Moving into professionalism with website ownership and web hosting is a big step for many small business owners. Here are the basics.
What is Web Hosting, How Does it Work, and What types are There?
Beginning a WordPress website can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to web hosting questions. When you start an online business or an online platform, it’s important to have a website that is safe and secure. If clients and customers are arriving at your site and it’s plagued with issues, they’re going to bounce right off your site and go somewhere else.
To combat this, it’s important to learn all about good web hosting and how it works. Below you’ll find some common questions and answers that are key to choosing the best online platform and website management to help build the best online experience.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting is basically the online platform where you store all your website’s settings, files, pictures, videos, and more. Your website is hosted by a platform that holds all the information that is added to it.
Are all web hosting and domains the same?
Web hosting and domains are two distinctly different things. However, they’re used together to create an amazing online experience.
Web hosting is the compilation of all online documents, files, and more. A domain is just a URL (location/address) to get to your site, often the name of the site or something to do with what you are or the services you offer.
They’re different, but both are needed to have a proper site setup.
Why do we need web hosting?
There are so many reasons that you NEED web hosting! A good hosting service secures all your files, words, pictures, and videos and serves them to site visitors. You can use a managed website host, and many people do. But you can also have a web hosting company or the personalized touch of a website maintenance agency that can take care of things for you.
Why is web hosting important? Web hosting ensures that what you’re sharing on the web is secure, done efficiently, and user-friendly. Hosting your site is important because it is a great basis for showcasing your offerings and products. With a proper web host, you’re showing customers and clients that you’re professional.
Having a good web host is the first part of setting up an online business presence that will get positive results.
Is WordPress a web host?
There are two options for using WordPress that many people tend to overlook or misunderstand. There is a “free” version and a “self-hosted” (paid) version, and they’re very different from one another.
The free hosting version of WordPress can be helpful but limits you on what you can do.
To have flexible and business-specific options with WordPress, self-hosted is the best way to go. That’s because it allows you to make unlimited edits and personalized touches that situate your site in a way that is true to you and your brand. It also has many other perks that can help you grow your business along the way.
Do I need to pay for web hosting?
Yes, there will be a fee that comes with having a website host. This is because they’re using their space and resources and are there to keep your online site up and running. For these reasons, a monthly fee is assessed and charged.
Some offer a discount for paying for the year in full, while others charge every month instead. Be sure that you read the fine print because there are some web hosts out there that offer an extremely cheap “first-year” rate and then up it by sometimes 10x or more! You may save in the beginning, but you get less value from the get-go, and as the rates increase, the value doesn’t. It’s best to start off with a good host, to begin with. If you do start out with a “cheap” host – I don’t recommend paying for more than a year upfront. Most businesses switch to a better host within the first year.
How can website management help?
Once you have a web host and domain, there are many things to manage. Even though it might be possible to do it all yourself in the beginning, the truth of the matter is that as you grow, you’re probably going to need help.
A management company such as ours, Impressions Media, basically takes away the stress and worries of anything happening to your site. This is super important for online businesses that rely on their website to keep consistent uptime to make sales.
Not only does our website management deal with any issues that may pop up, but we also help keep your content up-to-date and improve your site layouts as well. We don’t just keep things afloat, we also have the ability to make new logos, optimize your site, and pivot when needed to make positive changes.
This is all being done behind the scenes so that you can put your time and focus on the front end of growing your online presence and company.
When it comes down to it, web hosting is one of the most important decisions that you’ll make in terms of setting up your online site. It’s where all your files are stored, where your products will be located, and it’s where your clients will arrive to get their impression of your business or brand.
The online world is fast-paced, and having website issues for even one hour may cost you thousands of dollars in sales.
Take your time in choosing a host, and then make sure that they’re able to provide you with everything that you need for success. Have them work for you so that your website works well for others.
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