What Is Web Hosting? Why Is It Important?
In 2018 web hosting is set to become a vital part of your website’s success or failure.
Web hosting will soon become a priority issue for all website owners, specifically small and medium business owners who have been able to survive thus far with their original package, and little knowledge of what a web hosting package entails.
Those days are going, going gone!
What is website hosting?
Hosting is where your website lives and who looks after it while it lives there.
For example, you might have a website domain/name (mywebsite.ie) and it is hosted by Blacknight or similar type hosting company. Your site lives on their servers. Great. But what’s involved?
There are two main types of hosting that most clients consider;
1 – Many small businesses have what is called shared hosting. This involves your website living alongside many other websites often up to a few thousand others on the same server. This is the cheapest hosting solution. And where most people start. It’s a good way to dip your toes in the water with regards hosting.
Shared hosting’s main advantage is the price, for those that do not have a decent budget for hosting. In most cases you do not need to be involved in the maintenance of the server, the hosting company does that.
It has disadvantages; it can be slow loading and restrictive in terms of what type of functionality your website needs. Shared hosting often runs on older server technologies which may not be running the latest versions of PHP and SQL. This can have a big impact on CMS (WordPress, Magento, Joomla!, etc) sites in particular.
Security can also be a concern as the strength of your server security is dependent on the weakest link in the chain (other sites on the same server that do not keep their sites secure).
We rarely see busy websites, especially E-Commerce, running on shared hosting.
2 – Dedicated hosting is where you as the client rent a server that is just for you (i.e. not shared with anybody else!). It allows you to control what happens on the server and is ideal for websites that need that bit more in terms of performance, speed, and security.
We normally see medium and enterprise level businesses choosing this option, but as time goes on, we are seeing smaller businesses also opt for this.
Using a dedicated hosting service offers the benefits of high performance, security, email stability, and control.
Webbuddy has a great Cloud solution in place for our clients. A shared Cloud server running all the latest technologies that we manage on your behalf. All the benefits of a high-end dedicated server at a much-reduced price.
For example, we have a Tier 1 Cloud VM just for our WordPress clients, and, as part of the dedicated hosting package, we keep the WordPress core, themes, and plugins on their website and installation up to date. This ensures everyone has the most recent versions available.
We also manage the server itself (in partnership with Blacknight Solutions in Carlow) and make sure the latest stable versions of Apache with NGINX are utilised alongside up to date versions of PHP & SQL, to deliver the best performance for our clients.
Removing the headache of worrying about the server side of the internet for our clients, allows them to get on with running their business.
Our hosting packages include hosting your own corporate domain email (like [email protected]). We also have additional security firewalls in place to prevent brute-force attacks and have strict protocols in place to protect you from being hacked.
All of these options are normally associated with much more expensive enterprise-level hosting solutions, but with our solution at a much more affordable price. We are so convinced its the best way forward we have our own website and email running on this type of installation.
Why is hosting important?
There are two main reasons why hosting is important;
1. Speed – this is important because Google thinks it is important and users think it is important.
Google regards page speed as one of its most important ranking factors. Your website speed impacts your SEO. One will not work effectively without the other.
There is also the User Experience aspect of page speed (UX). If a page takes too long to load what do you do? Most people don’t wait. Four seconds is considered the average before users abandon the site. For your users, customers and clients it is imperative that your page appears quickly and smoothly. Some of this is how well your website is built. But a very large part of it is your hosting service.
Shared hosting is slower, simple as. Dedicated hosting is quicker, often much, much quicker.
2. Security – With the coming changes in the data privacy laws – General Data Protection Regulation (we wrote about it HERE) in Ireland, every small business owner should already be focused on security.
Many big companies have already been hacked, so it should be on your radar. Shared hosting’s weakest link is the website owner who pays no heed to viruses. Their website lives on the same estate as yours and they keep inviting trouble around. Eventually, the trouble will spread to your house.
Dedicated hosting means you have bigger stronger walls to protect your website, your clients’ data and their privacy. And of course, keep your website up and running.
How much should I expect to pay for hosting?
Shared hosting comes in nowadays at around €50 a year – this is a good place to start. However, if you have e-commerce, and you plan on getting busy, then some form of dedicated hosting is where you should be looking.
Webbuddy has various hosting packages in place for our clients, all on our own dedicated servers, co-managed with Blacknight Solutions in Carlow.
Premium hosting starts from as little as €199 per year. We can offer you quicker, more secure, Cloud VM hosting solutions for a fraction of the cost of doing it yourselves.
Why not give us a call on 045 945 104 or email us here [email protected] if you would like to come with us and have your website hosted in safe speedy splendour.