Because websites need to be stored or somewhere, each website has to be hosted by a specific server. Every website requires a host, but there are different variations available to the individual building the website. Which system you choose will depend on the function of your website, the amount of traffic you expect or desire, and the sheer scope of the page. The company that owns the server rents storage space out to individual websites, making their files available to the internet. These servers are maintained and updated by the company, making them great for anyone who does not have the time or knowledge to keep their own server up and running, or to fix it when it goes down. Small businesses usually do not have a dedicated technology support team, and therefore, this is a great option for these kinds of businesses. These shared servers are also a much cheaper option than other hosting solutions. Because lots of website owners pay into the server, the costs are lower overall, plus you have the added benefit of server specialists, who know how to make sure your website is running at peak performance. Experts warn however, that while shared hosting may be a good option for some, it may not be the best option for everyone. Massive sites that get a lot of traffic need more space for storage and more bandwidth than other websites that might run just fine on less dedicated servers. Related Resources from B2C Free Webcast: The Art of Agile Marketing: How Geek Theory Helped Creative Teams Increase Productivity Dedicated Hosting Dedicated hosting is a server dedicated entirely to your website. Like it says above, this is a great option for those who have the manpower and resources to keep this server running, as, when you own your own server, you need to be able to repair it when it breaks and give it technological support when it goes down. Large corporations, or even small businesses with a great tech-minded team can spring for and manage one, especially if they are expecting a huge amount of traffic on their website, or if the website needs to contain massive amounts of information, videos, or pictures. Plus, you have full control over who uses or tampers with your server and website. Youll never wake up one morning and find that you no longer have a webpage because your spot on the server has disappeared. You also have the ability to pay someone else to keep and maintain a server that is still entirely dedicated to your website. If your business does not have the expertise to build a website, much less maintain a server, dedicated hosting might not be the best choice. In shared hosting, you have a team of experts to administer to your server and website whenever you need help. With dedicated hosting, you are that team, and keeping your server running at the level you want can be difficult. Virtual Private Hosting In between shared hosting and dedicated hosting is virtual private hosting. In this option, you and a group of other website owners share a private server. Instead of a company deciding your allotment, you and the other owners assign specific allotments to specific websites. This allows each company the access they want to their website, and no company individually has to invest in the server alone. The drawbacks to this type of hosting are also a combination of those from shared and dedicated hosting. There is still the problem of limited space, and in case your website starts seeing more traffic than you originally planned, this virtual private server will not have the extra space to accommodate your need to grow. And there is still the problem of who should maintain and house the server. It is a viable option, however, for those who do not need flexible bandwidth, and still want to have some control over the server without having to put the money out for an entirely dedicated hosting solution.
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