One of the most important yet rarely seen forces behind the internet is website hosting. From the largest corporation to the smallest business, no business would have a website without a host server to store the information. Servers can be set up to assist the individual website’s goals, making it faster, easier to update, and more accessible to the actual owner. This means that not all website hosting services are the same!
What Is Website Hosting?
Hosting is the storage of all the information that makes up a website. HTML, CSS stylesheets, documents, media files, and all the other information is stored in special data centres called servers. The data sits in physical servers, and when anyone enters a unique domain name into their browser, the browser requests files from the server that houses the information related to this specific domain. The server answers this request using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and if the information is there, the HTTP sends it to the browser. If not, the user will get the dreaded 404 message.
Servers are set up to produce web pages based on browser requests, but they can answer them in different ways. For example, a server might fill a template with information from its database; this is how a site like Wikipedia can have millions of pages ready to go. The server only has a few HTML templates and a database of information with which to fill them. These simple processes make delivering and maintaining data quicker and easier. But this isn’t the case for all sites, and a server can be set up to meet the individual needs of the website.
Why Is Your Choice Of Website Host Important?
There are several types of website hosting services, each with their pros and cons:
- Shared Hosting: This is the cheapest option, and you get what you pay for with shared website hosting. As the name suggests, this is multiple websites stored on the same server. All these websites share the same resources, and demand for them can cause overloads that will slow down your website speed. You also have little to no control over the information on the server.
- Dedicated Hosting: This type of service uses one server per website. It gives full root access (an industry term for complete control) over the website and the server that hosts it. It’s great for keeping websites as fast and independent as possible.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting: This option has features of both shared and dedicated hosting. Multiple websites share a server, but they each have a different operating system. These virtual systems act as individual dedicated servers at a lower cost than an actual dedicated host.
Some owners might also choose the server of a free platform on which they’ve built a site. By using a hosting platform like Blogger or a template site, they risk their website’s independence. To keep a website free and online on these platforms, the owner has to agree to certain terms and conditions. You could lose access to your site at the worst possible time, missing out on traffic and sales, all because the site didn’t have your interests in mind.
Dedicated hosts give websites much more security. These physical servers stay linked to the rest of the web through high-speed connections, keeping speeds consistent at all hours of the day. The best part is, your website is the only website stored on the given server. This improves overall site performance and guarantees that if one server goes down, not every site is affected.
When the company that builds your site also hosts it, you won’t have these problems. They can update your site and solve problems as soon as possible. This is why the SlyFox team does everything from building the website to hosting it to making sure you, the small business owner, controls all the information. It’s how we make sure all our clients get a quality, useful online marketing experience!