Most business owners and entrepreneurs know that they need a website, but the “how” and “why” isn’t always clear. There are the occasional tech-savvy boardroom masters who generally rock it at all parts of the job, but for those of you whose eyes glaze over at the mention of the finer intricacies of HTML and SSL functions, allow us to give you a crash course in web hosting.
You just started a company and want to build your online presence. First, you need a domain name. This is your address. Technically, domain names are a replacement for your IP address, because no one has time to remember a string of random numbers. I couldn’t even tell you what my best friend’s phone number is. This is what people are going to type into Google (Sorry, Bing.) to get to your page. Make sure you like it, because you’re going to plaster this on everything associated with your business. We can give you tips (hyperlink to domain advice article) on that if you’re interested.
That’s where web hosting comes in. This is necessary to be online. Anyone who wants a website needs a host. Full stop. Some are free, and some are not, but picking one is the one of the first choices you’ll need to make before going online. In the same way most companies have a physical space like a shop or an office, you need a space online. In order to do this, what you’re actually asking for, and what you’re paying for (if you choose to do so) with hosting, is physical space on a company’s server and bandwidth. What type and how much you need depends on your situation (amount of traffic, published website files, email, etc.). You can discuss this with a professional or take our quiz here (hyperlink). Put simply, a host is like your online landlord, without the awkward pleasantries you feel compelled to have every time you pass them in the hall. They will fix things that break with the added benefit—and this is where the landlord metaphor ends--of being responsible for its safety.
What are your options? Check these out:
Servers are big and can host many sites. If you don’t mind sharing your server space with your host’s other clients, this may be a good option, especially if you’re on a budget or aren’t worried about space. This is like the basic model.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
This option still involves sharing a server, but with this, your website will have a reserved amount of memory and computing power. If you’re growing quickly, this might be a good choice.
Cloud hosting is like the ultimate overachiever. With this option, you work with a group of servers. When one is bogged down, you’re routed to another, so it eliminates possible issues before they start. It’s incredibly reliable.
You might choose a dedicated server if your company is large and growing and has a large amount of web traffic each month. This comes with full customization options and high security.
Put simply, this is shared hosting for WordPress sites only. It’s low-cost and beginner-friendly.
Still not sure what’s right for you? Talk to a professional or take our quiz (hyperlink).