Thinking of starting a website? Have you been wondering “what is website hosting”? Take a look at this beginner’s guide to better understanding web hosting.
Are you confused as to whether or not your website is properly hosted? Do you get confused as soon as you sit down to figure out how to build your website?
From shared hosting to free hosting and VPNs to IPS, the technical jargon is enough to make any business owner run for the hills. But as a business owner in today’s digital market, you must have an active and robust website to stay competitive.
If creating a new website gives you chills, then don’t fear, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn what is website hosting, and why you need it.
What Is Website Hosting and Why Do I Need It?
Think of your website hosting as the land that you’re building your house on. This is vital to building a solid foundation for your website, and your business. Unfortunately, it can sometimes get forgotten in your quest to build your website.
You spent hours coming up with the perfect domain name that is both catchy and short enough for people to remember. But did you give any thought as to where you will build your business website? Are you left wondering what is web hosting?
Think of the URL as the address to your home. And the theme is the building showcasing your amazing business. But just as in real estate, when you’re building your website you need to consider location, location, location for your hosting provider.
As you’re building the showcase for your business, you will need to understand the meaning of hosting. Your hosting company will provide the space on the internet for your website to live so that when customers visit your domain they see your webpage. This information is all kept on servers.
Do I Need to Pay for Hosting?
Short answer, no you don’t technically need to pay for hosting. There are free providers out there such as WordPress.com and Blogger. However, remember the age-old saying that you get what you pay for.
With free hosting, you can’t customize your website the way you want to. You will be required to have their branding on every page of your website. And, unless you pay for your domain, you won’t be able to customize your URL either.
And to continue the metaphor above of thinking of your hosting as the land on which you’re building your business. You don’t want to live on someone else’s land when it comes to building your business. You want to know that you own the place where you’re building your successful venture.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you don’t need to pay for hosting. Unless you’re only running your blog to keep your Great Aunt Ruthie up-to-date on your latest travels or baby pictures, then you need paid-hosting services. So buy a great domain and pay for great hosting when it comes to your business website.
How Does Hosting a Website Work?
When you purchase your domain name, this doesn’t give you a site on the internet, it just gives you the rights to that domain. Until you hook up your domain to a server, you won’t have a website on the internet to point people to.
Along with our example earlier, this is similar to renting a home. You pay to live there and you can give your address to someone visiting. They put in your address to their GPS and are directed to your home.
Here is a simple illustration...
This same process applies when you rent a home for your website from a hosting provider. They then house your website for you so that when you give your address, or domain name, to a potential customer they can visit your website.
Without a hosting provider, when your potential customer visits your website they will reach a dead end. This isn’t good for business. Your hosting provider ensures that when your future client visits your website, they instead find your business home and can explore all that your business has to offer.
What Is a Hosting Provider?
A hosting provider is a company that houses many websites on many servers. Technically, you could host your own server and host your domain yourself, but this will be incredibly pricey and involve extensive technical knowledge on your part. So, don’t wonder how to host a website, let a professional company do it for you.
As you’re building your house you will add windows and trim and crown molding. The same is true as you build your website. You will need to include PDF files, images, and infographics, as well as links to your email address and possibly a lead magnet.
As you’re designing your website, this will be housed by your hosting company. The more decorations you use to build your website, the more housing you’ll need. So choose a hosting company that can grow with your website and business.
And if designing your website for your growing business sounds intimidating, then consider hiring professionals to create a custom website. By choosing a custom website built by a professional, you’ll give the best first impression when you send new customers to your new address.
Showcase Your Perfect Custom Website
So, if you’re growing your small to medium business and wonder if your website adequately represents you, then have a professional look at it. With a quick audit, any professional can tell you the best way to improve your website so that it shows the world how great your business is.
And the next time you give your card to a potential client you can rest easy knowing that when they visit your website address they will be blown away with how professional it is. You’ll no longer worry about what is website hosting and you’ll know that your website is well taken care of.
To learn more about how we can help you build the perfect online storefront for your business, contact us here today.