It’s been over a year since I wrote my last hosting education article mostly because I’ve been busy with work and developing other sections of the website. If you’ve missed them or want to re-read them, you can check out the Hosting Education Category Archives.
You’ve chosen a domain name and found a web hosting plan. The next thing you need to consider is do I need database hosting also? If you plan to make a simple HTML website with a few pictures, then the answer is probably no. But if you want to develop any type of e-commerce website, use a Content Management System, or develop any serious custom application, the answer will most likely be yes. Databases are used to store customer information, production information, and even articles and reviews. They also help make it possible for your website to serve dynamic content.
There are 3 types of databases that I am aware of that are available on the market right now: flat file databases, SQL-based, and NOSQL based. Examples of flat file databases include Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition. Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Postgre, and Oracle fall into the SQL category. MongoDB, RavenDB, and CouchDB fall into the NOSQL category. And which to use is very dependent on the programming language used to develop the application and what the focus of the application is. If your application uses a flat file database, then you don’t need to consider any additional cost except for disk space, but you need to see if your hosting provider supports it. For any SQL/NOSQL solution, there is usually a fee charged because the hosting providers need to pay a licensing fee, and they are usually hosted on servers that are separate from the web servers which incurs hardware and operational costs.
I won’t go into details right now about the differences, but as a consumer planning to purchase a hosting plan, here are the questions you need to consider:
1) Does the website I plan to create need a database? And if so, what type? If you are using a Content Management System or eCommerce package, then you need to check the product’s requirements. If you are developing a custom website, then you need to ask your web developer.
2) How many databases can I create? For example, some hosting providers only allow you to create a certain number under certain plans. You can store everything in a single database, but for organizational or performance reasons, you can store your data in more than one database.
3) How much disk space are afforded my databases? This will probably your biggest factor in determining which plan is right for you. You want a lot of disk space for the cheapest price because your database will grow over time.
4) How many database users does my database support? You might want to consider this question if you want to give multiple people access to your database to perform work on it.
That’s it for now. Look for more articles in the future.