I was reviewing some old posts here at Inspired, and thought I would rehash a post my fellow author David Murton wrote back in May about How to Choose a Proper Internet Hosting Service. I wanted to quick add my two cents…
Are You Looking for a Website Host?
I’m directing this at you! Why do you want a website host? Are you a small business owner looking to create your own website, or have you already selected a firm and are you trying to brush up on the whole process and learn just enough to be “dangerous?”
I’ve worked with dozens of different hosts over the years and no matter who you are, no matter WHAT your situation, the old adage holds true…
You get what you pay for!
But, let’s take a giant step back…
What is Website Hosting? What is a website host?
Whoa buddy… that’s two questions, are you going to pay me by the hour here… (who is he talking to)?
Those are two GREAT questions. Website hosting is simply the computer and network your website sits on.
Here’s a quick example:
Let’s say you own HorseMilk.com (that is a very weird domain name – and someone ACTUALLY REGISTERED IT!)…
Anyway, when a visitor types in HorseMilk.com into their web browser !bam! through a system of technical bells and whistles they end up making a request to the computer that is hosting YOUR website. That computer sends them the site files and all of a sudden they’re seeing your site (see graphic below).
Often times you’ll ALSO run email through your website host. Meaning it’s also the means for which your business will communicate.
But, it’s more than that…
You’re putting up a website because you have something to show the world right? Even if it’s a teeny blog, where you can express your thoughts and feelings. But, it’s probably something more like a few pages to describe your business, or perhaps even a full store where you’ll transact BUSINESS. The point is, there’s a point… a point to you setting up shop in some way shape or form on the web. Unfortunately, unlike brick-and-mortar businesses servers fail all the time, and so do networks, and software, and any number of things, taking your website offline. Even if it’s a personal blog, in the moment inspiration sparks and you want to write, you want to know that you’ll be able to access and add to your website right?
Why Website Hosting Is Important
- It’s Your Digital Identity’s Lifeblood – a down host means a down site, means no business, means lost customers
- Communication – If you’re running email through your server (@horsemilk.com for example)
- Marketing – The better your website host, the better your search engine results
Hosting is interesting though in that, if you have a great host, none of the above are “issues” they just run, and you’re none-the-wiser. However, if there’s a problem, your business can quickly falter.
For more technical information on actually choosing a website host check out the How to Choose a Hosting Service.