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What Does Hosting Mean? Choosing the Right Hosting Package

Hosting refers to a service that allows your website to be stored and maintained. It’s an important decision for every company, so we asked our developer to answer your FAQs.

Do you need quality hosting for your website?  Check out our website hosting packages.

What Exactly Am I Paying For When I Sign Up for Hosting Services?

When you pay a monthly fee for website hosting, you’re paying to use space on a website server where your website’s files and software are stored. This space is available online at all times. It’s important to remember that hosting is different than domain registration. You must always be sure to keep both your hosting services and domain registration active for your website to be live.

Are There Other Hosting Services I Need Besides Server Space?

There are a number of items that should be included in your website maintenance plan. To keep your website safe, secure and relevant, be sure the following list of items are covered:

  • Software Updates
    Website software must be updated on a regular basis to take advantage of new features and to patch security vulnerabilities. When you’re running a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, this includes updating WordPress itself, along with themes and plugins installed on the website. Updates are typically very easy to run, but there are occasions when an update may break a website. It’s important to have the expertise to fix these issues.
  • Security
    No-one wants their site to be hacked! It’s estimated that on average 30,000 new websites are hacked every day. In addition to regular software updates, websites need to be firewall protected, the code should be free of vulnerabilities, and site should be monitored regularly for malware and any other anomalies.
  • Back-Ups
    There are a number of things that can take down or mess up a website: hacks, malware, unexpected errors in updates, editing mistakes, and more. Make sure you have a good backup system and a simple way to restore back-up files in case the worst happens.
  • Performance
    Google has found that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a web page doesn’t load within three seconds. Your website needs to be fast! Websites also need to be useful and attractive. All those images, videos, animations, and code can add up to a lot of files for users to download. You need a fast server and caching software to deliver the best experience. (Not sure what that means? Check out these helpful web terms.)
  • Up-Time Monitoring
    Is your site up? How do you know? You can’t check it all the time. That’s why your website should be constantly monitored to catch service outages so you can get it back up and running as soon as possible. 
  • SSL Certificates
    SSL certificates encrypt website data as it is downloaded and uploaded to your website service. If you have a certificate and it’s valid, you’ll see the lock icon next to your website address in the browser. If you don’t, you’ll either have a broken lock or you may get an error that won’t allow your site to load at all. SSL certificates must be installed correctly and renewed on a regular basis. This is something a developer can help you do.
  • Software Licensing
    Many high quality themes and plugins for website require a licensing fee. If your license is not up to date, you won’t be able to install key updates. 
  • Updates and Edits
    Don’t let your website get out of date! As things change in your business, your website needs to be offering potential customers the most current information. Updating and adding content to your site can also help your search engine rankings, as Google rewards high-quality and up to date web content. Small updates are often simple to make but if you want your website to look its best, it can help to have a pro perform website edits on a regular basis.

Is your website being properly taken care of?  We can keep your website happy and healthy!

How do I chose the best hosting plan for my needs?

There are a number of considerations when choosing a hosting plan.  

Most hosts have packages with different limits for the number of websites you can host, the amount of disk space you can use, and the amount of bandwidth your website can use. Disk space is the total amount of storage your website files will take up on the server. This includes the website code, database, images, and videos. Bandwidth is the number of bytes required to transfer your site to all visitors.  When a user looks at your website in a browser, they actually download the website files and the browser bundles them together into a web page.  If your website has a lot of users viewing the content, you may run out of bandwidth quickly.

In addition to these limits, hosting companies offer different types of web hosting. Some common offerings are shared web hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting.  

Shared Web Hosting Services

Shared web hosting is when a website is hosted on the same server as many other websites. This is a very common and inexpensive solution, but can be risky. Many website hosts thousands of sites on the same server. If the server load is not balanced well, other websites can effect your website’s performance and security. There is also very limited access provided to shared servers.

Dedicated Web Hosting Services

Dedicated hosting provides the entire server for just your website. This can be very expensive and is only necessary for extremely large websites with a lot of traffic.

Virtual Private Server Hosting

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) provide clients with a dedicated server. The server itself runs many different website but software is used to divide the server up, which allows the user to have configuration access and better security.

There are also different management software tools, technical support, and caching and backup services provided by hosting companies.  Choosing a plan should depend on the size and traffic of your website and your expertise in configuring and managing the server and website.  

Don’t know where to start? Let our experts create the best hosting plan for your website.