Website Hosting 101

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Cityline Websites knows that hosting is one of the most important parts of having a website.  We use a dedicated server, with solid state drives.  We make a separate backup of your website on a nightly basis.  What does this mean?  Well, your website will load really quickly and you don’t need to worry about permanently losing your website due to hackers or something breaking at the hosting company.

Read on below for an explanation in language that everyone can understand…

What is website hosting?

OK, so you have a name and have designed a website, now what? You need a home for your website - a place to rent.

Just like you and your family need a place to physically live, so does your website. Think of website hosting as renting a unit in an apartment building. You pay the property owner for your space. You may be paying on a monthly basis or have a yearly deal. 

Your real residence or business has an address, and you have a name.

Same goes for your business or website. Your domain name (eg www.joesplumbing.com) rents space on a computer hard drive somewhere. The apartment owner is the hosting company. The apartment building is the Server. The act of renting you the space for your website is called hosting. The apartment owner usually owns lots of different apartment buildings.

Shared Web Hosting vs Dedicated Web Hosting

Not all web hosting is created equal. Some hosting companies don't have good infrastructure. They cram as many websites on their servers as possible. They don't look after their computer equipment. They have slow connections. This all results in slow websites. Google doesn't like slow websites. Fast is better. Reliable is better. Your ranking in Google searches will be affected by the quality of your hosting.

Shared Website hosting is where there is no assigned space for your website. Your website shares space and resources with hundreds or thousands of other companies. It's cheaper, but you get what you pay for. If there is a company with lots of traffic, that will slow your website down. Think of it as a community centre after some sort of crisis. Everyone is sharing one big space. It’s not efficient or sustainable.

Dedicated Website hosting is much more controlled. The company doing the hosting limits the number of websites so that everything remains efficient. Think of it as a high-end boutique apartment off a main highway. It’s efficient to access, a friendly environment, in an attractive part of town. People want to visit. Same with a Dedicated Server. The search-engine robots want to visit.  Google likes websites with a fast server.

Regular Hard Drives vs Solid State Drives

Most website hosting is done on traditional hard drives.  If you listen to your older computer, you can hear something spinning inside. These hard drives are similar to a CD or going further back in time, a record player.  That’s how your “normal” website hosting company stores your website. The disadvantage to this method is that there are moving parts, and it takes time to activate the devices. Moving parts break.  Time is money. 

Solid state drives (SSDs) have no moving parts.  Newer laptops have solid state drives. They are much quicker and more reliable.  Solid state drives last longer.  In the future, all hosting and data storage will be this way. But for now, space is expensive.

If you have a choice, go with the solid-state-drive option.  Google likes fast-loading sites.  No matter how much SEO you do, if you have a slow server, you are not going to perform well in Google rankings.

Website Backups vs No Backups

 Most of the world build websites using a framework called WordPress. It is open source – which means the programming is available to the world to do what they want, including the hackers. If you do not carefully maintain a WordPress site, it will eventually get hacked. (Cityline Websites has a separate system that is not susceptible to this issue).

So do you want a backup?  Um, YES!  Once you have been hacked, generally, it’s too late. If you have a full backup of the current website, it’s going to be easy to re-establish the old site. If you don’t have the backup, well….

And, even if you have a backup, what if the actual server breaks? Then your website backup is not available to you. So having a back up to a different location is best.

Cityline Websites uses a separate hard drive for all nightly backups.  So, we’ve got you covered.

Would you like to talk to us about hosting your website? Are you having the problems we mentioned above? Visit our Contact Page and let us know.

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