When someone says ‘website hosting services’ do your eyes glaze over followed by the proverbial crickets chirping away between your ears?
Trust me, you aren’t the first person to feel totally clueless when it comes to understanding what hosting is all about. But I am here to break it down for you simply so you don’t have to feel utterly basic next time you have a run in with the topic of website hosting.
What is website hosting?
Let’s start with the basics. Your website hosting service is a place where you house all of your website files, pages, images etc. Since your stuff, takes up space, it needs some place it can be safely stored that allows people to access it. In exchange for this service, usually you are going to have to pay someone or a company to host your website for you. Usually this will be a monthly fee in the range of $5-30.
A few examples of website hosting services are GoDaddy, Siteground, WP Engine and my personal favorite, Flywheel. You may have also heard of others, because honestly, there are a ton of options out there, but they are not all created equal. You might be asking yourself, how such a simple service can really be distinguishable from one company to another. Really there are so many factors which is why I wrote a detailed blog about the differences between website hosting providers.
(If you google what the best website hosting company is, you are going to get a lot of answers and you will probably feel a little overwhelmed from all the information and differing opinions out there. I can say from personal experience, I avoid GoDaddy like the plague, but some people love it. To that I say, to each their own.)
Related Post: How to Set Up the Tech for Your Website Like a Boss
Why do I need a website host?
Simply put, if you want a website, you need a host. Your website can’t exist without it. You can self-host your website using some of the website hosting services I already mentioned or use an all-in-one service like ShowIt, Squarespace, Wix or Shopify that add additional functionality/design into their hosting service. Showit gives you all the creative freedom to create a unique show-stopping design. Squarespace is a great tool for smaller businesses just starting out that has built-in website templates you can take advantage of. Shopify makes e-commerce a breeze. Either way, whatever hosting provider you choose, you do have to choose one or people won’t be able to access your beautiful website.
How do I choose a website hosting service?
First, you should decide, what you want to achieve with your website. Do you want to sell products? Do you want to have a blog? Make a note of must-haves. Then, you should assess your technical skill level. Are you technically-savvy or pretty basic? If you are lacking in technical skill and don’t have a web designer to help you out, you might want to go with an all-in-one service that provides hosting, plus-built-in design and functionality. Do some research to find out which option fits your budget best and meets the needs of your site must-haves.
If you are looking for easy way out and just want someone to tell you a straight answer, here’s what I would recommend:
- For a DIY Beginner: Squarespace or ShowIt
- For a Pro: Flywheel for WordPress
If you are outsourcing the creation of your website to a web designer or agency, hosting is something you might not even have to worry too much about. If you are a client of K Design Co. you are in luck because we can handle setting up your hosting for you! Starting in 2020, we’re offering website hosting services through Flywheel with some really sweet perks (like plugin updates, monthly maintenance and speed boosts) for any of our clients using WordPress as their platform of choice. If you are a new or existing client, be sure to ask us about the details!
What questions do you have about website hosting? Let me know in the comments!
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Kristin Pruis • January 14, 2020