If you are about to launch a new website, you may be bewildered by the different types of web hosting that you can choose from. There’s shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud hosting, plus other, specialised types, like dedicated WordPress hosting. At the same time, you may also have a choice between Linux and Windows hosting, which makes the decision even more difficult to make. In this post, we’ll explain what the different types of hosting are so that you can make a more informed choice of which is best for you.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting is enabled by dividing up the storage space on a web server and allocating sections to different users to host their websites. You can think of it as renting out a small office in a giant office block. Depending upon the type of server used and the policies of different web hosts, the number of user accounts hosted on shared server can range from 30 to several hundred.
Besides sharing the storage space, users also share the servers’ resources, e.g. it’s memory and processing power. The good news, financially, is that running and maintaining costs are also shared, and this is what makes shared hosting the cheapest form of hosting you can buy.
Shared hosting is the most popular form and works perfectly well for most websites. Most hosting companies make sure that servers are not overloaded so that no matter how busy all the different websites are on that server, there will be the capacity to keep them all running.
To make sure sharing works efficiently, there are often restrictions on what you can do on a shared server. These include limits on the number of websites you can host and the storage space you can use. Some web hosts also restrict bandwidth, the amount of information you can send to users in any billing cycle, which can be a problem if you have lots of visitors.
Shared hosting is not suitable for everyone. If you have a website that is likely to experience heavy traffic; need to run high-performing applications from your server; or need to configure your server in a particular way, then you need to look at alternative hosting solutions.
Besides hosting your website, most shared hosting accounts also provide you with email hosting and there is often a range of other useful services, such as enhanced security and website backups, that can also be included or added on to your package.
What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS)?
VPS is a type of hosting solution that combines the best features of both shared and dedicated hosting. Like shared hosting, there is a physical server whose resources are divided up between account holders, enabling it to be a low-cost solution. However, that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.
What makes VPS different is that, rather than getting an allocation of storage space on a single server, the host creates each user their own virtual server. A VPS user, therefore, gets their own operating system, dedicated storage, memory and processing resources, just as they would with a dedicated server. Whilst this is on a smaller scale than with a dedicated server, it is significantly more than you get on shared hosting.
The advantage over shared hosting is that, as each VPS is a self-contained computing environment, your site’s performance can’t be affected when other sites are busy and your data won’t be put at risk if the other accounts on the physical server are vulnerable. It also means you can configure the virtual server in the most appropriate way for your business and run custom applications.
VPS also gives you the option for fully managed hosting, full administrative access and remote server access. Importantly, the virtual nature of VPS makes it one of the best types of hosting for quick recovery in the case of a server failure or other disaster, which is vital for businesses that need to keep their websites and critical applications available.
Services such as email are included in many packages, as are a range of security features.
What is dedicated hosting?
When you opt for dedicated hosting you are choosing to use a full server entirely for your own use. With the kinds of servers available today, this gives you exceptional performance as well as bags of storage space to run your website or apps. However, whilst some companies need these types of servers, for many smaller companies it can be akin to buying a double decker bus to drop your kids off at school.
As a dedicated server is entirely for your use, you have a great deal of freedom with what you can do with it. In this sense, it can be tailored to your specific needs. You can configure the server as you require and run the apps of your choice. The only restrictions are the capacities of the server itself and the limitations of the software you run.
If you need a dedicated server, it is also very likely that you will be running critical applications that need to be available all the time. For this reason, you need to choose a service that provides server monitoring, backup facilities and 24/7 technical support. If you choose eUKhost, you also get 100% uptime guarantee, backed by SLA.
Another advantage of dedicated servers is that they are more secure. You have the ability to deploy tailored security measures, such as anti-virus and firewall configurations, whilst at the same time, you won’t have to worry about vulnerable neighbours as you might on shared hosting. For those needing enhanced security, it’s also good to know that the data centres in which dedicated servers are housed have physical security measures in place too, including biometric authentication and security guards.
What is cloud hosting?
Cloud hosting is where your website, data and applications are stored on a network of servers which you access over the internet. Whilst it uses virtualisation to achieve this, unlike VPS which uses a single physical server, the cloud uses hundreds, sometimes thousands of physical servers all linked together in a giant network, often across several different geographical locations. As a result, users can have virtually unlimited storage and computing resources at their disposal.
The advantage here is that businesses are not restricted by their physical hardware as they would be with dedicated servers. If there was a surge in demand for their services, dedicated servers have a limit to which they can operate, with cloud hosting, you can simply bring more of the network into play to ensure that performance continues uninterrupted. This ability to scale up or down as needed is one of the key benefits of cloud computing and the fact that it is paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis means it is highly cost-effective, enabling smaller companies to compete with larger ones.
Cloud computing isn’t ideal for every single type of use. Whilst capacity is improved, higher performance can still be achieved with dedicated servers. And for organisations that deal with highly sensitive data, such as police or hospital records, it may not be permissible to store that information on servers which can be accessed over the internet. However, it is possible to create private cloud networks and even have private-public hybrid networks.
The other big advantage of cloud networking is that it makes it easy to backup and restore data. Cloud networks can provide 100% uptime and can also be used to create a super-quick, low-cost alternative to a backup data centre.
What is Managed hosting?
Managed hosting is an additional service where the initial setup, day-to-day maintenance and management of servers is taken care of by the web host rather than by the client. This includes things like updating and patching the oper
If you have just launched a new website, it is going to take time for it to become established on the internet and start attracting visitors. However, there are quite a few things you can do to speed up this process, helping your site get better search engine rankings and more traffic much sooner. Here are 10 SEO tips specifically chosen with new websites in mind.
1. Target low competition keywords at the outset
When you first launch your site, it will have a very low authority on Google, and this means it will rank less well than established competitors for high competition keywords. Whilst there is nothing to stop you targeting those keywords, the quickest way to generate new traffic to your site is to target those keywords which are less competitive.
You can check how competitive a keyword is by using Google’s Keyword Planner. This will show you whether competition for a term is high, medium or low. Finding keywords which are less competitive gives you more of a chance of ranking for them and getting the traffic which they send. If you only target highly competitive keywords, you may not rank at all and thus get no organic traffic in the early days. This method is a good technique to use whilst your site builds up authority.
2. Always put your main keyword in your page’s title tag
Title tags and other meta information are used by search engines to determine the subject matter of each page or post on your website. It’s absolutely crucial, therefore, that when you create your new website, that the page title tag has the most important keyword or term included. This way, when someone searches for that term, search engines will see that your page has relevant content.
There’s a definite link between keywords in the title tag and search engine rankings, so make the most of this technique. You should also make sure that you include your keyword in the page’s meta description.
3. Write titles for searchers, not searches engines
Getting ranked number one in Google does not guarantee you any traffic. You’ll only get people coming to your website if your result gets clicked on. So, when you write the title of your page or blog post, you have to write it in a way that will make the reader want to click on it. It has to grab attention and be compelling.
If you run an online store, you can maximise sales by writing titles that attract searchers who are ready to buy. To do this, simply add the word buy to your keyword, for example, ‘buy handmade chocolate’. If someone includes the word ‘buy’ in the search term, titles like these are much more likely to get clicked on and result in a sale.
4. Make sure your title doesn’t get cut off
Space is precious in search engine results and when it comes to titles, only about the first 70 characters get shown – sometimes less for mobile devices. The length for meta descriptions is about 100 characters.
If your titles and meta descriptions are too long, they’ll get cut off midway through. This can have a negative effect on click-through rates as searchers want all the information in front of them before deciding whether to click or not.
Make sure you keep within the limits and, if possible, put your keywords near the beginning. That way, they’ll always be shown.
5. Don’t put things in the way of your content
If searchers have chosen to visit your site, they expect to find the content they have searched for as soon as they land on your page. To make sure this happens, don’t force them to scroll half way down the page before seeing the title and don’t bombard them with adverts and pop-ups.
Google pays particular attention to what it calls ‘above the fold’ content: i.e., the content you see before scrolling. They don’t want to see browser-sized images with no text, nor do they want it full of header ads.
To rank well and to keep visitors on your site, give them what they are looking for the moment they land.
6. Optimise your images
A lot of people search for products by doing an image search. If they see something they like the look of, they’ll visit the site directly from the Google’s image results. If you sell products on your website and have lots of images, you can turn these into ranking opportunities by optimising them.
All you need to do is add a description to the alt text tag, for example, <img src=“photo-of-handmade-chocolate.png” alt=“delicious homemade chocolate” />
As you can see from the example above, it can also help to change the actual image name from the number given by your camera DCSN-846368.png to something search engines can read, e.g., ‘photo-of-handmade-chocolate.png
7. Use accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
You can improve your search engine rankings by improving the speed at which your website loads. One of the best ways to do this for mobile devices is by using accelerated mobile pages. These are lightweight versions of web pages designed to load very quickly on phones.
AMP pages already rank highly in mobile searches, so don’t miss out. 66% of our surfing is now done on mobile devices.
Another key to faster loading times is to make sure that your web host runs your website on a high-performance, fast loading server.
8. Keep your website fresh
Search engines like to promote websites that are regularly updated with new or refreshed content. If you’ve got a new website, you won’t have anything that needs updating straight away, but it can be a big help, SEO-wise, to add new content to it regularly.
One of the best ways to do this is through adding a weekly or bi-weekly blog post. The sooner you begin to develop a blog, the better it can be for your ranking. And remember, your blog post can be used to send people to your products.
9. Add internal links
There’s a well-known phrase in SEO called ‘link juice’ and this refers to the fact that when you link from one page to another, some of the ranking power of the linking page is passed to the linked-to page.
So, if you have a page that gets lots of traffic and want other pages to rank higher, add an internal link from the high-ranking page to the pages whose ranking you want to see increased. Don’t overdo it, though: too many links will dilute the link juice.
10. Submit a sitemap to Google Search Console
Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, is one of the most important set of tools you can use to help your site’s SEO. One of the things it enables you to do is upload a sitemap of your website.
When you upload a sitemap, Google will then crawl your site and index all the pages, posts, images and other content it can find. Only once these things are indexed can they be found on Google or turn up in search results. If you resubmit your sitemap every time you update your website, Google will always have an up-to-date knowledge of your content.
You can open a Google Search Console account for free.
If you have just set up a new website, hopefully the ten tips given in this post will have shown you some of the ways to help your site start ranking in search engine results and how to get searchers to click through to your site.
If you are looking for hosting that delivers faster loading times for your website, visit our homepage to see our wide range of affordable hosting solutions.
With other forms of hosting, particularly dedicated hosting, they can be offered as an option. Sometimes, companies prefer their in-house team to manage the servers, whereas others find it more convenient to leave it to the web host.
What is WordPress hosting?
WordPress is a platform that has its own quirks and specific needs and WordPress hosting or dedicated WordPress hosting, as it is also called, is a shared hosting service specifically for the platform.
With this type of hosting you will find that the servers are optimised for improved WordPress performance (quicker loading websites) and that the hosts provide services such as pre-installation, automatic updates and WordPress focused security, such as MTvScan, that protects against the vulnerabilities of the platform.
Linux vs Windows hosting
Many of the hosting options above will also let you choose between a Linux or a Windows operating system for your server. In reality, the one you pick depends very much on the software you intend to run. For example, if you are going to use WordPress to create your website, you will need to choose Linux.
The reasons we mention this is that, if you choose the wrong type, your software may not function on your server. We also mention it because those who are not familiar with hosting may assume that because Windows is the operating system on most people’s computers, it’s the one you need to choose, however, most websites, are actually run on Linux based servers.
From reading this article you should now have a clearer understanding of the different types of web hosting available, the differences between them and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Hopefully, this should have given you an insight into which type of hosting is most suitable for your needs.