The basics of website hosting
So you know your company is looking for a website redesign, but what’s the next step? And what in the world is website hosting? It’s easy to get lost in website jargon, from servers and IP addresses to domains and robots. You’ve heard of the term ‘website hosting’ before, but it sounds too confusing and reminds you more of the movie Alien than an element to know when beginning the website redesign process. Here are the basics of website hosting:
What is website hosting?
Every website on the Internet is made up of a bunch of different computer files, including all its images, text, videos, etc. So, every website also needs a space where all of these files are kept. ‘Website hosting’ refers to that space where your website files are stored and maintained. Most often when you hear the term ‘website hosting’ it refers to a company that provides space on their servers (think super computers) to keep or “host” all your website’s files. Hosting your website on a server is important for a lot of reasons, which we’ll talk about below, but mainly because these servers have a crazy fast Internet connection. And that’s super important, especially if many people from all over the world are trying to access your website at once.
What is the difference between my website domain and website hosting?
This is where it can get confusing because it is possible to have one company register your domain name and another company host that website. In our research, we came across a house analogy that we like super well.
Think about it like this:
- Your website domain (www.blendermedia.com) is like the street address of your home where people go to find you.
- Website hosting is the house itself that stores all of your stuff (data and website files), and keeps things maintained.
The benefits of professional website hosting
Most companies pay a professional website hosting company to take good care of their website files, or they find a web design agency that both creates their website and provides website hosting services. Regardless of the way you go about it, you want to make sure your website hosting is done right, aka professionally. Here’s why you want to hire somebody.
1. Backup power supply
If the lights go out, your site will go down, unless you’re covered by a professional website hosting company. Power supply doesn’t matter when you’ve got backup generators.
2. A super sweet Internet connection
As we mentioned earlier, if a lot of people are attempting to access your website at once, you’ll need a server with a fast enough Internet connection to withstand it. Website hosting companies provide space on their fast servers for your site.
Depending on the package you choose from the company, there isn’t a limit to how many pages your site can have or number of photos or files you can store. This is important to remember if you want a website redesign with flashy videos and cutting edge animation. That takes up space somewhere!
4. Hardware maintenance
Get some peace of mind knowing that, if your website is hosted by professionals, that they’re taking care of all that metal and machinery that’s working to keep your website up and running.
5. Customer support
If our Alien reference above was a bit vague, we’ll repeat again: the technicalities behind website design are hard! There’s a lot of industry jargon, and if you don’t understand something about the way your website is stored, or are wondering about its capabilities, it’s nice to have a company to call.