Web hosting services

Web hosting is offered by web hosts that rent out their computing servers. Those hosting services pay for your operating system (and likely your web browser), and then you rent out space on the server to run a website. Sites that are hosted with DigitalOcean offer free web hosting and some bare metal instances.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have dedicated servers. Those that don’t have web hosting, often have servers that don’t need to be connected to the Internet at all, and they typically rent space for hosting their servers, and sometimes they offer a basic dedicated server plan which is great for this purpose as well.

Each has pros and cons.

At the end of the day, you have to find a hosting company that’s flexible, intuitive, affordable, and which has a reputation for staying up to date with any changes in your needs. DigitalOcean’s managed cloud was always a good fit for my business.

Go Online: Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides online virtual servers (VMs) and other cloud infrastructure for businesses. It costs $50 per month for a standard account, $70 for a 3 month premium account, and $90 for a 10 month basic account.

Unlike dedicated servers, VMs are attached to the Internet. You can run a virtual machine anywhere in the world, but you won’t be able to connect to the internet to load up any website or app. The price drops as you add more resources (and you can choose when to buy additional resources).

Services are also specific to certain services (for example, Amazon Web Services was built to support WordPress and helps with setting up online stores). VMs cost $2.5/hour and new VMs cost $50 per month. With the cost of hosting VMs in mind, as much as I was excited about the potential of VMs, I eventually moved to dedicated servers.

Go Online: DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean offers virtual servers (VMs) for $2.99/hour. For $12.95 per month, you get a thousand of these machines in my company’s space, and if you want to add more, you pay an extra $2.95 for each additional server.

Unlike AWS, you aren’t restricted to choosing a service specific to your business. DigitalOcean is perfect for everything from an ecommerce site to an online chat room.

Go Online: Rackspace

A lot of people don’t realize that Rackspace hosts its own servers. Rackspace has dedicated servers available for free if you need that. The servers are shared with other Rackspace customers, so you don’t need to pay extra if you want your own.

In addition, there are dedicated machines that are shared with Rackspace customers as well. The company says you can get between 1-3 virtual machines for $.27/hour.

Unlike AWS and others, if you buy a Rackspace server, you can do what you want with it. No separate terms and agreements. Rackspace also has more physical servers than other vendors.

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