Web hosting is where your website lives. Think of it as a building and your website is one of the units in it. Here let us discuss the 3 different types of web hosting that are suitable for small business owners or even home-business side hustlers. We will be using the building analogy to simplify your understanding of web hosting. If you do not know what is web hosting, give a 3 minute read on what is web hosting before continue reading. After reading this, you will have a much better understanding for you to choose which hosting types to choose from for yourself.
1. Shared Hosting
Let’s start by using the building analogy. As mentioned earlier, shared hosting is where you rent a room in one unit. It is like renting a room in HDB and not the whole unit. There are limitations as privacy is concerned. The same goes for websites, however on a much larger scale. When you host your website with any shared hosting plans from any web hosting company like Hostinger, Siteground and many others. Your website will be on one server together with thousands of other users that purchased shared hosting plans. This means you share the resources that the server provides.
For example, shared hosting plans usually is powered by a computer with 2 CPU cores and 1 GB RAM average. The CPU and the RAM are what powers the servers, it determines the speed of your website when someone visits. Let’s get back to the building analogy, a CPU core is like the water tank for the building and the RAM is the electricity. See, if you rent a room in real life. It is sufficient for your daily needs and also for other roommates. Heck, we never even think of such issues when we want a rent a room. Who would ask the landlord, “Are the water and electricity available?” of course it is! or worst, “..is it enough for everyone?”
Again, the same goes in shared hosting, it will be enough for 90% of website owners for their website to run. In this case, a server may host thousands of users, some maybe hundreds of thousands depends on where you got your hosting from, share the same resources, which are 2 CPU cores and 1GB RAM. Your phone has more power than this!
This is why most of us will get by with shared hosting and the reason why it is so cheap and affordable is your website will be on the same server as other users that use shared hosting plans. If you are looking in creating a static website just to display your core services and brief introduction or have less than 1000 visitors per month, shared hosting is perfect. Note that 1000 visitors per month is a lot! Imagine having 1000 people visit your house every month. Many of the experts have concluded that shared hosting is perfect for the mass majority. The other types which we will discuss are more for power users like selling online, booking systems that require more power or else their visitors will experience slow loading website.
Many web hosting companies do offer different tiers of shared hosting plans. The higher tier usually comes with more features and also more resources per server. If you are looking for e-mails and subdomains like (https://name.yoursite.com – “name” is the subdomain) most higher-tier plans provide these features.
There are two companies which I recommend to get in Singapore, Hostinger and Siteground. Both have datacenters in Singapore, meaning if you are a local business owner no matter the size, you should have your website hosting stored locally. Hostinger, provides dead-cheap and basic features enough for most of us while Siteground offers more speed and features as they are using the latest hardware and systems in their servers. But, at a much higher price. Suitable for power users but still want to save some for their next Nasi Lemak hunting with families.
2. VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server)
Don’t get intimidated by the term VPS. It is commonly misunderstood that VPS hosting is the higher tier than Cloud Hosting. In fact, VPS is somewhat similar to shared hosting but there are significant performance differences. So from what we have learned, shared hosting is where your website is hosted on the same server with shared resources. While VPS your website will host on the same server with dedicated resources. So instead of having shared resources, you are getting dedicated resources just for you. Hence the “private” terminology is used.
VPS users will still share a physical server in datacenters with other VPS users. Each user will benefit from their own resources depending on the plan the user purchased.
For example, each server has 35 CPU cores, again, depending on the VPS plans you got 2 CPU cores and 1GB RAM (we use this example), the server will isolate 2 cores and 1GB RAM for you and only you. Do you see the difference between shared hosting? What do you think of the performance spike here?
Yes, it is a lot faster since you don’t share your resources. However, there are a few caveats here. A VPS hosting requires technical skills to access and configure at the server level. Have you ever seen a movie where a so-called, hacker, has this black window in their computer with lines scrolling through as if they are hacking someone? Well, you will be facing that interface to work with which may be very intimidating for just having a website. Most of us just want a website running, without having to deal with these command prompts or codes if you want to call it.
Most web agencies use VPS to manage their client’s hosting, this is what we use whenever you get “host-with-us” plans. We will still consider this as shared hosting in our features. Since you are sharing our VPS server with other of our clients that use the “Basic” plan. However, you will notice that our hosting price plan is a lot higher than most of the other web hosting companies like Hostinger, Siteground and many others. This is because you don’t share resources with thousands of other strangers. Instead, you will share resources with only OUR clients, and also, we will do the setup and configuration for you so you can have fast loads of websites.
3. Cloud Hosting
This is the 2nd tier of hosting. The first tier is having your own server which is another whole different topic. To be honest, we don’t even use Cloud Hosting to host our client’s website due to its power and complexity for setting up, configurations, security, and many more. It is a powerhouse to host large enterprises like Netflix, Airbnb.. etc. Can you imagine the level of complexity is there?
However today, Cloud Hosting is made available for users who want powerful hosting and at the same time reduce the set-up and configurations at the server level mentioned earlier. This type of hosting is called Managed Cloud Hosting which companies like Cloudways provide.
Before we get more into Managed Cloud Hosting. We need to understand Cloud Hosting. Cloud Hosting is a well-known term for websites to host on the Cloud Platform but a few of us know that there are two different types which are Unmanaged Cloud Hosting and Managed Cloud Hosting.
Unmanaged Cloud Hosting usually is for IT experts as it provides 100% control to host anything and not just only websites. Where else, Managed Cloud Hosting, is a service for simpler usage for websites, apps, e-Commerce, and many more with the advantage of high computing power. This is where Managed Cloud Hosting has a premium price because they do the configuration/setup at the server level for you.
Some of the web-agency did not disclose where is your website is hosted as, this is due to the complex terminology, understanding of web-hosting and how the whole system works. However, they will let you know at least which company your website is hosted with, some may claim they host on their own company which is basically white-labeling their hosting provider. This sketchy information provided may hinder your website’s ability to upscale in the future.
Summary of 3 types of hosting to choose from.
1. Shared hosting.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the types of hosting, shared hosting is everyone’s starting point for their website. Shared hosting is suitable for beginners who want to just get their simple portfolio website up and running. 99% of you do not need hosting higher than this.