Website Hosting, put very simply is “Giving your website a place to live on the internet.
Just as you would need retail or office space to physically locate your shop or business, hosting is the equivalent virtual space you would need for your website on the internet (or World Wide Web).
That is the simple explanation.
If you are looking for a more in depth analysis, there is also a lot more to Website Hosting…
Did you know Website Hosting includes email?
Did you know the term “Website Hosting” includes Domain Name Registrations?
Website Hosting provides services using hardware located in a secure and stable environment to present, store and maintain websites and email on the internet.
Website Hosting comprises of 3 things:
1. Domain Name Registrations
Before you can setup a presence on the internet, you need an easy way for people to find you.
This is done by registering and using your own domain name.
Be careful – There are certain things to look out for when registering a domain name!
Does your hosting provider register it in your name or their name?
This seems like an obvious question, because it is your domain name. However, a lot of people find themselves in all kinds of trouble trying to get their domain name back from their Website Hosting provider.
Also, please note: even though it is relatively cheap, a domain name can become very valuable once your business grows, so put the correct emphasis on it now!
An example would be eBay:
Imagine their domain was registered in someone else’s name.
You are thinking that’s impossible, it would never happen…but you would be surprised how common it actually is.
Once you’ve registered your domain and your site is up and running. It is something you generally forget about when it is working…even though it may be registered incorrectly.
Now imagine another person or company did register eBay in their name, and once they saw how valuable it was, they held them to ransom over their domain name.
We’re talking a 40 buck annual registration cost here…even if it was 500 bucks, or whatever, this is a negligible cost for a company of that size!
They don’t have a business without that name. And I’m sure they would pay a lot more than 40 bucks to get it back!
All of sudden it is very valuable! In a lot of cases you would legally be protected or entitled to get it back.
However, if you are a new business or growing business it is much easier (and cheaper) to avoid going down this route all together by finding a host that does it properly from the start!
Another thing to consider is, where is the domain name hosted?
Ideally it should be in the same country as your website.
And, does your host give you control, or some kind of management console, to change your domain name’s Name Servers?
These are the servers that point your domain name to your website.
In other words if you had a domain name registered somewhere else and then used a different Website Hosting company to host your website, your domain name needs to know where your site is located. Can you easily do this yourself if you wanted to?
So that when you type in www.bestaustralianwebhosting.com it goes to the correct location.
Also, do your web hosts have control of their name servers? i.e. are they their own?
And finally, do they openly give you your domain password, authorisation key, authorization key or auth key? This is required if you ever needed to transfer your domain.
They need to make it available by law, however some providers make it very difficult for you to get full control of your domain.
2. Website Hosting
It is very important to understand who your target market is, because once you understand where they are, you should then host your website in a location that is suitable for them.
If you are based in Australia, then Australian based servers are very important to give your site the best possible start to its success.
Too many Australian websites are hosted overseas, meaning they are physically located on servers very far away.
Have you noticed a lot of slow sites while browsing?
Hosting your site too far from your target market can slow down the user experience considerably.
Think about it – if you knew of two sites selling the exact same thing and one was a much faster and better experience than the other…which one would you use?
A good test is to make note of how quick your hosting provider’s site is. Bear in mind your internet connection can also affect speeds, so do some comparisons and make sure you relate it to other sites you know are fast!
Also, visit some of the websites they host!
3. Email Accounts
Far too often businesses use a generic email address from one of the free providers out there. This is fine for personal email, but for a business it’s not good enough!
Website Hosting is cheap, and if done properly, can have huge benefits to you!
Marketing, online marketing, control of your email, ownership of your email, control of your domain, website and online presence! These are just some of the benefits…
Don’t fall into the trap of using your internet service provider’s email (i.e. ADSL/broadband provider).
If you do, you are losing a great marketing tool!
And instead of advertising your own Domain Name (and therefore, your business name)…you will be advertising someone else’s business! And that makes no sense to any business.
What makes this scenario even crazier is that on the same business card or advertisement, it is very often the case where a website is advertised alongside a freemail address.
In other words, the domain name is already registered, it is being used for a website, but not for email.
There is really no reason for not having a proper email address using this domain, e.g. if it was bestaustralianwebhosting.com, you could have numerous email addresses of your own, like email@example.com. With the website address being www.bestaustralianwebhosting.com.
And the funny thing is, the proper email address wouldn’t cost a cent more than is already being paid! Because the domain name is already registered and their website is also already active using their Website Hosting package!
This is one of the simple examples of how we can improve your existing setup and make sure your hosting is setup the best way possible from the very beginning.