2019 Web Hosting Options
With so many hosting options out there, it can be challenging to pick the right one and know if you've made the right decision. There are many metrics you can use to measure which is best, but we'll stick to four: Maintenance, Configuration Time, Security, and Price.
Most of the websites on the internet end up on shared hosting, and that's okay. Most of these websites don't get many visitors, and they aren't mission-critical to the success of a company. With shared hosting, you should never have to do any maintenance. Also, you'll typically find informational websites on shared hosting since they don't require much performance. Shared hosting is the most affordable option and is a good starting point for most sites.
Virtual Private Server
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a slice of a Dedicated Server. You get allocated a certain amount of the processor, RAM, and hard drive. DigitalOcean is one of the service providers that made the VPS convenient because it can be created in less than one minute. A VPS usually requires some maintenance by someone who is familiar with the system unless you want to pay extra for a managed server. With a VPS, you can usually handle more traffic with better performance than on shared hosting. The price of a VPS can vary from $5 to hundreds of dollars each month.
With a Dedicated Server, you get all of the resources for that piece of hardware. You can pay extra to have the provider to manage it if you don't feel comfortable doing so, but maintenance is required. Depending on the specs of the server, you can typically handle more traffic than a VPS. Many people like hosting their web applications on bare metal solutions, meaning there isn't a piece of software between the Operating System and the hardware. The prices generally range from around $50 to hundreds of dollars each month.
With Cloud Hosting you can quickly scale from handling a few visitors to handling millions in a matter of seconds. Getting started with Cloud Hosting can be a challenge, but after you do it, you shouldn't have to do any maintenance. Big Cloud companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft offer a free tier for most of their solutions, which include some Cloud Hosting options. When your site scales up to host millions of visitors, it might end up costing you $10,000 or more. Thankfully most sites don't need this type of scalability.
If your site isn't critical to the success of your company, then I would recommend shared hosting. You may want to look at the VPS options if you want to avoid any downtime. I don't generally recommend Dedicated Servers since they take so long to provision, but they are fast when up and running. Subsequently, if you feel you need Cloud Hosting, then I would assume you may know enough to manage it on your own. If you ever need assistance deciding on or migrating your hosting, we would love to help.