If you’ve ever struggled to understand terms like website hosting and site maintenance, don’t worry – you’re not the only one.
“What are web hosting and site maintenance, and how do they work?”, “What does it cost?”, “Who needs them?”, “What’s in it for me?” — yes, these questions are asked quite a lot.
Millions of people across the world wide web, from regular internet users to small-time entrepreneurs to large enterprises, have all asked themselves these same questions at some point.
Fortunately enough, you have stumbled upon our article because we are here to help clarify some of the jargon and hopefully put an end to the confusion! So get comfortable, and let’s begin!
When you’re running a website, there are two things you need to think about: hosting and site maintenance. They’re both important, but they’re also different.
But before we even get there, let’s get you up to speed about domains.
Your domain is your website’s address on the internet, and it’s what people type into their browsers to find your site. For example, Google’s domain is www.google.com.
You can think of it as your home address. Just like you need an address for people to find your house, you need a domain for people to find your website.
You can also think of domains as your website’s identity, and it’s how you and your customers will remember and recognize your site.
And just as you wouldn’t want to change your home address too often, you don’t want to change your domain name too frequently. Doing so would be confusing for you and your customers, and it would make it difficult for people to find your site.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s talk about web hosting.
What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the process of making your website accessible to others via the internet. For your website to show up when someone enters your web address (URL) into their browser, your site needs to be hosted on a server.
This server can be either physical (like at a data center) or virtual (like in the cloud). Once your website is hosted, people can visit it from anywhere in the world.
Let’s use an analogy to make this easier to digest; imagine that you are renting space for your shop. If you were renting a space for your shop, the first thing you would need to do is find a good location.
This location needs to have the right demographics for your target market, be easily accessible, and be the right size for your needs. Once you’ve found the perfect location, you must sign a lease and pay the rent.
This is similar to web hosting; you need to find a good location for your website (on a server), sign a lease (by paying for hosting), and pay the rent (monthly hosting costs).
Your web host is responsible for providing you with the space on their server, maintaining that space, and ensuring that the server stays up and running. In exchange for this, you agree to pay them a monthly fee.
The type of hosting you need will depend on the size and needs of your website. For example, if you have a small personal blog, you might only need shared hosting, which is the most basic and affordable type of hosting.
Shared hosting means your website will share a server with other websites. This is similar to renting an apartment; you share the same space with other tenants, but you each have your own private room.
The downside, however, is that if another website on your shared server gets a lot of traffic, it can also slow down your website — which may not give the best experience for your site visitors.
If you have a more extensive website or one with higher traffic levels, you might need to upgrade to VPS hosting, which is a step up from shared hosting. VPS is a virtual private server, meaning your website will have its own dedicated server.
This is similar to renting a house; you have the entire property to yourself and don’t have to share it with anyone else. Of course, this comes at a higher cost than shared hosting.
Finally, if you have an extremely large website or one with super high traffic levels (plenty of site visitors), you might need to upgrade to a dedicated physical server. This is the most expensive type of hosting, but it also offers the most features and the best performance.
A dedicated server is just like it sounds — it’s a server that is entirely dedicated to your website. This means you don’t have to share the server with anyone else and have complete control over it. Of course, this also comes with a higher price tag.
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is web hosting?”, let’s move on.
What Is Site Maintenance?
Most companies that only offer hosting services don’t provide website maintenance, which usually includes updating the site and its security features, changes to DNS records, codes, etc.
If you’re not used to technical language, these things can be pretty complicated. If your website experiences an outage or a compromise to security, or if it starts running slowly, you’ll likely have to call someone for help at a surprising cost!
Keep in mind that even when you don’t plan to make any changes, your website will still require maintenance. Suppose you have a WordPress site. You need to continuously run the latest version of WordPress and all installed plugins or themes. In addition, new versions of these are regularly released so you must install them on your site to keep them up to date and avoid future problems.
Put simply, if you don’t maintain your website, it will become outdated quickly, look unattractive, and have more prolonged or frequent downtimes. This makes visitors unhappy and harms their experience on your site, ultimately impacting your business negatively.
What It Means To Work With An Agency Who Can Handle It All
When you sign up with a one-stop agency such as AD-IOS Digital Marketing Co. for your hosting and site maintenance needs, you can forget everything you’ve read so far!
Why? Because then, it will be our responsibility to make sure everything stays up and running smoothly. If there’s an issue with your website, we will be able to quickly pinpoint the source of the problem and correct it.
We know how to get your website seen by the right people, and we’re passionate about helping our clients grow their businesses online. So let us worry about your website while you focus on what you do best: running your business!
Talk to our experts today and enjoy a free consultation!