What Is & What All Does Website Hosting Entail?
Every website needs a hosting service, which is typically billed on a monthly basis, as the hosting is continuous through each day, week, and month. At Pathfinder, we provide our own servers for hosting sites in order to better manage them for you, ensuring extra tracking and security.
First, and foremost…
Website hosting is a must. Anyone who wants to build a website needs web hosting to store their website’s files and make them accessible for visitors worldwide.
But what really is website hosting?
IN SUMMARY: Web hosting is a service that allows you to publish your website on the internet. It involves storing all your website files on a server and providing a way for people to access those files through a web browser. Think of it like renting a space on the internet.
A website host is an allocation of space on a server to store the files for the website. This can include code, images, videos, and any other needed files. The service then allows them to be viewed online on your website. There are several types of hosting, such as a shared or dedicated server, cloud hosting and others.
The management of the server, provided by your host, can help improve connectivity, speed, and other associated services. Managing the resources and security of the server is important to ensure people can access your website easily, and quickly. Server outages are what takes your website down, so that it can no longer be viewed. Similarly, the security of the server may prevent a hack that causes a loss of control of the website and its content.
These are just a few reasons that choosing a trustworthy hosting service is so important, though many companies choose the first option they find.
So how do you choose?
Choosing the right hosting plan will mean having access to the right allocation of resources to keep your website loading quickly and reliably for your visitors. Think about how many businesses these days operate primarily online; their sales and business leads come from their website. If someone lands on a website and there’s a problem — it takes too long to load or doesn’t appear at all — potential customers won’t wait around. They’ll bounce off that site in search of a one that works correctly and can deliver what they are looking for, seamlessly.
If you’re new to operating a website, web hosting and related lingo can be a puzzling topic. Thus many will choose the cheapest option or anything bundled with their domain name purchase under the mistaken belief that all hosting options are essentially the same.
This can be a costly mistake. They’re not all the same.
Why pay for hosting?
Uptime AKA Reliability
It’s likely that you’ll want your website to operate 24/7, and you’ll only get that from a web host with reliable servers and stable network connections.
A site that is hard to reach or frequently down loses visitors, customers, and can hit revenue hard. If someone finds your site and tries to access it only to find that it’s unavailable, they won’t hesitate to go to a competitor site. Slow access is also very frustrating for dedicated visitors (and also for you when uploading new content).
If your site is going to incorporate video, audio, or other elements that require a higher level of bandwidth, you want a plan that matches your needs – a free hosting plan won’t cut it.
PHP, .htaccess, SSH, MySQL, FTP etc
- If you need to install PHP or Perl – make sure you can do this without needing your host’s approval. If not you will have to wait for their say so before you can implement a feature on your site.
- Assuming you want to do things like customizing your error pages (the messages displayed when visitors land on an extinct page on your site), protect your site from bandwidth theft and hotlinking, etc. and to password-protect your folders, you’ll need the ability to create or modify “.htaccess” files.
- SSH access is useful for maintaining databases such as MySQL and when you want to run a blog or a content management system.
- FTP is a popular method to transfer web pages and other files from a local computer onto a web hosts computer (servers) so that it can be viewed by anyone worldwide. Some hosts only don’t allow you to design and upload your own pages. Instead, they ask that your pages are designed and uploaded using their online site builder. Unless you are an absolute beginner and plan a pretty trivial site, make sure you have FTP access or the ability to upload your pages by email or browser at the very least.
Multiple Domain Hosting
For whatever the reason, it’s common to own more than one domain. In this case, you need to accommodate extra domains with extra hosting space. To simplify the hosting process, you can host more than one domain with the same host for ease and consistency.
You will want – or should want – to host email accounts alongside your website. Having your emails and website hosted all in one creates less headache for you.
Things can go wrong at the most inconvenient of times so best check your host has 24/7/365 professional support. You’ll want someone there to throw you a lifeline when you press the SOS button and to know the person picking on the other end is technically equipped with the knowledge to help you, there and then. No one wants to wait through an automated response, chat bots, or hopeful email chains to get an answer.
What’s even better? When you never even realized there was a hiccup, because it was handled before you even knew it.
There will be times when you have a non-urgent query. In this case, you still want peace of mind that you’ll get help from a real person and not an automated chat.
At Pathfinder, we go far beyond just website hosting.
Pathfinder is dedicated to providing a smooth operating system throughout every piece of your website – from start to finish. Whether we built it or not, your site is safe in our servers.
We offer many hosting packages to suit your specific needs.
Each of them includes different amounts of storage space and website bandwidth, similar to any web host. What makes us different is the work we do beyond this. Our team monitors all of our websites and servers 24/7. If downtime occurs we are made aware immediately (and we have a 99.99% uptime rate across all of our websites).
We also offer domain management, a free SSL certificate, regular site backups (to prevent any loss of data), and regular security improvements and updates. Further, if we built your website, we also update the websites regularly to improve performance and ensure consistent upgrades.
All in, our web hosting packages are much more than hosting; packaged with services to keep your website running, secure, and updated for consistent peace of mind.