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Choosing Web Hosting For Clients: Shared, VPS, Reseller, or Dedicated?

As a web designer and developer, I’m often tasked with selecting the best web hosting plan for our clients. Today I want to take a look at some web hosting options, and what you need to consider when choosing one for your particular client.

Shared

What it is:

The most basic of all hosting types, you’re paying for “shared” space on a server managed by someone else.

Pros:

  • Most affordable option. You can get good shared hosting for $5 to $10 for a single account.
  • No hassles. No worries on managing your account, the company will do it for you.
  • Could be all you need- for now. If your client doesn’t expect to get thousands of hits just yet, starting off on shared hosting might be a good choice. Choose a good, reputable company that will allow you to “grow” through upgrades.

Cons:

Shared hosting is limited, and because you’re essentially sharing one file system with hundreds of other accounts, it’s less secure.

VPS

What it is:

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and while it is technically “shared” hosting, since you’re on a server with other people, it’s set up like a dedicated server, hence the “private”.

Pros:

A VPS is more secure than shared, and more affordable than dedicated. The account owner also has more power over the account, with the ability to implement secure server configurations, and- of course- root access.

Cons:

You need to know at least a little bit about managing a server- or at least you did in the past. These days, there are many Managed VPS packages that has the web host company doing everything (maintenance, upgrades) for you.

Reseller

What it is:

Reseller packages are popular among business-minded web developers. It usually works this way: rent a large amount of space, market it and resell it to your clients. Different companies have different reseller options, such as white label branding and included tech support.

Pros & Cons:

No worries about setting up or configuring a server- as a reseller, think of yourself more as a marketing arm of the web hosting company, reselling their products. For that reason, you should resell for a reputable host that you believe in and have a good relationship with.

Dedicated

What it is:

One server, completely “dedicated” to you.

Pros:

Obviously, the most secure option of all. A good choice for mission-critical sites, and for those expecting a lot of traffic. Lots more power.

Cons:

With great power comes great responsibility- so unless you opt for a fully-managed account, expect to spend time managing and upgrading your server yourself.

Cloud

What it is:

In all of the above, hosting is done on single server setups. Here, the account is hosted on multiple servers, promising more processing power and the ability to “scale” up anytime (by adding additional servers).

Pros & Cons:

Because of the way it’s set up (think Google), cloud-hosting offers the most power of all, and it should be the answer for mission-critical sites. Its scalability also means that prices can vary widely from very affordable to very expensive. There are concerns about security and privacy.

How do you choose web hosts for your clients?


  1. By the_old_guy posted on June 1, 2010 at 7:38 am
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    Good article that clearly spells out the pros and cons of each approach. As you move towards dedicated hosting, one way to remove the pain is to out source your server management and administration to a company like http://www.sysadmin247.net so that you can worry about your business rather than server administration.

  2. By Neil Mani posted on June 2, 2010 at 9:07 am
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    This article gives a good insight as what kind of Hosting a person need to select (of course depending upon his need).
    The best part of this article is – it not only tries to define different kind/types of hosting but also providing the pros and cons of all……..

  3. By Togrul posted on June 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm
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    Thank you for valuable information.

    Regards,
    Togrul

  4. By Mahesh | Altkommein posted on June 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm
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    Daniel scoco of dailyblogtips recently posted about choosing the type of hosting. If the traffic is low and you’re earning less than 200$ a month then it’s wise to stick to VPS. If you reach this target then you can move to VPS and with more earning you can switch to dedicated servers.

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