What is webhosting and why do I need it?
SELF HOSTING VS CONTRACTING OUT
As mentioned in The Process, a website’s files needs to be stored somewhere ensuring any client anywhere can access them at anytime, thereby being able to view your website. You could actually store your website files on a computer you have at home or work, which is connected to the Internet. However, if the power ever went out, or someone accidentally shut that computer down, or your Internet connection is sporadic, or the computer just died, or your security settings weren’t right, then that would leave your website unavailable. People trying to access your website files and load your website would get an error message. Additionally, opening up the section of your computer where the website files reside to the Internet does create security issues, which need to be carefully mitigated. if your Internet connection is spotty or bandwidth limited, then this can also prevent clients from accessing your website.
For the above reasons, website owners typically prefer their website files to be placed on a secure server (access is controlled), in a fireproof and temperature controlled environment, with the best Internet access and speeds, with 100% backup electricity, and with regular maintenance and software backups. Below we go into more detail about what webhosting provides.
HOW ARE WEBHOSTING SERVICES PRESENTED AND PRICES CALCULATED?
Physical homes have differing levels of utility prices. Perhaps where you live the electricity is cheaper than a suburb over. Maybe you have a fibre connection instead of ADSL broadband. Some homes only have single lane road access. There are similar constraints for webhosting. As utilities companies can differ in the prices they offer to consumers, you can find different pricing for the same item in webhosting. This can make it sooooo confusing for customers. We at WTF-Websites wish to make it as simple as possible for you. We provide top quality webhosting services at an amazing price.
If you don’t want to know the details of what is involved in webhosting and just want to know the choices and prices – go here. Otherwise, please read on for a summary of the main items to be aware of when choosing webhosting.
Storage Space: Just as houses come in different sizes, webhosting offers differing amounts of space for storing the files that make up the website. If you have a lot of photos, videos etc. then you may need more space than someone with basically text and a few pictures. Ideally you just want to pay for what you need, and not be pushed into paying for something bigger than what you will use. We’ve seen cases where companies don’t even tell the client how much space they are allocated, and just charge a high rate! Our distaste at this practice is one of the reasons why we created WTF-Websites.
Databases: If your website will be offering services such as membership and/or an online shop then you’ll need databases to hold and deliver this information. This requires a specialist software add-on. Also, if you want to use WordPress to run your website then that also requires a database at installation. Our cheapest Enhanced Website offering already includes database software as standard.
Email Accounts: Webhosting should provide the software and space to manage emails associated with your domain. For example if you own the domain “xyzcompany.com” and purchase webhosting to hold a website for xyzcompany.com, you should be able to generate however many email addresses you need, such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com etc. We have seen some webhosting companies make customers pay extra for email functionality, and then some put a limit on the number of emails you can generate, e.g. “3 email addresses only”. If you pay for webhosting with us you are not charged extra. Our webhosting has unlimited email addresses for each client.
Data Transfer: When a person requests your website from their computer, their browser sends a message to the Internet to look for your website hosting location and once found, reads the files you have hosted at that address and transfers the information back to your computer to be displayed on the browser. Usually this entire process only takes seconds. However, if you wish to display high quality videos or photos on your website then these are larger file sizes and therefore more data will be transferred from your webhost server to the browser. This is data transfer. Your webhosting package will include a certain amount of data transfer allowance per month. If your online business absolutely takes off and suddenly you have way more data transfer than anticipated due to so many customers, don’t worry as it is simple to purchase more data transfer (just like buying an extra data pack for a mobile phone).
SSL Certificate: Have you ever been browsing the Internet and received the message “warning, the site you are about to visit is not secure…”? What this means is that the website does not have an SSL certificate or it is expired and therefore the data going between you and the webhost server could easily be read by anyone. That is, they can see what you and your customers are looking at and what they are doing. Any reputable website will ensure that all data to and from it is encrypted, and this is achieved through having an SSL certificate. Some competitors charge for adding an SSL certificate to your website, however in most cases you don’t need to spend money. There are excellent FREE trustworthy SSL certificates available for most company sizes and which only take a few clicks to install. Don’t fall for anyone who tells you that the free one is “not safe” or “not as good”. We stand by the integrity and quality of the SSL certificates available for free, and put our money where our mouth is by using one on this very website! We don’t charge for adding an SSL certificate.
Your webhosting provider can be located anywhere in the world. This is because the Internet backbone is made of fibre optic and data is transmitted in pulses that travel at 99.7% of the speed of light. More important than location are factors such as: the connection of the data centre to the Internet (speed); the security of the data centre where your website is hosted (i.e. access to vetted staff only); the up-time of the system (i.e. you don’t want dropped connections = customers can’t access your site); the ability to regularly back-up; and the environment of the centre (air-conditioned, regularly maintained, fire proof). Bigger, more established data centres typically have better facilities due to economies of scale.
SO WHO SHOULD I USE?
In summary we think that in choosing a hosting provider you should look at speed, reliability, and service. The pertinent information for the webhosting we offer is:
Speed: Our servers are custom-built with the most reliable and powerful hardware, based on ultra fast Xeon processors and all-SSD storage arrays. We also have PHP-FPM and server-side caching to ensure blazing website speed at all times.
Reliability: Guaranteed 99.9% uptime, with last year the actual uptime being 99.997%!
Service: Our support members answer every ticket within 15 minutes. In fact, our average response time for tickets is 7 minutes. If you have any questions related to our services, just drop us a line and see how fast we will get back to you.
100 Day Guarantee: We offer a 100-day full money-back guarantee. If you do not want to use our services, you can contact us with a cancellation request at any point during the initial 100 days of your hosting subscription. We will then cancel the account, and you will receive your money back. Please keep in mind that domain name registrations are not included in this policy. Domain name registrations are non-refundable. If we have registered a domain name for you, we will deduct the retail domain registration price from your refund amount. That is, you will still own that domain name.
Ultimately you can choose whomever you want to provide your webhosting. We do not require you to use our webhosting service, and only offer this as an option if you do not currently have webhosting. We are able to work with most webhosting services.
Click here for our webhosting plans.
A NOTE ON WORDPRESS
What is WordPress? This is a good explanation from Kinsta.
On a slightly more technical level, WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) licensed under GPLv2, which means that anyone can use or modify the WordPress software for free. A content management system is basically a tool that makes it easy to manage important aspects of your website – like content – without needing to know anything about programming
WordPress is an amazing piece of free software that enables you to create a website, and most importantly change website content, without knowing any coding. The advantage of using WordPress to create your Website is that with a bit of training you or your staff member can learn how to use WordPress to make alterations at any time.
We offer the choice to design your website using WordPress and to show your designated staff how to use WordPress to make changes.