What is web hosting and why do I need it?

A web host is a business that manages all the services needed to display your website online.  At it’s core, they are the property managers of your website.  The hosts’ have sophisticated computers called servers that have a varying degree of software and hardware to perform tasks specific to your websites needs.  For your website to be online, it must be hosted on a server somewhere.

If you are just beginning your journey onto the web, you will need to do some research on what hosts will work best for you.  There are a few things to consider when getting started.

  • What kind of website are you building?
    Is it a small business website, portfolio or informative site?  Will customers be buying products on your website?  Does your website need specific requirements to talk to other websites?
  • Do you need other services?
    Email, File Sharing, Security, Backups and more are all additional features to most hosting accounts.  Make sure you know all the services that come with the package you are buying.
  • Is your domain hosted somewhere else?
    If you just purchased your domain, this is unlikely.  However, if you are re-building your website, you may want to find out where it is hosted, and if the new site will be supported on that hosting account.

Once you’ve established what type of hosting services you need, you will need to work with your website administrator to set up your site domain and other services.  If you’re doing this yourself, it’s recommended you talk to the technical support team of your new host to walk you through the initial steps.  If you’re working with a web developer or website administrator, talk to them about the services you are using, and what you expect to accomplish.

It’s always a good idea to have regular backups of your site as well as general maintenance and updates.  Once you’ve setup your hosting account and website, establish a routine maintenance plan with your web administrator.  This will keep your site running smooth and securely for years to come.

If you’re looking for reliable hosting services, here are a few of my favorites.

ChrisOrta.com – Of course I offer hosting 😉

Godaddy.com

BlueHost.com

HostGator.com

For more recommendations, feel free to reach out. There are several options out there.