Website Hosting Methods

There are three methods by which websites are hosted on remote servers. The matter of selecting which method to use depends entirely on the content of the website and the traffic volume expected within a given period of time. For example, a basic affiliate website will not expect much traffic until it manages to make itself visible in the web (not much bandwidth is required since there are not many active users, and the website doesn't process allot of data requests). Websites with high traffic and huge data content, such as YouTube, require excessive amounts of bandwidth and usually operate on multiple dedicated servers.

Let's take a more detailed look at the three hosting methods.

The cheapest hosting method in terms of cost is shared hosting (several websites are hosted on the same server). Access to the utilities and tools for maintaining websites, like the control panel, is also shared. This means that the control panels for all websites are standardized, without the possibility of customization, and response times may vary, depending on the amount of data needed to be processed. Security is ensured though, regardless of the number of websites hosted, meaning administrators only have access to their own section of the control panel.

The big disadvantage of shared hosting is that all websites located on the same server share that server's bandwidth, and since shared hosting is considered to be the cheapest hosting service, the bandwidth of the servers themselves may be too low to handle the needs of the every website hosted. This problem becomes glaringly apparent when video streaming sites use shared hosting and eat up all the bandwidth.

The second method, extreme opposite to shared hosting, is dedicated server hosting. Unlike shared hosting, the server is built and used for the specific use of one website, meaning all server resources and bandwidth is available to the hosted website and its users. Dedicated servers also have a control panel, which is customized to the requirements of the website administrator. This allows the administrator to maintain the website with more ease.

All in all, dedicated server hosting is the best option. Unfortunately, the cost of maintaining a dedicated server is very high, and only administrators of medium and high income websites can afford to use and maintain them.

The third method of hosting is called Virtual Private Server or VPS. This method gives website administrators the chance to experience a dedicated server at slightly lower costs. However, it isn't really dedicated hosting, it is shared server hosting with dedicated data storage and dedicated bandwidth.

For data storage, a portion of the server is partitioned and reserved for the use of a website. Website owners and administrators cannot interfere on each other's data space because of the partitioning. The size of the partitioned space depends on the website's requirements and the standardized subscription plans of the hosting service.

Similarly, the server bandwidth can be divided and appropriated to its users. As it is in partitioning for data storage, bandwidth is divided and allocated according to the needs of the website and also with the different subscription programs of the host providers.