Choosing a webhost » History » Revision 1
Choosing a webhost¶
Your website and/or CiviCRM database must be placed on a computer that's always connected to the Internet in order to be accessible to your visitors and/or staff. While theoretically you can take an unused computer in your office and put the site on it, this has multiple drawbacks. First, if your office's Internet connection goes out, the site becomes unavailable to people outside your office. Second, you take on the responsibility of maintaining the hardware - if the computer breaks, your site is offline until you can fix it.
For these reasons, unless your organization is in a position to support these issues, it's recommended to lease space from a "web hosting company", aka a "webhost". The webhost will maintain the hardware and Internet connection for your site. For small organizations, your choices fall into three categories: Shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers, and Platform-as-a-Service.
Shared hosting¶Your webhost will put your site on a server with the site of dozens or hundreds of other sites. This makes it inexpensive, but it tends to be slow, and if one of the other sites gets a spike in usage, it can slow down your site.
- Price: From free to about $25/month. More expensive companies generally place fewer sites on a server, which gives better performance.
- Security: Some webhosts are committed to providing the maximum protection from law enforcement. Shared webhosting tends to be less secure overall because one site on a server being compromised can lead to the whole server being compromised.
- Maintenance: The webhosting company will be 100% responsible for maintaining the server. You are still responsible for necessary updates to your site's software.
- Pros: If you need e-mail through your webhost, shared webhosting is often an inexpensive way to get it.
- Cons: To make the server more secure, the hosts may restrict what you can do on the server. Because these restrictions change from host to host, sometimes simple setup tasks take much longer.
Here are the shared webhosts our cients oten use: Shared Webhost options