web-hosting-servers-detailed-guide

Disclosure: As Bitgog editors, we write about products that we independently select because we love them and believe that you will like them too. Our site often has affiliate partnerships, so we may receive a small compensation, that we spend on making this site more resourceful making your experience great.

I would like to start by sharing my personal experience:

When I started with my first website in 2008, I wanted to know which web servers to choose from and I looked online. I was thrilled to find some amazing awesome deals wherein I was offered for 1 domain

  • Unmetered Hosting Space
  • Unmetered bandwidth

At 8 $ per month for monthly payments. If I would pay in advance for a year or 3 years, the price came down to even 4$ to 6$ a month. That's almost equivalent to a cup of Starbucks coffee. Please see below:

web-hosting-plans-shared-server

At that time, I wondered if I have unmetered bandwidth and unmetered disk space at a starting plan, why do people even need to buy bigger plans. It seemed too good to be true.

Anyways, since I was getting such a steal deal, I was thrilled and I went forward with hostgator shared hosting plan. Many companies offer similar prices for shared hosting. After going forward with the hosting, I got my domain's own cPanel which was great. I started using the website, kept creating blog posts and promoting those blog posts. Gradually, the number of visitors on my website started increasing. So, within a few months, I reached around a thousand visitors a month and I was so happy. One day, while I was trying to login to the wordpress backend of the website then I got this error message:

bandwidth-limit-exceeded-error

I literally panicked in that very moment. No such error had ever occurred on my website before. I was not that much good in sorting out technical issues the way I am now. I had never solved any such error before so you can very well imagine how I was feeling. The situation seemed horrible. The blog was so dear to me. It is difficult to explain my feelings in words but I hope you do get it. After the initial few moments of despair, I knew I had to find out a solution and sort out the issue.

There were different thoughts going through my mind. I was confused and was not able to understand.

How can my website show an error of “Bandwidth limit exceeded” when I have unmetered bandwidth. How is this possible? Was I duped? Was there something that I did not know when I purchased my hosting plan?

website hosting different types of servers

I started doing some research online to find out the root cause of the issue. After doing some research and going through experiences of other people online, I realized that I am not alone. It has happened with other people too. You know, you feel you are more fu**ed when you are the only one in a troublesome situation. But you feel less stressed when you get to know that other people have also gone through the same shit or similar shit. It's just that you feel you are not alone. So, you feel if others have faced a similar situation and have come out of it, then there are solutions to get out of it. If they have found the solutions, so I could also do the same.

What I found out was that my hosting plan did not have unlimited bandwidth. It was sad to know that it was just a marketing gimmick used by hosting companies to attract new customers.

If you liked reading about this experience of mine, you might wanna know what happened when my website was hacked and how did I recover it. If you want, you can also check out common mistakes people make with their websites and how to avoid them.

How Web hosting Servers are categorized:

Let me explain in simple layman language how these are categorised with the help of an example. A hosting company has purchased a server with say a disk space of 2 Terabytes (2048 Gigabytes). Now, the hosting company has to generate a good revenue to make profits out of this server. So, what they do is, they divide this hard disk space virtually into multiple servers and call them virtual private servers. They do not divide the physical hard disk space, the server is just created virtually. So, say each virtual server can have 204.8 Gigabytes if there are 10 Virtual Private Servers made from the 2 Gigabytes Hard Disk Space.

How-web-Hosting-Servers-categorised

Now, each Virtual Private server is further sub-divided into multiple smaller servers virtually. These smaller servers are called – Shared hosting servers. Continuing our above example, each Virtual Private server of 204.8 Gigabytes can be further sub divided into 10 shared servers each having 20.48 Gigabytes of Space.

Now, each such shared server can accommodate 10 or more websites each. When the hosting companies sell you a shared hosting plan, they mention it is unmetered bandwidth, but actually, you get a limited bandwidth and limited disk space.

If your website exceeds the limit for your server, your website may go down and you might get the same “Bandwidth Limit exceeded error” like I got. It happens with huge number of people.

So, from a single Dedicated Server hard disk space, there can be 100 shared servers made. and if each shared server can host say 10 websites. Then going by an average calculation of 5 $ per month per website.

Technically A hosting company can make revenue of upto 5 * 1000 * 12 = 60,000$ from a single Dedicated Server. They do have other costs as well considering their employees, disk space, bandwidth, server maintenance, server cooling systems, marketing costs etc. But they can get a good revenue out of it.

Therefore, the hosting companies offer different type of hosting servers so that different people can opt for the best server depending upon what they need. It is just that they make it easy for you to try their service with a small priced shared server hosting plan. That does not mean, you have to stick to the same plan. You can decide which type of server would be best for you based upon your website's requirements.

For me, I realized something very important.

Losing out on potential site visitors is a huge loss compared to the cost saving that a shared server hosting plan offers.

It is important to know the difference between different servers before you make the decision.

Since there are different types of servers, so you do not need to choose your hosting just on the basis of price, it's a good idea to look at other factors as well.

Different types of Web hosting Servers

different-types-web-hosting-servers

First lets understand the classification on the basis of Operating System used. There are mainly two types of servers used:

  • Windows based Servers hosting
  • Linux based Servers hosting

Difference between Windows based and Linux Based Hosting Servers

S. No

Point of Difference:

Windows based web hosting

Linux based web hosting

1.Software typeMicrosoft proprietary softwareOpen Source
2.Web server usedMicrosoft IISApache, Nginx
3.Which Scripting languages are used?VBScript, ASP.NETPerl, PHP, Python, Ruby
4.Database usedMSSQL, Microsoft AccessMySQL, MariaDB
5.Software used for administrationPleskcPanel
6.Which type of applications/sites use which type of server?.NET-Applications,WordPress, Joomla etc.

So, if we try to understand the differences between Windows based servers and Linux based servers:

  • Linux based servers are comparatively cheaper since the software used is open source, whereas Windows based hosting servers are comparatively costlier due to Microsoft Proprietary software.
  • If your business requires scripting frameworks such as asp or asp.net, then you would need a Windows based server. By the way, just for information: An Active Server Page is a web page that includes small embedded programs i.e scripts. If the scripts are made in ASP or asp.net, then you would need a windows based hosting server.
  • Any websites that are created on .net applications, they are created on Windows based hosting Server.
  • If you have a custom built website that uses Microsoft SQL database, then you would need to use Windows based hosting Servers.

Advantages of Linux Based Hosting Servers:

advantages-linux-based-web-hosting-servers

1. Light on Resources

Linux servers are lean, so they do not require too many computer resources. Therefore these are much faster in page load speed.

2. Faster Speed

It is extremely important to have websites with fast speeds. Nobody likes waiting for a website to load while they have to wait. Generally, if a website is slower to load, a user prefers to close that website and switch to any other website that is faster. In Google's algorithm for ranking websites, Website Speed is an important factor. Because fast website loading speeds improve user experience.

3. More affordable

Since Linux servers are not using Microsoft's proprietary software, they use open source Linux Operating System. Therefore, the cost of using Linux Servers is much less compared to Windows based servers.

4. More Secure

There is no operating system that can completely secure you from any software attacks or from any attacks from hackers. Since it is open source, it means that attacks can be found and resolved rather quickly. Having a secure website is extremely important. If your website visitors find that your website is not secure, they can leave the website. You might want to know about why your customers leave your website, read this now to find out. You might also be interested in know about dangerous mistakes people make and get their websites hacked. Safeguard your website with these tips now!

Different types of Linux Server hosting

(used for websites made in WordPress, php, Magento etc)

**As Bitgog editors, we write about products that we independently select because we love them and believe that you will like them too. Our site often has affiliate partnerships, so we may receive a small compensation that we editors may spend on freshly brewed Starbucks coffee while writing these blog posts for you.

Different-types-linux-based-server-hosting
  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server Hosting
  • Dedicated Server Hosting
  • Cloud VPS
  • Managed Hosting
  • Managed WordPress Hosting

1. Shared Web Hosting :

For some people, they just have created a website because they want a small web presence. Some people might not want to spend higher amounts initially. Some people do not receive many visitors a month. All such people can opt for a shared server.

  • Normally, on any shared server, there is a limited server disk space and limited bandwidth.
  • This is a low cost hosting, ideally suitable for new websites, small businesses, without specialized needs or major traffic spikes.
  • Once your traffic starts to increase, you can go for servers that offer you higher bandwidth.

Generally, when you get a shared hosting server, you are provided with a cPanel (also called as a Control Panel). Please see image below how it looks. As I had mentioned earlier, a shared server has it's ip address shared with other websites. The same is being shown in below image.

how-cpanel-looks

2. Virtual Private Server Hosting

This is for those websites that can no longer sustain the lower disk space and bandwidth available in shared hosting. This is ideal for those who need more control and server resources.

For example, if you have a single website and it is receiving good number of visitors a month, then you can upgrade to this type of hosting.

Also, in case you have several different websites, even in such a scenario you can go for a VPS.

3. Dedicated Server Hosting

This one is most powerful and gives you full control over all the aspects of server administration. Some knowledge and experience of working on servers would be needed before moving on to this type of hosting. You might need some good technical support in case you go for this hosting, choose a hosting provider that has a good reputation.

Opt for this kind of server if you have a lot of websites that receive good amount of traffic and need higher resources. You can also opt for it if your website is custom built and has some scripts that need a higher processing power. For example, some ecommerce websites that have good traffic.

Normally, a web hosting provider would give you a WHM (Web Host Manager) Software when you login into a dedicated Server. Below is a screenshot from the dedicated server that I am using currently from Inmotion Hosting USA.

WHM Login Screen:

whm-login-screen

How a WHM looks when you login:

how-web-host-manager-looks

4. Cloud VPS

Cloud-hosting-technology

Cloud servers are similar to VPS hosting servers. The main difference between the two is that on a VPS, a single physical machine stores all your data. Whereas in case of a cloud VPS, your data is stored on a cloud server (multiple physical machines). So, this type of server offers more reliability compared to VPS.

A cloud offers a lot of flexibility, It provides an option to allocate hosting resources in real time in case your website may experience traffic spikes.

5. Managed Hosting

If you need higher resources such as bandwidth and power, but do not have the technical know how of how to manage a VPS or a dedicated server, you can go for Managed Hosting. The best part is that you can enjoy the benefits of a strong server without having the technical knowledge to do it.

  • Managed WordPress Hosting

There is a special type of hosting which is offered specially for wordpress sites since WordPress now powers 30% of the websites on internet. This type of hosting provides superior performance compared to a shared server. For someone who is just starting their website and want their business to grow. I would recommend going for a good managed wordpress hosting instead of a shared server.

I have personally used WpEngine's web hosting for multiple years. Here is an offer from them: If you sign up with them, you can get 3 months free on their annual plan using this link.

Some of the benefits they provide:

1. They are pretty good in terms of taking automatic backups of your website

2. They offer production server and a staging server (That means you can make changes on one server, once your website changes have been finalised, you can use the other server to show changes on live website.)

3. They are good with website security. They automatically remove any plugins from your wordpress website that might harm your website.

Here is one of the screenshots from my monthly billing cycle:

WpEngine-bill-invoice

Also, below is screenshot of how the wpengine backend looks. I had purchased the plan for 10 websites, if you are just starting out and have a single website, you can go for their starting plan for a single website. The price is more than a shared hosting server, but I can tell you from experience, every extra penny is worth it!

WpEngine-managed-wordpress-hosting-dashboard

I have created a comparison table below between different hosting types for your ease of understanding:

Comparison Summary of different types of linux based web hosting servers:

S. NoType of HostingCostDifficultyUser ControlFlexibilityReliability
1.Shared hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
Easy to useNoneNot available
Reliability-star
2.VPS Hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
Greater than Shared and less than DedicatedYesNot available
Reliability-star
Reliability-star
3.Dedicated hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
Advanced knowledge requiredYesThe most flexible
Reliability-star
Reliability-star
Reliability-star
4.Cloud VPS
cost-of-web-hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
Varies, but more than shared hosingYesYes
Reliability-star
Reliability-star
5.Managed hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
cost-of-web-hosting
Easy to useYesYes
Reliability-star
Reliability-star

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent blog post. I had been looking for something completely
    different,
    but stumbled on your blog. I am pleased I did. Thank you for sharing
    useful information. Many thanks and all the best.

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