What is Hosting
To explain this easily, hosting is a computer that looks after a website. Nothing else. Think of it as a parking garage where you park your ‘website’. And the discussions around hosting and what to pay for it centres around where the computer is, how many computers are looking after the website, the software used to protect the website and how many humans are keeping an eye on it.
The price therefore starts at nothing. You host your website on your own computer.
On the other end of the scale the cost can be a huge amount. You have your website backed up over several computers, have super sophisticated software creating barriers against hacking and you have many people watching over it. A good example of huge hosting costs are Banks. As you can imagine they have their information backed up not only on several computers but also in different countries even continents. They have very expensive anti hacking software and they have whole armies keeping an eye on the safety of the information.
What to Consider when Deciding on Hosting
You have to decide where on this long range of services you fall. How important is your website to you and your business, how much traffic, how secure does the site have to be for instance if you have an online store, and what level of supervision do you want in order for you to feel well looked after.
Self Hosting An Option?
Here are some reasons why you should avoid this if at all possible.
* Do you have 100% reliable power service? Never an outage? Not really heard of even in the developed world
* Slow connection? Odds are you are paying for a 15MB line download speed and a 2MB upload speed. Not going to be good enough. It’s how quickly your website uploads when somebody is visiting it that is important.. With a server, since you are sending files, you need a high upload speed. It is almost guaranteed that your home or business connection has a slow upload speed.
- Dynamic IP Address – Your home Internet connection has a dynamic IP address that changes over time.
- Hardware Maintenance – If your home computer has any issues or needs a new part, your website is down while you have it repaired.
A Reliable Hosting Provider will Have:
- Stable power supplies with an on-site emergency generator
- Ultra-fast and stable connections with extremely fast upload speeds and can serve up info to thousands of visitors checking a website at the same time
- Static IP Address. People will always be able to find you
- Expert Team. Maintenance of hardware and software will never be a problem with a dedicated technical support team. They also have backup hardware in case of problems.
Hosting Provider Options
Here comes the tricky part. Once you realise that there is no possible way you can host your own site due to lack of resources whether hardware, software or people you now have to work out who to go with.
It almost seems as if hosting service providers want to confuse you with tech talk that you don’t understand. In this way they can sell you a service at a price that is not the right deal for you. With other words you check off the price as your decision trigger because you can’t actually understand anything else.
This happens to almost everybody. Only the folk working in webdesign and hosting service company actually know what’s going on. The rest of the world doesn’t. Everybody’s eyes glaze over when they read the tech jargon on a hosting company site. Even talking to somebody will not provide enough info for you to make an educated decision.
Let’s try and explain it in words that one can understand. There are three options that most service providers offer.
Shared, Dedicated, and Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
This as you can imagine is the cheapest option. You are sharing space with other small websites. Think of it as a bedroom with lots of double bunk beds shared by a bunch of kids. Shared hosting is by far the most common option for small businesses, individuals, and even some popular websites. Shared hosting is many websites hosting on a single server (which means computer). The advantage to using shared hosting is it makes it extremely cheap because of the shared resources. In general a shared host can handle up to 30 000 per month. This should be enough for small business sites.
A single website is hosted by a single server. The advantage to this is that you have a computer totally focused on your website which gives you the best possible performance. A dedicated hosting service is obviously more expensive as it offer fast page-load times, dedicated IP and the facility to handle up to 100 000 visitors per month.
VPS Hosting (Cloud)
VPS stands for “Virtual Private Server.” A VPS has a huge amount of computing resources. You can pay for a portion of this resource for a price. Imagine a computer with thousands of processors, terabytes of RAM, and unlimited hard drive space. For a fee per month, you can reserve as much of that computer as you need.
In this instance hundreds of computers are networked together and come as a single resource. The main advantage is that you can be flexible in terms of what you need. You can decrease or increase the amount of the resource you need in accordance to your needs. VPS hosting is good for the more technically inclined and usually caters to programmers and web designers.
But there’s More to It
Besides the amount of space you want to rent for your website there are a range of additional things that need to be considered.
Here are a few questions you might ask a potential Hosting Provider:
- How many Subdomains & Databases & Emails do you get with your fee
- Who sets up your email accounts as and when needed
- Are you Domains looked after (excluding registration or renewal fees as you want to make sure you own your domain name)
- Do you have a good Hosting control Panel such as Plesk read more about this here:
- Does your provider have high performance hardware with SSD
- Do you get the option of having SSL installed on your main site? That is the secure HTTPS:// Important security for online shops
- Does your Hosting Provider offer automatic daily & weekly website backups
- Are you notified by Uptime monitor if your site is down?
- What about Website Caching and Speed Optimisation with W3C
- Hacking repair (just in case)?
- Does your Hosting provider Install Google Webmaster tools
- Set up analytics & tracking
Do You Need All of This?
You probably have no need for this kind of service if you have a five page website that you put up on the internet without any promotion for traffic. this kind of site will not a level of hosting service as described above. But if you have a website that works for you by informing visitors of your services or products and captures leads for you then you might want to consider a service that provides all of the above. And more.
Webdesign 101 Berlin with it’s main company Yeah Can Design Studio offers hosting to clients whose websites we have designed and built.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Yeah Can on half a dozen different projects and they always deliver outstanding results. So much so that, whenever we need a new website or have any projects that need flawless WordPress design expertise, they’re always the top of our list.
Link to site: inktankmedia.fi
Are you ready for the challenge now?
Odds are that if you have made it to the end of this article you are seriously looking for a webdesign service that will be just right for you. Whether you wish to have face to face consultations in Berlin or are happy to nurture a relationship through Skype and cloud based tools you might want to talk to us to see whether we are a good fit.