Set the scene: your website is online for a few months and traffic is increasing. Your website contains images, videos, and a bunch of scripts to run the third party tools that are useful to you: Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, Google Adsense and to your customers: recaptcha protection, responsive form, slideshows. All these fancy features generate load on your server, increasing the CPU and the number of requests to your site database. As the traffic grows, your site performance slows down and you start to receive resource warnings from your web hosting company.
There is nothing worse for a site owner than having a successful website and suffering from regular downtimes or performance degradation. So plan ahead and pick the right solution for your needs.
When you launch a website, you need to plan for success. As such, it is key to forecast the traffic that you would dream to receive in one or two year time. From the traffic expected, you can deduce the resources needed and then the cost related.
In this article, we are going to talk about the three main types of web hosting services and help you choose the right hosting solution for your project.
Shared hosting is the most common and inexpensive solution to start a website. It will cost you a few dollars per month to start with. With shared hosting, you pay a fraction only of the resources because they are shared with other customers. It also requires limited technical skills as you will have access to a user friendly panel to administer your website. The rest will be managed and monitored by the web hosting company.
To put it in simple terms, shared hosting is like living in flatsharing. You will share common resources with your flatmates like the kitchen and bathroom, but you will have your own space to do whatever you want. Saying that, you will have to follow strictly the rules and make sure your behavior and habits do not disturb your flatmates.
Shared hosting obviously comes with some downsides. As you share the resources with other customer websites, it may happen that an issue on a website collocated on the same environment impacts your site. But this rarely happens because most of the web hosting companies strictly control customer resources. This also means that if your website faces a sudden pick of traffic and you exceed the resources of your plan, the web hosting company will inform you once to solve this issue but not twice. At the second warning, it will simply bring your site down to protect the other customers running on the same shared hosting.
Shared hosting is also the least secure of the three solutions. As you share ressources with other tenants, you are always at risk that a virus or hacking on another customer website propagate to your website. Once again, reputable web hosting companies scan frequently the websites hosted on their platform for any malicious code. They won’t hesitate to bring your site down if they find anything suspicious.
Finally, in terms of scalability, shared hosting does not expand well. If your website experience an important growth, you may hit the resource limit pretty quickly and the web hosting company will invite you to upgrade your plan. This could become rapidly costly and it is very key to forecast this growth of resource in your business plan to ensure you don’t go out of business as your website get famous.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. With VPS, you are still sharing resources with other customers but it definitely provides a better isolation and allocation of the resources.
With VPS, you get your own private virtual server on a shared pool of physical resources. The separation with other customers is achieved at the hypervisor level, unlike Shared Hosting where the separation is performed at an upper layer (OS level). In a computing or telecommunication system, we should always favor a low level isolation.
To continue our analogy, VPS is like having your own apartment. You have your own space and dedicated kitchen and bathroom area. You are completely independent but you are still responsible for supporting the building facilities like the staircase or elevator.
On a VPS server, you still share physical resources with other tenants such as CPU and Memory. But you get a better allocation and protection of your resources compared to a shared plan. It is less likely that one of the other tenant manages to impact the performance of your own website.
Security-wise, you are isolated at the hypervisor level, which is definitely a big plus compared to a shared plan. But there are some virus capable of passing through the hypervisor so it is still not perfect.
From a management perspective, more independence comes with more responsibility. You would need a higher technical knowledge to manage your server. You will be responsible for installing and maintaining your management components. You will have a deeper control level over your resources which mean that you can fine tune your environment to improve the performance of your website. But you also have enough control to bring everything down. Some web hosting companies provide managed services for VPS as well.
Dedicated Hosting is the Rolls of web hosting. With dedicated hosting, you get your own physical server for yourself. You are not sharing the compute and storage resources with anyone else. But you do share the network.
Dedicated Hosting is like owning your house. You own the field, you own the walls and everything inside. You can do whatever you want with the property, but it requires a higher level of maintenance compared to a condo.
With dedicated hosting, you basically get an empty server to play with. Your provider will offer you different configuration / size and you would have to pick the one which suits your needs. This also means that if your website hits the physical server full capacity, you would need to migrate to a bigger server. In a way, it is less scalable than a VPS sitting on a virtual environment that can be extendable very easily by adding more physical nodes to the virtual cluster.
Cost-wise, dedicated servers are expensive. If you choose to go with SiteGround (our web hosting company), you would have to pay between $300 and $900 per month for a dedicated server.
If you are reading these lines, you are probably an individual or a company residing in Myanmar and you may wonder where to find the best web hosting service in Myanmar.
If the majority of your website traffic originated from Myanmar, it will be preferable to not host your website in the US or in Europe. If you do so, the website will be more likely slow and not responsive as the user requests would have to travel thousand of kilometers to reach the content and come back.
If your visitors are mainly from Myanmar, we would recommend two options:
- Host directly in Myanmar in one of the top hosting companies in country
- Host in Singapore which give the fastest Internet peering with Myanmar
If you decide to host in Myanmar, a simple research on Google will give you a few decent choices. We would recommend carefully selecting a provider with very good connectivity. You would also be wise to ensure the physical servers that host your website are sitting in a controlled and secured environment like a data center for instance. Take a few minutes to read our latest article about Datacenters and Cloud Providers in Myanmar.
If you need help to choose your web hosting provider in Myanmar, contact us and we will support you to find the best solution for your needs.
If you decide Singapore is the right solution for your needs, you will be spoilt with choice!
Our website is hosted by SiteGround Singapore and we are extremely pleased with the service. SiteGround is fast, safe and their technical support is awesome. Their staff is available 24/7 and will support you beyond their duties. Plus, SiteGround offers a wide range of cost-effective products and the performance is excellent.
If you decide to go with SiteGround, click here.
Shared, VPS or Dedicated? It all depends on your needs. There is no wrong solution there.
If your budget is limited and you are looking to start a niche website which will not receive a lot of traffic, go for shared hosting. It is definitely a good introduction to hosting and will help you get familiar with the basics of website administration as you will get full support from your hosting company.
Beware though of strictly following the rules. Use strong passwords and ensure your site is always up to date. If your website gets compromised and the hosting company finds out, it has all mighty power to bring it down until you fix the issue.
If you start to hit moderate traffic and get into the first page of Google, think about VPS. Keep in mind that you cannot always control your growth and some of your products and articles could go viral in no time. That is the beauty of the Internet, everything goes so fast. You also need to keep in mind that as your site gets popular, it will also draw attention of hackers, spammers and virus. Your website can also be the target of DDoS attacks that can rapidly hit the limits of your hosting. The web hosting company will be supportive, but impartial when it comes to resource cap. You will have to deal with the issue no matter how.
VPS also give you a better control over your hosting and you will be able to fine tune parameters that are completely locked in a shared environment.
Finally, dedicated hosting is the ultimate choice for websites with high growth and strict security concerns. Physical server gives you access to the complete hardware resources, full control over the server from the hardware layer and ultimately isolate your website from any nasty virus as long as your network is strongly secured.
On top of the dedicated hosting cost, you would have to seriously consider hiring a system administratorto maintain the server health and ensure all the parameters are set correctly.
Herbert is a nom de plume.
I am an experienced telecom professional blogging about the fastest growing Internet market in the world: Myanmar.