I have decided to stop offering web hosting services. It’s so cheap these days, I feel its best to just let you, the client, take control yourself. So i have written this complete guide to hosting in an effort to help you do it yourself. (Any existing hosting clients of mine will continue to be hosted until your renewal date. Thank you)
From the start gate, the need for knowledge on web hosting arises. Yes, your site looks fabulous and state-of-the-art but launching it onto the Internet requires hosting. Otherwise, no one sees your efforts.
Nor do consumers and readers get a chance to respond to your persuasive content and calls to action. So, who needs web hosting? What exactly is it? When do you need to get it? How does it work? Where do you find it? And, why does any of this matter?
Fortunately, we are here to answer the who, what, when, where, how and whys of web hosting. Stick with us and a clearer will emerge by the end of this blog.
WHO NEEDS WEB HOSTING?
The brief answer to “Who needs web hosting?” is: Anyone wanting to launch a website. Without this valuable service, your web page remains for your eyes only. Let us explain a bit more…
WHAT IS HOSTING?
Think of it this way: Hard drives, floppy discs, hard discs, flash or jump drives store (or stored) your data. The information and technology required to run a website outgrows these devices. So, a web host stores the information for you. (Note: The term web host refers to the actual server or the company which hosts you.)
HTML, text, documents, graphic images, videos, audios and more get stored by the web host. Basically, like a storage unit for your extra furnishings, you rent space on a web host’s servers to store your web site stuff – the details required to run your site.
Furthermore, these hosts provide Internet connectivity which provides access to your website by other computers. This feature of these services is the tool which puts your website into every home, business and organization with an Internet-connected computer.
WHEN TO GET WEB HOSTING?
The obvious answer as to when to acquire a hosting service is when you are ready to launch or go public with your website. Keep in mind that researching the options and finding a host which fits your goals takes time. Therefore, you may want to begin this process early.
Also, before contacting web hosts, knowing your hosting needs and website goals narrows the field of options. Take time to organize your thoughts around this vital relationship in your business’s’ growth.
In other words, evaluating your needs becomes an essential first move in determining the web hosting option which works best. Understand your:
Needs in terms of speed, security and traffic management.
Website goals and growth potential.
Desire for control and root access (ability to access and edit all files).
Skills in the technical realm of hosting and maintaining a website.
Time to tackle maintenance and updating in the hosting process.
Budget to invest in this needed component of website launching.
Furthermore, you need a domain before hosting begins. Your domain, in simple terms, is a string of characters that identify your site. It is the Internet address by which browsers find you on the web.
So, how do these pieces fit together and get your website up and running? Let’s bullet point it for clarity.
Assess your web hosting needs.
Identify a unique domain name with a few variations (in case your first option turns out less than unique).
Search the name on a domain registrar’s site, register and pay the fees.
Research web hosts which meet your hosting needs.
Ask plenty of questions.
Discover the host and package which fit your goals.
To understand the options available to you and give you a foundation from which to ask your questions, check this out:
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOSTING.
Selecting a web hosting type does not change the fact that your site becomes stored on a company’s servers. What may differ is control, technical knowledge requirements, storage capacity, server speed and reliability.
Be sure to ask plenty of questions and check details when researching hosting options. Again, knowing your needs prior to starting these conversations proves invaluable. Paying too much for unneeded features or too little and turning consumers away in frustration proves a poor investment and slows your progress toward success.
As an overview, consider these different types of web hosting.
Free hosting is a true and viable option. However, be aware of limitations and any “catches” to going this route. Typically in these cases, an individual resells a small portion of his or her server to host your site. This service offers:
— No cost.
— A starting point.
Perfect for sites:
— WIth no budget to get started.
— Managed by those with technical knowledge.
Problematic in its:
— Requirement to put up banner ads (or other “catches”) on your site to cover the “free” site.
— Reliability as to the longevity of the relationship.
With all domains sharing server resources, shared hosting offers:
— A great entry level hosting option.
— Extremely low cost.
— Minimal technical knowledge requirements.
— Reliability of contract.
Perfect for small businesses and beginning bloggers who:
— Experience moderate levels of traffic.
— Run standard software.
— Are getting started.
Problematic in its:
— Lack of root access.
— Usage restrictions.
— Limited capacity to handle traffic spikes.
— Site performance impacted by other sites on the server.
— Greater server control, like that of a dedicated server.
Perfect for average-sized companies, high traffic blogs and new designers and developers wanting:
— More control.
— Less impact by other sites.
Problematic in its:
— Minimal ability to handle traffic spikes.
— Site performance somewhat affected by other sites.
— Need for you to have technical knowledge (or upgrade to managed VPS).
Dedicated Server Hosting
The option of dedicated server hosting includes what its title indicates. In other words, you essentially rent a whole server specifically for your website offering you:
— Secured hosting.
— Maximum control.
Best for high traffic blogs:
— Wanting full control.
— Experiencing significantly high traffic.
— Needing better server performance.
Problematic in its:
— Very expensive cost.
— Requirement of technical knowledge (again, unless you upgrade to a managed system).
While understanding the cloud alludes the novices among us, cloud hosting offers the premium package. The cloud (multiple computers) hosts a bunch of websites to offer:
— Handling of high level traffic and spikes.
— More secured site.
Best for high traffic sites:
— Experiencing issues due to high traffic volumes or spikes.
Problematic in its:
— Higher cost.
— Inconsistent offering of root access.
WHERE TO FIND HOSTING SERVICES.
A quick Google search reveals web hosting options galore. No need to worry about that. The problem arises in determining which are reputable and offer a fit for your needs. The list is overwhelming, isn’t it?
Local business owners and colleagues offer valuable referrals. Also, those experienced in quality websites provide insight into what to look for and avoid. But, keep in mind, their needs may not be the same as yours.
To get you started, check out this website NET GEEK PRO. They offer a bunch of useful hosting and WordPress theme related advice. Through this interactive site, cost, ratings and more are detailed.
WHY DOES WEB HOSTING MATTER?
Web hosting plays a vital role in the success of your website. And, choosing the best host improves your SEO and increases sales. Why? Your choice of web host influences the reliability, speed, and security of your site. And, this impacts your bottom line.
Also, the choice of site hosting impacts your time. Managed sites offer hands-free operation with someone else updating and maintaining. On the other hand, site hosting which requires you or to handle this aspect of hosting cuts into time required by other tasks.
Furthermore, your skills and knowledge may be limited in this area. Learning on the fly and keeping current on other duties may prove frustrating. This consideration also plays into your investment.
Well I hope you find this useful, and feel free to contact me for further information. I’m always willing to help.