Every website needs to be hosted on some type of server in order to become publicly accessible on the internet to users and customers. This is usually accomplished via renting out storage space and computational power from a third party company.
There are many different hosting setups you can choose from to take into consideration when deciding what company to host with. In this blog we will go over the 4 most common hosting types and the average costs associated with them in the UK.
|Type of Website Hosting||Average Cost of Hosting in the UK|
|Shared Website Hosting||£3 - £10/month|
|Virtual Private Server (VPS) Website Hosting||£10 - £45/month|
|Cloud Server Website Hosting||£10 - £350/month|
|Dedicated Website Hosting||£65 - £200/month|
The cost of hosting varies, depending on the service provider and other factors such as server power and networking performance.
Shared Website Hosting is a hosting setup where there are multiple sites hosted on a single server. It depends on the service provider, but typically there are hundreds or thousands of other sites on the same "super server."
The advantage of shared hosting is that the hosting costs are relatively cheap because of the fact that you are sharing the cost of a server between all of the other sites hosted on your server. This is great because, servers, especially high performance servers, with large amounts of computational resources and bandwidth available are usually costly to rent for just one site.
However, there are also quite a few disadvantages of shared hosting, one being the fact that your site will have to compete for computational resources such as RAM and CPU usage. Your site will also have to compete for network resources such as bandwidth with the other sites hosted on the same server. This means that if your site receives a lot of traffic, there may not be enough resources available on the server at that current time to support your site as there may be other sites on the server hogging all of the resources.
Another disadvantage of shared hosting is the security element. Because there are hundreds or thousands of sites hosted on the same server, if even one of those sites is attacked and becomes compromised it can potentially put every site on that server at risk.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting is when one physical server is split up into multiple, separate virtual servers, each with their own dedicated amount of computational resources assigned to them from the physical server.
A VPS is a stepping stone between shared hosting and having your own dedicated server. Even though your server still has to share computational resources with the other sites on your virtual server instance, your virtual server does not have to compete for resources with other virtual servers on your physical server. This is because your virtual server instance has a dedicated amount of computational resources assigned to it from the physical server.
Also, with a VPS you can scale up or down the computational power of your virtual server up but only up to the maximum capacity of how many computational resources the physical server has.
A Cloud server is server software that runs in a virtualised environment. Where instead of having one physical server to host websites or web applications for one company or individual. A cloud server is a virtual server that runs with other virtual servers on one or more physical machines managed by a Cloud vendor. These virtual servers can be paid for and used by different companies or individuals wanting to host their own project.
The main benefits of using a cloud server is that with most Cloud servers you also get a support team that looks after the maintenance of the physical server. This maintenance typically includes, carrying out updates on the hyper-visor, resolving issues with the physical server and managing connectivity. This gives peace of mind that your server is updated and secure and that if there is any downtime on the server or issues affecting physical server performance then usually the maintenance team's monitoring will pick this up and resolve the issue.
Choosing to use a Cloud server also gives the user greater expand-ability for later down the line. This is because a cloud provider partitions up the available storage and computational power of a physical server into multiple, virtual servers, if a user wishes to have more or less storage or computation power then more or less can simply be allocated to that user's virtual server from the cloud server. Even though this does still increase the user's bill to upgrade their virtual server, there is usually no initial cost for the upgrade and the cost for the upgrade is far less than if you were to upgrade or buy a more powerful physical server.
The difference between a Cloud Server and a VPS, although quite similar, is that a Cloud Server's scaling is not limited to the maximum capacity of how many computational resources a single physical server has as Cloud Servers are spanned across multiple physical servers.
Dedicated Hosting is where one site has an entire physical server to itself and does not have to share bandwidth or the computational resources of the server with any other sites.
Dedicated Hosting is great for sites that are resource intensive. Examples of this could be sites that experience high volumes of traffic visiting the site or sites that carry out large database queries/changes that need to be routinely carried out.
With all of the physical server's resources at the single site's disposal, the site should not experience any slow down when carrying out such activities. However, these benefits are reflected in the price of Dedicated Hosting...
Overall, if you have an unlimited budget to spend on hosting, then you should be going for dedicated hosting, with dedicated hosting you will not have to share with any other sites and will experience little to no slow downs, even with sites that experience regular amounts of traffic or are database intensive.
However, if you are on a low budget and you just need to get your site our there, then shared hosting is the cheapest option for you, although performance and security factors will be the main drawback here.
Lastly, if your budget is a concern for you, but you also care about the performance and security of your site, then cloud server hosting is the right option for you.
Overall we recommend for a good middle ground between all the options which offers the best of both worlds, in terms of security and performance purposes, using a cloud server to host your website or web application.
Not only does using a cloud server take away the stress of having to manage, but you also have control over your server when you want it, such as expand-ability for later down the line.