There are many types of web hosting, and one variety that many people are not familiar with is Colocation web hosting. This is an alternative for businesses that want to enjoy some of the advantages of a dedicated server without having to keep a lot of equipment on the premises. It’s also less expensive than dedicated server hosting.
Basics of Colocation Hosting
In simple terms, colocation hosting is an arrangement where you can keep your server offsite and share the bandwidth of the company that’s providing the hosting.
Unlike traditional shared hosting, where you are using the web host’s equipment, in this case you must purchase and set up the server yourself. You then bring it to the web host’s location (data center) and they provide bandwidth, an IP address and other essential resources.
Once this arrangement is made, web hosting basics works like any other type of hosting. The main difference here is that you own the equipment.
Benefits of Colocation Hosting
Now, why should you consider such an arrangement?
Save money on bandwidth
If you have a business or other type of website that requires a great deal of bandwidth, it can be cheaper to use colocation hosting than most alternatives. This can allow your site to run faster without your having to spend a lot for more bandwidth.
Web Host can handle technical issues
If you don’t have your own IT team, you can let the web host handle these tasks for you. This, of course, will cost you more than hosting by itself but is still cheaper than hiring help yourself.
Control over server
Since you own the server, you are in control of it. If you ever decided it needs upgrading, you can simply purchase a new server, or upgrade its hardware (such as the hard disk or CPU). With other types of hosting, you are dependent on the server that’s provided for you.
More secure and stable
Most homes and small offices aren’t equipped to handle problems like power outages due to storms or blackouts. A good data center, however, should have plenty of backup power to prevent downtime even when the regular power goes out. They also have the resources to keep your server more secure than it would be on your own premises.
Drawbacks of Colocation Hosting
Colocation hosting can be a good solution for certain businesses. It allows you to own your server without having to keep it or maintain it on your own property. Yet it’s not ideal for everyone. There are some drawbacks to this type of hosting of which you should be aware.
While colocation hosting is cheaper than having a dedicated server, it’s more expensive than shared hosting. So if you’re seeking a real bargain, it might not be for you.
Limited Access to Your Server
If you ever want to make changes on your server, it can be difficult for you to access it, as you’ve left it in someone else’s care.
Can Be Difficult to Find
Finding a reliable web host that offers colocation hosting is not always easy. For this type of hosting, you will be searching in your own area, so it really depends where you live.
Is colocation hosting something you should consider?
It’s really an in-between solution for people who have outgrown basic shared hosting but don’t want the expense and responsibility of a dedicated server, or even a VPS hosting.
For most individuals and even small businesses, shared hosting is sufficient. It’s only when you start using a great deal of bandwidth that the costs start becoming a concern. There are also issues of security and reliability that colocation can solve.
Other alternatives to Shared Hosting
If you’ve decided that shared hosting doesn’t meet your needs, you have several other choices without incurring the expense of dedicated hosting. There is also VPS (virtual private server) and cloud hosting, both of which are generally less expensive than colocation.
VPS is offered by many companies. It is a setup where several users share a server, but it is partitioned in such a way that it’s like having your own private server.
Cloud hosting is a little harder to find, but more and more web hosts are offering it. With this type of hosting, you have access to a group of clustered servers and resources are divided up as needed.
Both VPS and cloud hosting offer you more power and flexibility than shared hosting. Web hosts that offer these options usually offer several different plans, so you can choose one that suits your needs.
The only limitation to these alternatives is that you don’t own the server. So it’s really a question of how much control you want over your website.
There are several alternatives to shared hosting. If you’re ready to upgrade, it’s a good idea to research each of them. Colocation hosting can be a little harder to find, unless you live in a major urban area. With other types of hosting, location is not an issue as everything is handled remotely.
If there is a web host nearby that offers colocation hosting, you should take a look at their plans and pricing. Find out how experienced they are and if their customers are satisfied. After all, you will be trusting this company with your valuable equipment.
For some people and businesses, colocation hosting is an economical solution. If you haven’t considered it before, it’s worth at least checking it out.