What is website hosting and what do you need to know about it?

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Choosing the right hosting company and plan can have big implications for the efficiency and success of your website.

Don’t believe what the ads have told you. Building a website, from scratch, with no technical know-how isn’t easy. It’s do-able, but there are many factors to consider and understand. Perhaps none is more important than your website hosting.

Website hosting is the service that houses all the files that make up your website – you can’t have a website without it. Choosing the right hosting company and plan can have big implications for the efficiency (and success) of your website. Many companies also choose to use more ‘ethical’ hosting, such as green and local options.

Your hosting options are almost endless, but when you understand hosting a little better, you can make a better informed choice. Let’s jump into everything you need to know.

Website Hosting 101

Every website you’ve ever visited has been hosted by a hosting provider. This hosting provider literally ‘hosts’, or stores, all the files that make up a website, on its own special computer called a server. Like the name suggests, this server will ‘serve’ these files (ie, web pages) to the user.

The common analogy to understanding hosting is to think about your website like a house. Your domain is like your street address. This is where people need to go to find you. And hosting is like the land your house actually sits on. This land provides the place where you can build and maintain your home.

If you don’t have a domain, most hosting providers will be able to give you one – remember, you need both to have a live website.

Most hosting providers will offer other perks, like email, FTP access, or WordPress support. Navigating the options can be difficult if you’re new to web design and unsure of your needs.

That’s why we’ve simplified the process for our clients, offering a hosting package that provides all the necessary hosting features, at an affordable price.

Our website hosting packages include

A green powered server. Believe it or not, websites are big polluters. That’s because servers require a lot of energy. In fact, the Internet produces about the same amount of global CO2 emissions as the aviation industry (source https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200305-why-your-internet-habits-are-not-as-clean-as-you-think). We’re proud that our server runs on nothing but clean, renewable energy.

A local, Canadian-based server. There are more ways to ‘support local’ than you may think. Not only is choosing a local server an ethical choice, it’s also a smart one. Because our server is located in Canada, very close to Vancouver Island, this helps keep your TTFB (time to first byte) low. In layman’s terms: your website will be faster for users.

Reliable security. You’ve heard about websites getting hacked. They get hacked when your hosting isn’t secure, and bad players are able to access your files. To counter this, we include a security program called ‘Imunify360’  in our hosting, which detects and prevents security threats.

A free 2048-bit SSL certificate. In today’s world, an SSL is basically a requirement (learn more about why you need an SSL here). Most companies now charge roughly $99/year for this, but because it’s so critical, we offer it to clients for free.

A basic email account. This is a basic perk that most hosting companies offer. If your host doesn’t offer email, look for another.

A semi-dedicated IP. Web hosting servers are typically shared with multiple websites. Having too many websites on one server can slow your website down. Our clients only have to share their server with a maximum of 25 people. We can also offer a completely dedicated IP at an additional cost.

Access. Some companies will hide your access to your hosting files, or severely limit access. Opt for a company that allows you to access your hosting, like we do.

Which hosting provider should you choose?

We believe that these features are necessary for a successful website, and that’s why we include them all in our hosting packages. Any host you choose should have these critical features if you want to build a safe, reliable website that lasts.

Do you want to learn if your website hosting is Canadian and/or Eco Friendly?