloud hosting is different from other type of hosting. In a cloud hosting you get on-demand delivery of computing power and memory.
While starting you can start with a very basic instance of host. As the application starts receiving more traffic the resources can be increased on the fly i.e autoscalling of resources is possible with a small configurations.

The advantage of such type of hosting is you don’t have to pay for huge infrastructure, pay as you use. Server gets automatically scaled up during high spikes of traffic and gets scaled down when traffic decreases.

Choosing a web hosting

  • Portfolio websites generally uses HTML, WordPress / Drupal / Joomal / other CMS and are light weight. It can be hosted in a shared hosting.
  • Websites with less functionality build using any CMS, having reasonable traffic can be hosted in shared hosting.
  • E-Commerce website using WooCommerce, E-Commerce or related plugins with reasonable traffic can be hosted in shared hosting. If the traffic increases then it should be transferred to dedicated hosting plan.
  • E-Commerce website using Magento should be hosted in a VPS / dedicated hosting. As magento requires higher processing power and hosting them with shared host may slow down the website.
  • Websites build using MVC frameworks like Laravel, Phalcon, Zend, Python Django and related should be hosted in dedicated or cloud hosting as per the functionality and traffic.

The above is just an outline, we should choose a host which should be able to server our traffic and meet our technical needs.

Want to add some points or need help with it, please comment below. We will be happy to hear it.

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  • Carlos Reply

    change the "choosing a web hosting" text with a table, it will be more usefull

    2017-02-28 23:21:07
    • Nikhil Agrawal

      Thank you Carlos for your suggestion. It is indeed a good idea.

      2017-03-01 10:13:42

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