Hosting – what it is and what hosting to choose

Hello, dear readers of the blog telefonix Today I want to talk about such a thing as hosting, starting with what it is (for those who have just joined us), and ending with its influence on website promotion. So, let’s begin.

Hosting is a service that provides computing power for hosting information. Placing a website or something else on your home computer is not convenient or profitable. It is much more efficient to rent a server or a part of it (see what a server is ) in a special data center, or to place your own server there, for which you will be supervised.

Hosting provides its customers (renting them or placing their equipment) with a high-speed Internet access channel and supporting the stable operation of equipment 24 hours in essence (ideally). In general, you sleep, and your site works, and it is for this that you pay the hoster money (although there are options and free hosting  – sometimes even very attractive).

There are a lot of hosters (companies providing similar services) on the market. What kind of hosting to choose? Oh, this is a question of questions. More fuel is added to the fire by the fact that the future fate of your site may depend on your choice.

What is hosting and what they are

Hosting sites

This word is derived from the host (node), and what the word host means I already wrote. Most often, this term implies hosting sites  — this is when someone provides you with a “piece” of a server (a special service computer with the necessary software and working practically without human intervention). This server is connected to the network all the time (by itself, electric, and informational, that is, to the Internet) and you can use the “slice” allocated to you to place files and database of your site (s) on it.

There are many nuances and moments that affect the cost of this service. It all depends on the size of the “piece” of the server (resources allocated for you), on the type of service (virtual hosting or virtual dedicated server), well, and on the “coolness” of the server itself (sometimes you have to use several servers at once to distribute a high load). The price, accordingly, can vary from one and a half hundred rubles to many thousands of dollars (per month).

There are several groups into which it is possible to split the hosting services provided by hosters . We’ll talk more about this later, but for now I’ll just list them:

  1. Virtual hosting – many (very many) sites on one hardware unit (server – service computer). There are restrictions on the resources consumed, but neighbors can be “pushed by elbows”. But cheap and easy to use.
  2. Dedicated virtual server (VPS \ VDS) – there can be a lot of sites on one server, but they should no longer influence each other. A bit more expensive, but much more difficult, for you are given only a “container”, and you will be the one to tune in and tune (or hire someone).
  3. Dedicated server – you get at your sole disposal “the whole piece of hardware”. No neighbors and all the power of servaka only yours. The price in this case depends on the steepness of the “glands”. Well, all the settings – this is your headache.
  4. Cloud hosting  – you are allocated a resource in the cloud, i.e. not on a specific hardware unit, but in general (in a pool with a bunch of hosts visible as one cloud). The trick is that all this can be easily scaled without a strict tariff line (from zero to infinity). Often, charges only for consumed resource.
  5. Colocation – just bring your own server (box) to the data center hoster and put it in a rack (or somewhere else), connect to the network, the Internet and monitoring. Everything else is the same as a regular dedicated server, but here you pay not for renting a server, but for renting space in the server.

A domain name is tied to a site located on such a hosting (this domain was checked during verification ) through so-called NS records (made in the domain registrar panel where you bought it or received it for free, for example, in Freenom ). Change your hosting – you’ll have to change NS records to new ones, but the site name will remain unchanged despite its physical relocation to another place. If all this is not clear, then read the article about the connection of hosting, domain and DNS server (you will like it, I guarantee).

File hostings

There is also the so-called file hosting , which is also called cloud storage or something else. This is somewhat different and has no direct relation to the sites, but it is probably worth mentioning this (at least so that there is no confusion in the head). Such file hosting is, as a rule, “in the database” free of charge, but to complete the work, you will still need a paid account (although, as someone).

What it is? Well, I will list them below and you can write nothing more. There, people keep things that are expensive and it would be a pity to lose (photos, videos, documents, passwords and other kind of files), as well as what they want to share with others. Let’s list them:

  1. Disk for storing files from Yandex
  2. Google cloud
  3. Dropbox (the originator of file hosting)
  4. Cloud
  5. Onedrive

On your computer, you create a folder (more precisely, it is created automatically) and drop everything into it that you want to synchronize with your piece of disk space on file hosting. The size of the piece depends on the tariff (on a free one it is very small, usually). In addition to storage, sometimes there is the possibility of recovering deleted files, as well as the ability to work together on documents.

In general, nothing complicated, the usual household thing is accessible to everyone and understandable. In this case hosters also have data centers with a bunch of servers, but only files can be placed on them ( no databases , no domains, no serious settings).

Yes, I wrote so far while thinking that, probably, photo hosting such as Radical , Picasa or Yandex Photos can also be referred to the same category. More, I think, we will not speak on this topic, especially since there are detailed publications on all these services (yes, yes, hosting is primarily a service, as we remember).

Shared hosting

This type of service is very often called simply hosting or site hosting service. Provide it almost all hosters, except that except for those who specialize exclusively in dedicated servers (virtual and real). I gave a brief description above, and therefore we proceed immediately to the point.

What are the advantages of shared hosting

  1. Cheaply – for quite modest money (sometimes even less than a hundred rubles a month) you can get quite a viable “camp” for your site (s).
  2. Immediately after ordering the service, you receive all the necessary data ( logins and passwords from the control panel, etc.) in order to start transferring your existing site or creating a new one. Everything can be done by yourself without problems (elementary school level).
  3. Hosting technical support (if it meets the high standards of capitalism) will have to help solve all the problems that have arisen with the site, for virtual hosting is a collective farm managed by the host itself. Most of the problems will be in his jurisdiction. For you, this is a huge plus.
  4. Your site (s) will sometimes be able to go beyond the (wall) virtual fence, limiting the maximum percentage of total consumption for all server resources (the host machine, that is, the service computer on which all sites live). If this happens not too often, not too much and not too long. 
    Although, some hosters temporarily disable such violators (others simply warn you – in due time I’ve been delaying the move to VPS from my current hoster for about a year ).
  5. The virtual hosting service can be obtained even for free , and there are not so many such offers on the market (there are a couple of dozen in the given article). It is clear that there will be even more restrictions, technical support will not owe you anything, and the conditions and relationships may be appropriate. But the word “free” sometimes outweighs everything else.

What are the disadvantages of shared hosting

  1. The influence of neighbors on the server. Most likely, there will be a lot of them (up to several hundred) and some of them will sometimes be added, someone will create too much of a burden, slowing down the work of your site (in). Therefore, the stability and speed of work here will be somewhat lower than if it depended only on the performance of the hardware. 
    I once solved this problem by contacting technical support with a request to transfer me to another server. It was, as a rule, a new, not yet fully packed server, and for some time the stability was good. Then it all started on a new one.
  2. All virtual hosting sites come online from a single IP address (if you don’t purchase a dedicated one). These things can have a somewhat negative effect on your site if the neighbors are from the “untouchables” or simply “bad” caste. The cheaper the tariff, the greater will be the neighbors and the greater the likelihood of “getting nothing for it” from the search engines or from the Roskomnadzor, or the curved hands of the Internet providers performing its orders.
  3. Remoteness of the data center, where the site is located to its final consumers (visitors). Many hosters do not have their own data centers, but simply rent some servers from “wholesalers”. The most delicious price / quality ratio of the bourgeoisie (at least it was before the price went up) and your hosting from the Runet provider can actually be located in Europe or even the States.This is not ice in terms of the speed of opening pages of your site on the computers of Runet residents (other things being equal, the server’s response rate will be lower due to the large number of nodes on the way). During the test period, check the location of your site, for example, here , for “distance from people” (the check is carried out on the WHOIS domain ).

So what is it, virtual hosting ? As you have seen, this is a rather controversial, albeit a popular type of service, since it is completely suitable for beginners and experienced webmasters, because it satisfies their basic requirement: cheap and good (simple). Another question is who will receive this service, and this, in fact, is not a simple question.

What to look at when choosing a virtual hosting

  1. For reviews  – just below I will give a list of sites with hosting ratings and reviews about them, as well as a number of forums where the whole thing is discussed. However, the competition in the market is high, there are no ideal hosts (for 10 rubles to provide everything and at the level), and therefore you will find negative everywhere (often the result of a competitive war is not necessarily the best if you can belittle the main competitors). In general, the darkness.
  2. The work of technical support  – virtual hosting is almost entirely on the shoulders of the hosting team and your mental balance (sometimes even mental health) depends on the quality of their work. 
    Hosters have, as a rule, a test period (free), for a period which is difficult to assess the stability of the work, but you can evaluate technical support . Contact them on Saturday evening and look at the speed and completeness of the answer (imagine that at this time your site is not available and is losing positions in search engines). Take out the brain and look at the reaction.
  3. On the technical characteristics of the service provided. In general, you need to conduct marketing research on the subject where the same can be found cheaper and with not very bad reviews. If you are not a sophisticated webmaster, then you will be interested in something from this list:
    1. The size of the disk space on the hard drive of the server, allocated to the files of your site (s) (although most of the Internet projects will be enough and the minimum of what is now offered).
    2. It is also customary to look at the type of hard drives in the server – it’s cool if these are fast SSDs, not slow HDDs (hard drives).
    3. Sometimes there are traffic restrictions (it depends on the traffic to your site), but again, in most cases, you can not really look at it.
    4. The number of sites and databases for them (as well as FTP users and Email boxes, if the latter is necessary) that you can create at this rate – choose from your current need, for then you will easily switch to another tariff (without transferring the site).
    5. Permissible limits of server load (percentage of processor time, RAM size, number of simultaneous processes, etc.). Usually, the hoster’s “billboard” doesn’t cover this very much, but it’s worth figuring out, so you’ll understand why you’re temporarily blocked or why you are offered to switch to a higher rate (or VPS).
    6. The operating system under which the software runs on the hosting. This is usually either Linux or Windows. The latter, as is known, is not free and this may affect the cost of tariffs. Also under Windows there will not be such a convenient remote server management file (meaning a web server program like Apache, not a piece of hardware) like .htaccess. Freaky thing that allows you to do a lot, if not all.
    7. The country where the servers are physically located. See the reasons above (in the minuses of virtual hosting).

Virtual Dedicated Server (VPS / VDS)

Many (or almost all) hosting providers offer such a service as a virtual dedicated server. Let’s see what it is? It is also often denoted by the abbreviations VPS / VDS (it is a shame not to know the differences between them, but I don’t know – maybe they just don’t exist?). These abbreviations are deciphered as VPS (virtual private server) and VDS (virtual dedicated server). It seems the same thing. Well, so be it.

But the difference from the virtual hosting described above is a virtual server, and I must say, they are fundamental. Both types of services are virtual, because on a real server (an iron box with minced meat) there will be at least a few such virtual boxes (containers). Those. again, they will share server resources among themselves, but in the case of VPS / VDS, neighbors in the host machine will no longer have to feel the presence of neighbors (in theory).

It is this (the transition from the “collective farm” of hosting to the “farm” of VPS), as a rule, is the main reason for moving from hosting to a virtual server. A hoster can force you to this when he doesn’t have a higher tariff (for the load created on the server) (and he certainly will not).

For him, it will be a relief from a headache – your problem site will no longer cause hundreds of hits from neighbors in a host machine (server). Well, and for you VPS / VDS can become an acquisition of “smut”, but about everything in order.

Pros of a virtual dedicated server as a hosting

  1. The problems associated with overloading your website to the provider’s server will disappear – now you can’t go beyond the resources allocated to you (at the rate) of resources (CPU time, RAM size).
  2. VPS / VDS tariffs provide for the deployment of fairly “powerful projects” that simply don’t fit into any tariff on a regular virtual hosting service due to the load they generate (traffic, processor load or required RAM).
  3. It is very important for someone to control the whole process, which is not possible on a regular hosting. VPS / VDS gives room for creativity – put any operating system on it (a virtual server is like a virtual machine on a regular computer, i.e., imitation of working with a real “whole” server), put any software on it (web server, email). or DNS plus any bundles and any protection according to your desire and skill) and any number of sites, databases, FTP accounts, etc …
  4. Tariffs of virtual servers provide for the allocation of one or more IP addresses, which allows you to distance yourself from the negative, created by the unwitting IP neighbors, which will take place on a regular hosting.
  5. Initial VPS / VDS tariffs (with a small dedicated resource) are often comparable or even lower than regular hosting tariffs.

Cons inherent in VPS / VDS

  1. Often, at the lowest rates of virtual servers, your sites will “turn over” more slowly than on virtual hosting. Alas and ah. Five years ago, it struck me unpleasantly and forced me to sit on the “collective farm” for another year, periodically causing discontent with the high load. Here, you don’t climb the plot to your neighbors, and the resources allocated at minimum rates are not enough for everything to “fly”.
  2. Tariffs of virtual dedicated server for medium load and high-powered projects often approach the tariffs of actually dedicated servers and bite very much. Therefore, it may be advisable to spend money on optimizing the site load on the server (at least to configure caching ) in order not to pay too much. 
    For example, I have a tariff for 800 rubles per month (subject to payment for a year) on Infobox . What to say? I usually have enough of it (if the “radishes” are not spoiled) for my eyes (no more than 20% of my sites are eating away from the allocated resource, but it’s better to have a reserve). And this is a good attendant. And all thanks to the free HyperCash (see the previous link).
  3. The hoster gives you only a container (virtual machine), and already the filling and its performance is your concern. Can you handle it? It’s okay if not. I am also a noob in server administration (I’m afraid of it like a fire!). 
    Just pay to those who are “in the subject line” (I prefer hosting support in this regard, for a freelancer to trust the site is dumb) and in an hour or two you will get a workable site (s) with all the settings, connections, logins and passwords necessary for its administration ( ala virtual hosting by simplicity).
  4. Again, all the problems with the site on your VPS / VDS – this is your problem. If the host machine is okay, then in the software you will poke around for yourself, well, or pay to the one who set it all up for you. Personally, I usually do this – I contact technical support, say that I am ready to pay and describe the task. They refuse, give links to the description of what needs to be done (in Linux via the command line – HORROR !!!), but then they do everything in ninety percent of cases for free. Infobox still steers in this regard. But maybe somewhere else is better, where we are not …
  5. The country where the VPS / VDS are physically located may again differ from the one where your main audience lives. It is necessary to find out or check during the free testing period (almost everyone has one). The reasons for placing server capacity in other countries with Russian providers are usually reduced to the economy. For example, Infobox earlier (I don’t know how it is now) had servers not only in St. Petersburg data centers, but also in European ones. But when ordering a virtual server, you could select your preferred country, which I did.

What to look at when choosing a virtual dedicated server as a hosting

  1. The resources allocated to you – the amount of RAM, hard disk space, equivalent processor power, the number of allocated IP, etc. You can choose by testing rates, for example, during a free trial period and realizing how much power you have (better with a margin). Naturally, you will have to pay more for more resources, but you probably won’t be happy with the brakes or an overloaded and constantly hanging server.
  2. Price is a very important indicator for many, but it must be considered along with quality. My hoster has average (even closer to low) rates, but the quality (for the last couple of years for sure) of VPS / VDS services is high. For others I will not say, you need to read the reviews. But here, too, there is a double-edged sword (I give an example below, when problems may be temporary and in reality no longer appear).
  3. Virtualization system – I don’t know exactly which is and which is better, but you can google it. This usually affects the speed and stability of the sites, as well as the influence of neighboring containers on the same host machine on each other. 
    There was a time in Infobox when there were troubles with this (or with a technical park) and I even decided to move. I thought, I thought, I pulled, I also thought and waited for everything to be OK. And the last couple of years there are no questions at all for them (there was a DDoS attack , but this is any server of any power that will fall if you try). No, well done guys – something radically changed and troubles disappeared. Well, that did not move.
  4. Reviews – in the second paragraph I already talked about this, but still it is important. At least it is important to understand that you will not find a single hosting provider with only “wow” reviews. This may be the young market players who have not yet begun to “peck” competitors. Yes, and you know the positive reviews where they are ordered and how much they cost (if you don’t know, google and find out). In general, both sides are all spammed around and figs will figure out if there is even any percentage of real reviews or all of them are solid fakes .
  5. Technical support – put it at the end, because on VPS / VDS you are your own technical support, unless, of course, only something global has happened beyond your competence(virtual container – the host machine hangs or channel equipment). 
    Although I still first of all torment tech support, and if they don’t repair my server themselves (it’s possible to call Infobox now, which I’m actively using), they are sure to advise something (finally, when I’m behind the site is hanging, becoming just unbearable and stubborn to stupor).

Dedicated server, cloud hosting and collocation

In principle, there is nothing special to say. A real dedicated server differs from a virtual one only in that there is no virtualization here – all the hardware resources are only yours. All the settings and control of the software is also your concern. But there is nothing new in comparison with VPS / VDS. It is clear that the price tag will begin with large sums, because it makes no sense to keep very weak computers in the data center, because they still take up the place and the idea does not pay off.

A colakation  is almost the same, only your server (native and familiar), but it is located in the data center of the hoster for the reason that it needs round-the-clock Internet access, power from the network, acceptable accommodation conditions and fire supervision. The main advantage – pay only for placement and are confident in the capabilities of your “iron”

Cloud hosting . The thing is mysterious, but having one important feature – a very wide scaling framework (this can often be done on the fly). You can get to use a resource that you will not receive on any physical server. In addition, payment often goes only for a really used resource, which allows significant savings.

There is also a minus – as a rule, it is a big price (for example, in comparison with regular hosting or VPS / VDS) and some kind of “non-continuity” or something. What kind of cloud is it? From the side, it looks like one super-powerful (unlimited in resource) server , where you can cut arbitrary size VPS / VDS with absolutely any ratio of memory, processor power, space for files, etc.

My hoster provides cloud hosting, where you can pick up the resources you need yourself by simply moving the processor, memory, and other engines. And payment also goes only for the consumed resource, but here I am still sitting on a virtual server. Probably, because of following the principle “they don’t seek good”, “the best enemy of the good,” or “don’t fix what didn’t break.” In general, scrap and move and try, and everything should be fine.

Hosting ratings for sites

Probably, the picture in your head cleared up a bit (or did I confuse you?) About what hosting is and what it is like. It’s time to start choosing options for placing your site. But which way to look? What to choose from? Where to start? Where to read reviews (and get confused)?

There is no need to choose anything , everything has already been done for you – just repeat after me and everything will be OK. Not? Want to find your way? Yes please. I’m even adding some places where I can get at least an approximate direction for searching.

At once I will make a reservation that the ratings of hosting given below can be quite biased for themselves , and therefore it’s worth using them for acquaintance and not for adoption. See, read, compare, choose:

  1. Host Review
  2. Hosting101
  3. HostDb
  4. Rating hosting from Ping-Admin
  5. Hosting Ninja
  6. Vetka about choosing hosting on Serche
  7. Pickuphost
  8. Hostings
  9. Cmsmagazine

Of the hosts that I have ever used, I can offer to test:

  1. Infobox  – for a long time they went to perfect stability and still got to my joy. It is this option (virtual server at the rate of “Linux VPS on SSD”) that I use now.
  2.  is a great place to host websites from the most famous domain name registrar. It is very convenient when everything is at hand (both domain management and site hosting).
  3. FASTVPS  is the most famous service for providing virtual servers. Incredibly popular and advanced in this regard. A detailed review of FASTVPS, see the link.
  4. AvaHost  is an interesting solution, which I disassembled in detail in cogs in an article about the choice of an ideal hosting using the example of AvaHost .
  5. NeoServer  – VPS and VDS server for every taste and wallet. Excellent specialized solution with very good implementations. Read more in the article about VPS from NeoServer
  6. HostiMan  – there is a free option with the ability to later switch to a paid one (with an increase in requests). Read more about HostiMan at the link.
  7. Progoldhost  – was my first hosting. I do not know how things are with him now, but the fact that he still exists already says a lot.
  8. Offerhost  is a serious player on the market, entering in many respects into the elite of premium hosting. Review Offerhost you will find on the link.

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