Web hosting can come in three common types, but do you know what they mean?

There’s no shortage of challenges you’re going to face once you decide to create a website. Whether you want to boost your business with a beautiful site or kick off that blog you’ve always wanted to create – one is sure. You’re going to need a solid web hosting service – it’ll be your site’s forever home, hopefully.  

The good news is that there’s a perfect web hosting solution somewhere out there, regardless of your level of technical know-how and available budget. However, finding the right one for you and your business can take some time and careful consideration. 

It’s not all about the cost, you know? A solution fit for a fabulous WordPress blog probably won’t fulfil the needs of an online store with an ever-growing number of visitors. 

Before being able to pick out the perfect solution for your online project, you should make sure that it provides the right amount of resources, as well as an ability to scale up/down. A seemingly small thing like this can set your site for success right at the start.  

So, to make things simpler for you, we’ll go through the three most common types of web hosting and tell you everything you should know before opting for any of them. 

The three common types of web hosting 

Whether you’re starting out or wish to switch your web hosting solution for a superior one, you’ll want to catch wind of the most common web hosting types and tackle their meaning. After that, you can be sure you’ve made the best decision for the future of your website.   

Most people start their journey into cyberspace with shared hosting. It’s not only simple to start with but also considerably cheaper than other solutions out there. Consequently, it’s also the least powerful one. This is because with this type of solution a single server is shared among several users. Thereby, the resources are also shared – storage space, bandwidth, CPUs, and RAM included.   

Once your site begins to grow and outgrow your shared hosting solution, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS) hosting solution. Without breaking the bank, it will let you get rid of the primary drawback of shared hosting – shared resources. So, with a VPS solution, you’ll still share a physical server with other sites, but you will get a set of resources that are dedicated to your site, and your site only. 

If you want to step up your game from a VPS solution and don't mind paying a pretty penny for it – you should consider dedicated server hosting. As the name suggests, you’ll get your dedicated physical server with your dedicated resources and you won’t have to share them with anyone else.  

Apart from these three, other popular web hosting solutions include cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, and colocation hosting.

Why are these three the most common types? 

It’s no secret that shared hosting is popular for its cost-effectiveness and ease of use. It’s the cheapest out of these three options, so if you can spare a mere $ 5 per month – you can afford it. Also, shared hosting is exceedingly easy to use, so even if you’ve never made or managed a site before, you’ll catch up with everything in no time. So, there’s no need for technical know-how – the technical team will walk you through every step of the journey. 

Acting as a bridge between shared hosting and dedicated server hosting, VPS offers powerful performance, high uptime, superb long-term scalability, enhanced security, customizability, and control over your server space. However, the ease of use will vary depending on whether you’re using a managed or unmanaged service. 

While dedicated server hosting will cost you a big buck, it can get you everything a VPS provides plus complete control over your solution. With full root access, you can perform direct server customizations without any restrictions – alter your hardware specifications, add advanced security tools, install applications across your server, and much more. Also, a dedicated solution comes with a dedicated, round-the-clock support staff. 

Web hosting

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Who should use each type of web hosting? 

Being the simplest solution out of the three, shared hosting is the best choice for small sites and blogs that don’t get too many visitors. It’s also a solid solution for young entrepreneurs that lack a big budget and technical know-how but don’t mind starting small. 

A VPS solution offers a fine balance between resources and budget, and it’s aimed at those who have outgrown shared hosting. It’s perfect for those running high-traffic sites for small to mid-sized businesses including ecommerce platforms, SaaS providers, software engineers, and so forth. 

Dedicated servers are “state-of-the-art” web hosting solutions geared towards mid-sized to big businesses that employ over 500 people that are processing massive amounts of data every day. For instance, if you’re running a booming ecommerce store with hundreds of transactions per hour, you’ll want to consider this type of solution.  

The benefits of each type of web hosting 

The three primary advantages of choosing a shared hosting solution are its budget-friendliness (the pricing starts at $ 5 per month), a beginner-friendly approach (simple setup, built-in control panel, and site-building tools), and solid customer support (expect to get live chat support and access to well-supplied knowledgebase). 

In comparison with shared hosting, VPS will get you more powerful performance, higher reliability, and the ability to scale up/down your server with ease. It also gives you more control over your server and a superb level of customizability. 

The main benefit of utilizing a dedicated server solution is having dedicated resources that can keep up and promote the growth of your business. Also, your business site/sites should benefit from increased speed, improved SEO, and superior security. 

While fully managed dedicated servers are pretty popular with large enterprises, you can also opt for a partially managed or unmanaged server and save up some money.  

Things to avoid when choosing a web hosting service 

Since we’ve already shared our tips and trick on how to choose a web hosting service, now we’re going to uncover what mistakes you should avoid making when searching for your solution.

If you want to go with shared hosting, don’t settle for a free hosting service just to save up some money at the start. It will cripple your site with seriously slow speed, unreliable uptime, and non-existent customer support. Before you know it, most of your potential customers will lose trust in your brand and your business will go bust. 

Likewise, don’t purchase a shared or VPS hosting solution before trying it out with a free trial – if one is provided. If not, check whether there is a money-back guarantee. Plus, don’t forget to see what the small print says – this is true for all three types of hosting.  

If you thinking about purchasing a self-managed VPS solution even if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy – don’t do it.  It’s harder than you think and it’ll take plenty of time before you get the hang of it. 

Also, don’t fail to check the company behind the solution including their track record and history of security incidents – if there are any. Take some time to read out reviews about your potential web hosting provider, professional reviews and customer testimonials alike. And if a provider has a bad track record, avoid it like the plague. 

This is particularly important when picking out a dedicated server solution as with this type of hosting one should never make compromises in terms of security. 

On the end note, don’t forget to consider the needs of your online project before picking out a web hosting package for it. What type of site do you wish to create? Will you be creating a single site or more of them? How do you plan to build your site? What amount of traffic do you expect to receive each month? What additional features do you want to receive? And how much money are you willing to give up each month?

Once you’ve answered all these questions, you’ll be a couple of steps closer to choosing the best web hosting solution for your business. 

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Microsoft Outlook update will address one of the most common office frustrations

Microsoft is readying an update for email service Outlook that will help ensure users don’t get caught without a space ahead of an important meeting.

As per two new entries in the Microsoft 365 product roadmap, users of Outlook for iOS and Android will soon benefit from the ability to browse and reserve meeting rooms on their work phones.

“Need to book a space? Outlook Mobile is here to make your transition to hybrid work easier. Search and book conference rooms when you need to collaborate with colleagues or book a workspace when you need some time to focus,” wrote Microsoft.

The new room finder feature is currently in development across both major mobile platforms, but should roll out to all users by the end of March.

Microsoft Outlook update

As many workers begin to return to the office, at least part-time, there are bound to be a range of issues that businesses will need to iron out.

A number of collaboration software vendors are talking about challenges to do with ensuring meetings remain equitable when participants are split between the home and office. Others are concerned about equipping workers with the tools they need to remain secure and productive, no matter their working environment.

With its latest update for Outlook, Microsoft is honing in on a more practical issue: room bookings. To date, Outlook users have been required to search for available meeting rooms using the desktop app or another alternative system implemented by their company.

Once the latest update takes effect, however, users will be given the freedom to manage room bookings on the go. This could be useful, say, if someone needs to make a last-minute booking while on the way to the office or out at lunch.

In recent months, Microsoft has announced a series of new hybrid working-related features for Outlook, including the ability to specify one’s working location on a day-by-day basis and color-coordinate the calendar to create clearer distinction between meetings.

The idea is that the new room finder feature will combine with these recent updates to improve the overall hybrid working experience for end users.

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Microsoft Teams update will eliminate a common business bottleneck

Getting your next big project or idea approved by your manager or boss can often slow down productivity which is why Microsoft launched its new Approvals app in Microsoft Teams earlier this year.

The Approvals app can be accessed from any chat or channel conversation or by using the dedicated app entry point in the left navigation bar in Teams.

With the app open, all you have to do is fill in the details of the approval like the title, description and the users who need to approve it and hit 'Send'. However, you can also add attachments from Microsoft's office software or custom responses to tailor the request to your business needs.

Once submitted, the approvers are notified within Teams and can act on an approval request either from the chat directly using the Approvals card or from within the Personal app. They can also quickly review the details of the approval right within Teams before making a decision to approve or reject it.

Microsoft 365 groups as approvers

After launching in January of last year, Microsoft is now working on a new feature for the Teams Approval App that is slated to roll out next month.

According to a new post in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, the software giant is adding the ability to select Microsoft 365 groups as approvers when creating a new approval request within Teams.

For those unfamiliar, Groups in Microsoft 365 let you choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with and easily set up a collection of resources for those people to share. These resources may include a shared Outlook inbox, shared calendar or a document library in OneDrive for collaboration on files.

When this new feature becomes available, Teams users will be able to send approval requests to their Microsoft 365 groups which could be useful if approvers aren't using the company's video conferencing software and online collaboration tool.

Looking to improve your video call experience? Check out our roundups of the best video conferencing softwarebest business webcams and best headsets for conference calls

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Windows 11 could finally solve one of the most common video call problems

Microsoft is looking to solve a major annoyance for video conferencing users with a new preview update for Windows 11.

The Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22494, which was released to the Dev Channel in early November, is getting a new way to mute and unmute the microphone, straight from the taskbar. 

The feature will initally be limited to Microsoft Teams, the company's online collaboration app, but the company is expecting developers to pick it up and add the functionality to other applications, as well.

Microsoft Teams muting

“We are beginning to roll this experience out to a subset of Windows Insiders with Microsoft Teams for work or school installed and ramp it up over time,” Microsoft said in its announcement. “This means not everyone will see this right away with their Teams calls.”

As soon as a user enters a Teams call, Windows 11 will add a microphone icon to the bottom right part of the screen, next to the volume, battery and Wi-Fi icons. By simply tapping/clicking the icon, the user can quickly toggle between mute and unmute states. The capability only applies to the current call, the company added. 

Right now, the feature is limited to Microsoft Teams, but the company’s plan is to bring it to Chat from Microsoft Teams (Microsoft Teams for home) as well. It also said other communications applications can add this capability, meaning it’s up to individual companies or users to see if adding it makes sense.

“You can see your call audio status, what app is accessing your microphone, and quickly mute and unmute your call at any time,” Microsoft further explained.

There is also a keyboard shortcut to mute/unmute the microphone: Win + Alt + K. This, too, works only in Microsoft Teams, for the time being.

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