What kind of Webhost do I need for my website?
By the Caribfind Team
Webhost? What is that?
A ‘web-host’ is a place where the pages of your website are stored. That place is on a host computer (a Server) somewhere in the Cloud (another story for another day), or on some host-computer somewhere in the world. That place has an ‘address’ and when anyone, anywhere in the world, types in your domain name (your www.Mybusiness.com), their browser takes them to that address. The pages of your website are found, and those pages are then displayed on the person’s computer screen.
It is surprising that a high percentage of small business owners, or persons seeking to get a web presence, do not know that a webhost is required for a website; or they might know, but they do not give it much thought.
Some people are accustomed to having a free account on Facebook or other social media platforms, so the thought of needing a special place to put their www.site is a new concept. Facebook or Instagram pages are actually web pages which are designed and hosted by those social media companies, on their servers. Those pages, and the hosting of it, are managed by thousands of IT engineers, working around the clock.
So let us talk about Hosting:
There are different types of ‘Hosting Services’, and the cost varies from the cheapest, say $US5 per month, to hundreds and even thousands a month, depending on your business requirement. Even then there are different grades of services, some offering more and better functionality than others. You get what you pay for.
Let’s examine what types of hosting are offered.
1. Shared hosting.
This is a situation where your site is sharing space, hardware and software resources, with hundreds, or thousands, of other sites. This type of hosting might be perfect for someone having a simple site with basic information and a few pictures, and not having too much concern for the speed of the site, or its security.
However, you may not want to host an e-commerce website on this type of host, as, in busy times, your site may just not work, or it might slow to a crawl. This is a big turn-off for users who basically wait about four seconds looking at a loading screen before scooting off to another website.
In a shared-hosting situation there is a big concern for site security also. There are loads and loads of bad guys (and gals) out there, who spend their waking hours writing malicious code to inject into sites. This is big business these days. This code is called malware, ransomware, spy-ware or plain old ‘viruses’. This malicious code worms its way into servers all over the world, and they do their damage.
When you are on a shared server and one of the sites on that server is targeted by the bad guys, chances are that the virus would be spread to your site also, as the ‘wall’ between your site and all the others, might not be very secure.
2. Dedicated Hosting.
This is where your site is on its own physical server, sharing nothing with anyone. This type of hosting can be the most expensive, depending on the service provider, and whether your site is on a super-duper host or a mickey-mouse host.
3. Virtual Private Server
Then there is what is called a ‘virtual private server’; this is where your site is on the same physical machine as some other sites, but that machine is configured in a way that it becomes multiple virtual machines, each one separated from the others digitally; each one with its own resources and configuration; like a separate machine. This one tends to be less costly than a dedicated host server.
This is where the service provider or the host-company is responsible for setup and configuration of the ‘environment’ for the hosting of your site; responsible for it’s maintenance; responsible for monitoring the site for security challenges or vulnerability issues; responsible for patch management (providing security, software, and operating system updates to servers); responsible for backups; offers application support (for example WordPress Managed Hosting); provides tech support; and performs malware removal. Costs for the above vary based on the number and level of services offered.
With the threat level increasing each year, sites are now more vulnerable, and fixing issues can cost a company dearly if you do not have managed hosting. Your digital agency can never guarantee site security, nor can they anticipate design-software upgrades, upgrades to plug-ins etc. So they are not necessarily responsible for services that are required to deal with issues that might arise, unless you have a contract with them for those services.
Unless you have in-house technical staff, or a digital agency which can provide the requisite expertise, managed hosting is probably the best solution for any business or enterprise which values its web presence. It is much cheaper to pay the extra costs for managed hosting than to have technical staff on call, or to pay your digital agency when problems arise.
For more information on building or hosting your web application, you can contact Kiskadee Mecia Inc. email - email@example.com