Shared/Pro/Managed Hosting for your site - which to choose ? (NO AFFILIATE LINKS!)
You buy a domain and want to start your site running, time to find your perfect hosting.
This is one of our first steps, and might be your most crucial one.
I won't tell you which hosting company to choose, I will attempt just to clarify the picture.
What are your Hosting options ?
You can choose shared hosting - obviously this one will be the cheapest option.
In this category you might even find free hosting options, with or without ads on your site.
Although this option sounds great for beginners as it is cheap and is comes with many promises from the hosting company (unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space etc.), there are no free meals, and as you are not alone on this server (shared hosting), you don't really know who your neighbors are.
So nothing is guaranteed, you might have a neighbor which takes lots of bandwidth, so you will actually have less to use etc.
You might have a malicious neighbor which will attempt to hack your site using the common hosting grounds, or you just can have a dumb neighbor with bad security measures, which will gain hackers easy access to the server and from there to your site.
Another major downside is that you are completely at the mercy of the hosting company, if they suspect any fishy behavior from your site they can shut you down on the spot, even if it was a hacker using your site and not your own fault.
So shared hosting is out of the question.
Going all the way to the pros league, you might try a vanilla server from Amazon (EC2, AWS), this is a great option for professional users.
My main problem with this option is that Amazon (or any other alternative) leases these servers and you pay for what you use which sounds great, my fear is from bandwidth spikes and such which might cause cost spikes, I am a big believer in a fixed price, I might pay a little more but I know my monthly cost.
So, going to an adjacent option I am getting to ...
- In lighthouse I am controlling a linux server which means command line control over the server
- Which leads me to find a better server manager, ending in installing KeyHelp server manager
- KeyHelp is a cpanel alternative and is great.
- All server configurations are on me which means security and optimization
- Installation of all components (DB, Mail, Antispam, FTPs etc etc)
- Updates to all of the components
- No client support for handling any of the installed software
- For these two major aspects to work well I need to be a real linux wizard.
Managed Cloud Servers / VPS
- Initial cost is just a sham as you must buy other services in order to operate this server like cPanel/WHM, Anti virus, litespeed caching system, backups and others
- Although on the paper it seems you have an amazing server with great specs, still, it will take a lot of time and usage of the hosting support to get you there as this is a virgin system and you need to configure lots of stuff in order to get the full horsepower.
- Hosting support!
- Fully configured cPanel
- Easy way to completely separate your different clients without any connection between them (you can have your own sites, each one as a separate 'client')
Managed (Business?) Server
- Non-shared server,
- Fully managed
- Support from the hosting company.