Deciding whether to select a managed Web host or a shared Web host depends on the level of security required by your company and how much traffic your site generates. While shared hosting is the most common type of hosting available, and ideal for most Web site needs, managed Web hosts are more suitable for accommodating sites with high traffic or those that contain sensitive information, and security is a concern.

When shared Web hosts are sufficient

Shared Web hosting refers to multiple Web sites sharing space on a single server. This option is typically the best solution for smaller Web sites that do not have excessive traffic. Paying for a dedicated server with managed hosting can become costly and is unnecessary for small sites.

When you opt for shared hosting, you purchase a package from a Web hosting company that includes a certain amount of space and bandwidth on the company's server. Web host servers are large and powerful, and have sufficient room and bandwidth capacity to host multiple Web sites. This option is cost effective, yet still allows the Web site owner access to a powerful server. Typically, shared hosting agreements grant a sufficient amount of bandwidth and space to fulfill your Web needs; running out of space shouldn’t be a concern unless you experience extreme spikes in traffic to the site.

Should your Web site generate significant traffic, and grow faster than expected, it may outgrow your current hosting agreement. In some cases, hosting companies will allow you to negotiate additional space and bandwidth capacity to accommodate the extra traffic. If the company doesn’t, the option to purchase a higher level of hosting is always available. Depending on the level of traffic, it may be time to consider moving up to a dedicated server with a managed host.

When to opt for a managed Web host

High-trafficked Web sites, along with those that contain highly sensitive or confidential information, are typically better suited on managed Web hosts. Dedicated Web hosts, allocate one server specifically for your site. In other words, your site will not share a server with any other sites.

Typically, companies who have the need for a dedicated Web host will often opt for a managed W eb hosting solution rather than trying to manage it themselves. Management and administration of dedicated hosts can become time consuming, and it holds the owner of the site accountable for maintaining all aspects of the Web hosting server, which may also include security issues.

Before

deciding which type of hosting to use, take the time to evaluate your needs. You may also want to explore options that include using shared Web hosting prior to committing to a managed or dedicated Web host, as it may prove to be sufficient and will save you money.

When to use a Web hosting agreement

If you find yourself on the other side of the fence – meaning you provide Web site hosting services to a client – you will need to utilize a Web hosting agreement to effectively manage the relationship between you and the client.

You can often save a tremendous amount of time and money by utilizing Web hosting agreement samples and templates. These templates will help ensure that you include all of the appropriate provisions, as well as give a solid foundation that will enable you to clearly define your policies and procedures.

You should be able to purchase a suite with templates related to Web hosting agreements. This might include a service level agreement template and a Web hosting acceptable-use template.

Whether you are purchasing Web hosting or supplying it, it’s important to pay close attention to the Web hosting agreement. For users, you will learn what you can and can’t do on your site, and what you might be entitled to. For providers, these agreements will protect you from liabilities associated with the hosting of third-party Web sites on your servers. To better understand what these agreements should include, check online for Web hosting agreement samples.