Here I will attempt to explain what hosting is, why you have to have it, and how to get it. We at South Metro Web Designs not only want to be your website company, we also want to help you navigate the complex realm of owning a website.
What is website hosting?
Website hosting, or web hosting, is a server that is directly connected to the internet where the files and software that make up and run a website are stored. Visitors to your website are connecting to this server to view your site.
Why you need hosting
Your website has to be somewhere. People have to be able to access it. Having a website that people can’t visit doesn’t make sense. Web hosting is where your website lives. Every website on the internet is on a host.
Can’t I just use my business computer?
Sure, that is if that computer will always be up and running, and connected to the internet at all times. If it’s not up, or not connected, people wouldn’t be able to access your website. Plus your internet connection must be fast enough to handle all of the traffic your website could possibly see. And remember, most home and business internet connections have pretty good download speeds, but a lower upload speed. Upload speed is what you would be using, as you are uploading your website to the person requesting it.
And unless you have a separate internet connection, anyone accessing your website will also be on your home or business network, giving hackers a potential backdoor to your files. This means you have to be the security expert of your company, or you have to hire one. Even the largest companies either don’t host their websites on their own servers, or they have dedicated servers and connections to the outside world that are separate from their internal network.
For a small business, hosting costs are surprisingly inexpensive. You can expect to pay anywhere from $75 – $100 per year (South Metro Web designs offers hosting for $79 per year, and includes that cost in our maintenance package).
There are plenty of hosting providers out there, and they’re not all the same. The purpose of this article isn’t to review providers, so if you’re purchasing hosting on your own, look at the different websites that do review hosting providers. This is super important if you’re planning on managing your own website. You will need to know how easy it is to access it, and what, if any, restrictions that have. Be aware that many of the largest providers are owned by the same company, EIG.
Many web design companies, us included, are “resellers” of hosting providers. In essence they purchase a large block of web space and resell that to their customers. This helps them to be able to maintain your server and website, since you’re using the same service as they are.
If you have any questions regarding hosting or any other web based topic, you can email me at Larry@southmetroweb.com, or call me at 770-692-0075.
Our website is southmetroweb.com
For more random musings, check out my personal blog at LarryInAtlanta.com