How To Choice a Web Hosting Provider By: WereAdmin
So your employer has tasked you with the project " We need a website- find someone". What do you do now ?
Let's see if WereDigital Hosting can provide a few suggestions that will make your search easier and more rewarding .
There are a lot things you should know before you ever start calling or going online to search for a Web Hosting Provider.
I find that after 18 years in the Web hosting industry the same question is asked repeatedly. More often than not, the first question the caller has when calling or emailing is-
What do I need for my website?
This question has mystified me for years. How am I suppose to know what you need? After all, it's your website and you should know what you need.
But I was forgetting that hardly anyone actually knows what they need for a website . The majority of clients simply know they need a Web Site, that's it. They are not current on all the Bells and Whistles that are either required or involved in a website. Furthermore, they rarely are familiar with the technology behind it all.
It's is our job, it's all we do and we are here to help you. When I go my dentist, I trust that they know what they are doing and that they are fully trained and up to date. Well our clients should be able to expect the same of us.
So let's start there.
What does a Web hosting Provider do?
Simply put, a Web Hosting Provider stores the data that makes up your website on computer systems called "Servers". In doing so, the world can view your website, you can receive emails and maybe sell something. Yes' there is a lot more to the technology but a basic view is all we need at this point.
The second question is almost always........
Can we not do this ourselves ? ...We do have what our IT guy calls a "server". That's where we share our documents in the office. Doesn't that work?
Absolutely. That can work !
Here's what you have to do to have that work.
- Insure that Server has a redundant power supply.
- Add back up power source as well in case the power goes out.
- Add multiple hard drives as the first one can fail.
- Add enough memory so the server can handle thousands of viewers at one time.
- Install a reliable Website serving application such as Apache.
- Add software tools and security software required to manage the server.
- Hire someone to mange it 24/7/365 and keep out undesired visitors
- Install a control panel so those that the website can be managed easily.
- Connect the server to the Internet. Usually one gets in touch with a local Telecommunication provider and has Fiber optic lines brought in .
- Install a fiber Switch and a router so that the Internet traffic can be directed
- Get a Domain name for your website. That's the "WereDigital.com" in www.WereDigital.com .
- Now, you're ready to build your website. Even if you have a website designer, you will still need to know what they are building it with. Make sure you install that software to display your web site.
I believe you've likely gotten the point. You definitely can host your own website. But a hosting provider does those above-mentioned steps and more. A Web Hosting provider allows you access to their systems at a fraction of the cost . Most providers can have your website live and on the Internet within minutes of your request. That's providing you already have a website built. If not, the Hosting provider may have an in house design team to build one for you. If not, they are likely closely associated with an outside firm that can.
Your hosting provider should be able to provide you with the following. If not, you should keep looking!
- Secure Data center
- Storage space for your website that is adjustable as need be .
- Email and Web-mail with spam and virus protection
- Data base storage.
- Back up & provisioning and instant restore.
- Domain name registration and management.
- Access to the tools and Software you need to build a website and manage it.
- Intrusion detection to insure unwanted log ins do not occur.
- Back up power so your site is never off line.
- Guarantee of the up time .
- Assistance moving an existing site, usually free
- Usually a 30 day money back guarantee on start up.
- A control panel to manage everything. Preferably from one of the big control Panel providers. Avoid home built control panels, they are usually a way to keep you there.
- Support 24/7
What you will need to know when you contact your Host?
- Do you already have a web site or are you moving one?
- Do you have your domain name yet ? Do you need to register one or more?
- Do you have access to your domain management interface if you already have one ? You would need the user and password required to access and make changes?
- If you have a site, what Software is it build with? The possibilities are endless but more commonly they are built with tools such as Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and even a few still with FrontPage. Your Host will have to support what your site is built with.
- Do you have or need an Email account. Are they already existing, will they need to be moved? Does the data need to be preserved?
- Do you have data bases to move or build?
As you have seen, there is a lot involved in first creating a website and then choosing a Web Hosting Provider to store that website for you.
Do not be confused by all the new terminology , ask questions. The whole internet hosting and websites business are not what you do everyday. It's our job to help you and make this less confusing. Your Provider should be reachable during regular business hours. If not, keep looking! That's a big indicator that they are part time and thus not reliable.
My next blog will continue our discussion in the How to choose a Provider Series.
The Myths and Truths of Web Hosting .
What to avoid in choosing a Web Hosting Provider.