Web hosting: the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites.
One Size Doesn't Fit All
Think of a web hosting provider as a property owner and yourself as a business owner looking for retail space for your website. The web hosting provider would rent out or sell you the space that you need for your website, just like a property owner would rent out a store front for a retailer.
Compare the two buildings in the graphic to the right.
You wouldn’t put a Fortune 500 Investment Banking company in a 400 sq. ft. store front would you? No, you wouldn't.
But at the same time, that same space might be perfect for a local baker to make and sell his goods.
Inversely, you wouldn't put the baker in the big city skyscraper either. There would be too much leftover, wasted space and it would be too difficult to maintain.
This concept applies to web hosting as well. Certain websites are bigger than others; they have more pages and complicated coding. For example, an eCommerce website for a brand like Nike will take up a lot more web space than a small business with only a few pages talking about what they do and who they are.
Just as amount of space and what you want for your website has an effect on web hosting, so does the web host themselves.
As stated by Spindustry, “there are two main components to hosting your website:
1. The physical server and additional hardware and software.
2. The team that manages the server and keeps it running smoothly.”
From there, there are also many different hosting options. You can either choose to have your site hosted on a server with other websites or choose to own your own dedicated server as well as significant traffic to go this route. Although large companies often have multiple servers for 1 site.
You also have to consider the web hosting team. There are some who don’t do much beyond placing the site on the server and simply letting it be live, while others monitor the website, regularly check the server, and backup daily. In that sense, you get what you pay for.
There is any number of things that could go wrong on a website in any given day. We have all encountered a 404 error page during a web browsing experience before. But, if you have someone monitoring your website those problems will be fixed before you can say “Who you gonna call? Keystone Click!” To quote Spindustry again, here is a great analogy that explains the reasoning behind this.
“If you go on vacation and leave your home unattended for a week, someone in the neighborhood may or may not notice if something appears out of the ordinary. An automated alarm might notify someone that there are issues. If you go on vacation and ask a neighbor to check on your house daily, they’ll notice more quickly if something is wrong.”
Make sure you choose an attentive neighbor to work with when it comes to web hosting. Whether you are building a new website or looking to give an existing one a boost, be sure to consider finding the right web hosting provider as one of the most important steps on your journey to the perfect website.