“Why do I need web hosting”? That question comes up very often in our business. Welcome back to Tech Know with Uncle Url! Remember, there are no dumb questions, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling dumb when I ask them, so instead of you feeling silly, I’ll ask the questions for you! This article will clear up the question “Why do I need web hosting”?
The short answer is, you must have web hosting. You can’t have a website live and accessible on the Internet without the website being hosted on a server. Hosting is the only way to have your website available to anyone on the Internet. Don’t let phrases like “My website is saved in the cloud, so I”m ok” be confusing. There is no cloud!! Every website is on a physical server, a very powerful computer, not in the cloud but in physical space somewhere. When considering which web hosting service to subscribe to, you should know what web hosting is, and know what web hosting is not. There are also some things to consider when looking for a web hosting service.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that you will pay for that will rent space on a server somewhere in the world. Once the website is hosted, anyone in the world will be able to access that website. Without hosting your website, no one will be able to access your website.
What web hosting is not:
Web hosting is not the same as buying a domain name. When you buy your domain name, probably from a service like GoDaddy.com, you are just purchasing the name of your website so no one else can have it. Theoretically, you could buy a million domain names and not have any website, or need web hosting.
Web hosting is not just building a website. You can build a website by yourself on your computer, or even have a professionally designed and developed website. Then you have a website, but no one in the world can access that website until it is hosted somewhere.
Theoretically, you could host the website on your own, but web hosting is not really practical to do on your own home computer. It is possible, but not practical. You would need a powerful computer with lots of RAM and a fast processor. You would also need Linux or Windows as an operating system, and of course, the technical skills to run the server. Those technical skills include being able to do backups, install malware to stop hacking, do updates and troubleshooting if there are technical issues. Believe us, it is worth the little bit of rent each month to have peace of mind that experts are behind the scenes making all of this happen.
What to expect from a web hosting service
When you host with a company, expect that there will be a charge. You are renting space on their server to have your website accessible to anyone on the internet. They will usually charge you monthly rent.
You should also expect regular updates to plug-ins and malware software. You can also reasonably expect that the service will test your site or vulnerabilities, create backups, and regularly scan for malware threats. This should be done weekly, and reports should be sent to you, or at least available upon request, so you can see what has been done to your website.
Be careful that you don’t buy a web hosting plan that is too expensive. You may be seduced into buying a more expensive plan. Usually more expensive plans are for very large websites with a lot of traffic, or lots of e-commerce going on the website. If you have a small business, and don’t get thousands of contacts per day through your website, you are probably fine with a less expensive plan.
The other side of the coin is very, very cheap hosting sites. We have seen hosting sites advertising for one cent per year. Too good to be true? It probably is. We have many clients who now host with us because their website was hosted on one of the cheap hosting services. When they were on these cheap hosting sites, they found out that often thousands of websites are crammed on one server. If clients had their website hacked or had other issues, they couldn’t get a hold of anyone to help them. One recent client switched over to our hosting because their website address said “not secure”, which was a message that did not give website users a sense of confidence and security in their business. We switched them over to our server, installed the SSL certificate and everything is great!
We hope that this article will help guide your decision on where to host your website. If you are interested, we also offer hosting at 212 Creative, LLC. Check out our plans Here
Check out other informative and fun articles by Uncle URL, including What is the difference between a URL and a domain name? What is a Google Business Listing? Cookies-Ha! What are they good for? Ac-tu-ally something!! How to protect yourself against malware in three easy steps. What is a SSL Certificate, and What is a DNS Record?