Let’s be honest – the world of web hosting can be incredibly confusing, especially if you’re a first timer. How do you know where you should start? More importantly, how can you avoid making the wrong choice?
Don’t worry – it’s not as overwhelming as you’d think. All that’s really required is a bit of research. Once you know what’s available to you, figuring out which package you should choose is actually pretty trivial – assuming you know what your business needs.
We’ll help you along in that.
Today, we’re going to go over two of the more basic plans in the web hosting world: reseller hosting and shared hosting. First, let’s start with a brief explanation of each service. We’ll then move on to examine how the two differ from one another.
A shared hosting account is one in which each client shares resources with each other client on a particular server. Best suited for low-traffic websites and small businesses, a shared hosting package doesn’t give you any control over your server environment. Instead, you simply work with whatever you’re given – which in most cases is more than enough.
If you want a more workable description; I’ve an analogy for you. Shared hosting can be likened to renting out an apartment or a room in a house. While you’ve some degree of control over what you do with your own space, the maintenance and management of the entire complex is ultimately up to the owner. They’re the ones who have final say on pretty much everything involving the property.
So, now that we’ve described shared hosting, it’s time to move on to reseller hosting. With a reseller account, you’ve the ability to use a portion of your allotted resources to host websites or services on the behalf of third parties. Although you don’t have any control over the environment on which the reseller accounts are hosting, you have full reign over resource allocation.
To continue with the housing analogy, reseller hosting is sort of like renting out a property with the stipulation that you’re allowed to sub-let to other tenants. While a larger housing firm still owns – and manages – the property, you’re the one who’s renting it out to people. Maybe it’s not a perfect comparison in this case, but it’s enough to give you a general idea of what we’re trying to get across here.
What’s The Difference?
By now, it should be clear that reseller hosting and shared hosting have a lot more in common with one another than one might at first expect. The primary difference lies in how each is used. With shared hosting, the resources you receive are yours and yours alone. Although you’re sharing the server with other clients, you cannot sell out any portion of your account to a third party.
Reseller hosting, on the other hand, allows you purchase space and bandwidth and ‘resell’ it to your own clients. Although you don’t control or manage the server on which the reseller accounts are maintained, you’ve full reign of your reseller clients through a master control panel. In essence, you’re running your own fully-managed, shared hosting service.
So, Which Should You Use?
Both reseller hosting and shared hosting are ideal for small businesses and clients who are just getting started in the web hosting world. In the case of the former, it allows you to set up your own web hosting company with a minimal investment, at which point you can choose to migrate to a dedicated server in the future. In the case of the former, it allows you to run your own website with relatively minimal technical knowledge and cost – albeit with less control over your hosting environment.
In both cases, your choice depends entirely on your needs as a client. If you don’t have an understanding of those needs, it doesn’t matter which one you choose – you won’t be able to use it to its fullest potential.