If you have ever considered setting up a website ‘seriously’ (for a professional project, for example) you will have wondered what you need to tell to get started. In the first place, without a doubt, they will have told you about the domains, the Internet address that we use to access one or another web page, or to send an e-mail to one or another user (genbeta.com, gmail.com, uned.es, un.org, etc).
But these domains are only a gateway to a certain series of content. These contents (HTML / PHP code, images, animations …) must be located in a physical space, which we call ‘hosting’ or ‘web hosting’. The files that make up our website are hosted on server disk drives, owned by our hosting providers, generally hosted in large data centers.
What accommodation do I choose then?
Our providers will not only offer us space for the web files, but also other complementary services such as sending emails, FTP access to facilitate the updating of the site, databases that allow us to install content managers (such as WordPress), panels configuration, etc. In almost all cases, they will also facilitate the reservation of domains, but if we wish we can use those of another provider.
Knowing that, it is time to choose the type of accommodation we want for our web project. It is possible that the first option we think of is a free hosting service, such as Blogspot, Wix or Weebly … but, although interesting to take our first steps in managing websites, this kind of accommodation is usually lacking of the functionality and flexibility necessary to offer a professional web presence.
Let’s review, therefore, which are the main categories into which web hosting is divided.
1) Shared web hosting
The most economical, and therefore the one that most users choose. This is because we share costs by sharing resources: our websites are hosted on the same server as those of other clients of the hosting provider (and therefore also share an IP address).
It is the most recommended option for those websites without notable operating requirements and that do not tend to have a very high number of monthly visits.
The problem is that, by sharing a server, the actions of our ‘neighbors’ will affect us: if the website of another client is used to send spam, their IP (which is also ours, remember) will enter blacklists Internet, resulting in Internet users having trouble accessing our website, or that the e-mails we send do not reach their destination.
2) VPS (Virtual Private Server)
If shared accommodation is the equivalent of sharing a flat, with the VPS (virtual private server) we live in a block of flats, in which the existence of common resources is not an obstacle to living with complete autonomy.
The provider uses virtualization techniques to divide a physical server into several virtual servers, which compartmentalize the resources of the first and to which only we will have access. If your web project requires more resources and more customization than shared hosting can provide, VPS is the option you should choose.
Of course: keep in mind that its cost will increase slightly (in most cases a basic VPS is still an economical option) … but that the complexity to configure and maintain the server will go up several steps unless we pay extra for delegate that task.
3) Dedicated server
In this case, the block of flats has been shared in a chalet all to ourselves. It is about that: a physical server that we do not have to share with any other client, which isolates you from any security breach that may be caused by a third party, and gives you full access to the computer settings and the software installed on it. .
Trouble? The price, of course. So if your website doesn’t have high performance requirements, you shouldn’t even consider this option.
4) Cloud hosting
Cloud hosting is an increasingly common option, although many providers do not provide it yet. Continuing with the housing parallels, it is like not having your own home but being able to have a tourist apartment in each city we visit … even if each member of the family decides to travel separately. About.
The idea is that our website will not actually be on a single server, but will be distributed among several interconnected servers. This allows you to adapt the resources to the needs of each moment, so it is good at absorbing sudden peaks in traffic.
This option allows you to further adjust the price, since you pay only for the services we use and not for pre-established packages, but even so, their price is quite high, and they are not easy to manage.