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The main types of hosting packages are:

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is where many websites are hosted on the same server. Each server can host many hundreds of websites. Shared hosting is the most economical option but it does have some drawbacks. All the websites on the server share the same top-level settings such as script and mail settings so if you have some bespoke requirements a shared package may not be an option.

Reseller hosting

Reseller hosting has the capability to subdivide your hosting into separate hosting packages. Essentially you can create your own shared hosting packages to suit your needs. The prime use of such hosting is if you want to resell (hence the name) hosting on to your clients. Since reseller packages tend to have more space, bandwidth, etc than their shared counterparts some people opt for a reseller package over a shared one for the extra capacity.

Dedicated server

On dedicated server packages you lease the entire server. Unlike shared and reseller hosting packages the entire server is yours. While this is the most expensive option you can configure the server to meet your needs. So if you want to run any bespoke software, for example, you can do so. Dedicated servers also have huge storage limits and high bandwidth capacities so are suitable for high traffic websites.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

On a technical level a VPS is the same as a dedicated server. The primary difference is a single server is subdivided into several ‘virtual’ servers. You get all the benefits of a dedicated server but with reduced cost and capacity.

What hosting package do you need?

Unless you are expecting significant traffic (ten of thousands of visitors per day or more) a good quality shared hosting package will be sufficient. While reseller hosting is mainly for web designers who want to add a markup on their hosting they are also useful for companies that have several websites to host. If you have bespoke requirements but feel a dedicated server is too expensive, or is overkill, then a VPS is ideal. For really big projects though, it is worth investing in a dedicated server.

The blog is posted for informational purposes. In practice, any good web designer will take over the sourcing of the server for you and pick one that best suits your site’s requirements.

For help with your website and hosting call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online.

Tim Bennett is a Leeds-based web designer from Yorkshire. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.