What is “Hosting” for websites?
Once you have bought a domain name (www.mycompany.com) and created your brand new website, you will need to make it available to your visitors “on the web”. This is where you have to select a hosting solution. Hosting a website means allocating – and most of the time renting – a storage space for a period of time with a hosting provider. They will copy your website files on their web server and make it available online. There are many options and variations available to a web hosting depending on your needs.
What hosting solution should I choose?
Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting solution you can get and could be a viable solutions for bloggers or if you have a basic static (HTML only) website that doesn’t need lots of ressources. However if you own a website that processes data, the limitations of a shared hosting will appear to you very quickly. This is even worse when you use a content managed website (such as WordPress, Drupal), or an e-commerce website that needs on top to process payments.
Your website is “shared” with other users / websites. Very popular solution but unfortunately not the best for professionals. It’s not uncommon on cheap hosting solutions to have more than 30.000 websites on one server. You can then guess the issues that can arise when visitors try to buy a product and the website is either slow or crashes. Users patience is limited (even more on the web) and you easily lose a client. It can be very difficult to fix certain issues, and support can be very unreliable (by experience, after many years dealing with shared hosting for more than 400 customers)
Hosting yourself your website on your computer (not reliable for businesses, unless you have the funds to pay a team of dedicated server administrators). It’s also a angerous practice if you don’t know what you are doing. While you could make some savings and have full control, there are many downsides that you must consider. Your server (or computer) has to be 24/7 online. You rely on your internet connection speed,
Cheap and scalable (you pay only for what you use). However potential security issues, and requires you to be IT proficient.
The next step up of web hosting, and the solution we would advise to most of our clients, is host your website on a VPS. You share your website with a few other companies, but they do not affect your website’s performance. We fully manage your hosting on the VPS Server. Pricing will vary depending of the type of website and the ressources needed. It will vary between £10 and £40 a month.
Same as VPS hosting, but you have access to every aspect of the server. Your website and emails are stored on this server with no other website. If you own several companies you can also host your websites and emails on this same server. This is the most expensive option, and are used by the clients that manages sensitive data (see SSL Certificate) are serious about web hosting, deliverability, speed, and primarily security. Pricing can vary from £60 to several thousands per month
We would most of the time advise to go for a VPS Server for professional / business use: reliability, and increased security. If you need help to choose the right solution,
What is a Web Server?
A Web Server is essentially a computer, made available from anywhere on the internet at any time. Its physical appearance is not quite the same as the one you have at home, but works the same. It has a hard drive to store data, ram (memory) and processor to process the data, and an operating system to manage all the data. Its primary function is to show your website 24/7 on the web, store and deliver your emails, or process various automated functions. Your website is stored on the server’s hard drive, and is always online (apart from rare cases, such as restarting for updates).
Depending on your hosting solution, your Website will be managed in very different ways and will have a direct impact your success.
What is a VPS Server?
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a Web Server that is most of the time “rented” by a company to host its clients websites. We use a VPS Server to host our client’s websites, and in some occasions clients want to host their website on a separate server and/or use a second server for their emails. The technology is scalable and will depend of your web needs. To choose the right solution for your business, you will need to answer the following questions:
How much resources will my website take? Do you have a slow website currently that needs more speed?
Consider upgrading your hosting to a VPS. If you are already on a VPS Server, you can also upgrade elements such as HDD hard drives, memory or processor.
Do you want improved security for your website? Do you store clients data on your computer?
Consider getting the next option which is your own VPS Server. All our VPS servers are fully managed by us, and you won’t need to know or learn how to use it. If you decide to migrate all your data, we can do so most of the time without incurring any downtime (website / emails not available).
Do you need to secure all your emails (if you host your emails yourself)?
Professional email solutions are available anywhere. However if you don’t trust other companies to host your emails, or clients data, it’s usually a good idea to rent a secondary web server just for your emails, so in case your server containing your website gets hacked (it can happen to anyone), the hackers don’t have access to your emails situated on a separate location. We take care of the management of your company’s emails, check the deliverability. As a manager you will have full control over the emails of all the company. It’s good to know also that an email server doesn’t need as much ressource than a server that hosts a website.
Warning: Emails can be sensitive. If you need to send email shots (email marketing), we can offer a separate service. However a server with your company’s email is strictly to store, and manage your company’s emails, not for marketing use. You can also get in touch with WebCitz if you need some email marketing services for your business.
How do we manage website backups our VPS Server?
Along with your VPS Server, you will have the option to add a 7 days backup. We will automatically backup your whole server daily, with all the data included. We then will be able to restore parts of lost data if needed.
We have a built-in tool specifically and exclusively for our clients.
Daily Backups are made of your entire VPS server, to which are stored on a 7 day period. It means that you can go back to a complete restore point of your entire VPS ( Virtual Private Server ) at any time within those seven days.
How do we manage a VPS Server Security?
Why do you need security on your website? Do you store client’s information on your website (contact form for instance)? You will then need increased security by hosting your website on a VPS or a dedicated server.
Our servers are secured to the highest possible levels, using hardware and software firewalls working in tandem with our own in house security setup.
What is a database and how does it work?
A Database ( for web) is a place in your server’s hard drive that stores text data, to be re-used later by your website. It’s a powerful tool to manage data (like Microsoft Access). It can be links to images, results of a contact form, configuration, manage different languages, and so on.