There are several aspects that make up a website from domain names, hosting and a website design. To make a website accessible on the web, the three main things you require are: a domain name, being the address of the website (www.mywebsite.com), the website design itself and the hosting, which allows your website to be accessed from a live server it’s stored on.
As website terminology can become a little confusing at times, with the web world constantly evolving, we thought we would look into one of the most important aspects of a website, being hosting.
So, to start off what is website hosting all about?
Once a website is designed and developed locally on a computer, all the website files (images, content and development files) need to be stored and published on a server, in order for people to access the website, from all over the world. Some people will also use hosting as well for other types of media they want to share with people such as photos, games, music, videos, etc.
Every company varies hosting plans and inclusions to suit their clientele. Some companies have shared website hosting, where a number of websites are stored on the same server, while others have dedicated hosting, where one server will only house one website.
When looking at different hosting providers to host your company website, there are several things you need to be aware of.
Firstly, you should be aware of bargain hosting.
This is the biggest downfall we have seen over the years with cheap hosting providers. Unfortunately, cheap hosting can result in data loss, which can be extremely detrimental to your business online. Sometimes this can be due to the host ceasing business or failing to perform backups to restore from in time of crisis.
As mentioned below, we recommend bargain hosting, however, this doesn’t mean that every Australian company has reliable hosting. Be aware of Australian companies which offer cheap hosting costing as little as $3 a month as they are definitely outsourcing.
Secondly, you should be hosting your website in Australia.
Although the cost of hosting in Australia can be a bit more expensive, we strongly urge you to host in Australia, given that data is securely protected electronically and it’s easier to communicate with companies located here for any technical support. Your website will also load a lot quicker when hosted in here, as servers located offshore can produce longer load times (latency). It’s also believed that hosting in Australia can give your website better visibility on Google.com.au, regardless of whether you use a .com.au or .com domain name.
Outsourcing hosting can pose potential risks to the use of your records, no matter what sort of business you have. For more information on outsourcing digital storage, National Archives of Australia released an article which is worth reading as it explains what else you need to know when it comes to outsourcing this.
Thirdly, do your comparison of hosting packages and inclusions.
To safeguard your website, some hosting companies will often have additional features included within hosting that other companies don’t even have.
At Forerunner, we offer malware monitoring and security monitoring as part of our main hosting packages, which we feel is important to our clients for peace of mind. In our research, we haven’t come across many companies which offer these inclusions.
Some companies also don’t really give much of a rundown of what’s included for their prices and only make mention of the storage and bandwidth in their quotes/ prices. Sometimes this can be because although they are Australian companies, they are actually hosting overseas. It’s always worth delving further into hosting with these sorts of companies to find out what added value you’ll get, in order to protect your business online.
All in all…..
Be careful with where you decide to store your website! Make sure you are aware of cheap hosting providers, know where your site will be located, what value you’re getting for your money and contact us for any hosting queries or a list of our packages.