The Local Marketing Stack
Zone 2 • Difficulty: • Sugg. D.I.Y. Monthly Budget: $10+
If your domain name is your address on the web, then think of hosting as the foundation of your house at that address, and your website as the house. A host provides space on a server—just a big computer, really—where all of the files for your website are stored.
Pointing customers in the right direction
When a customer types in your address, the company with whom you’ve registered your domain points them in the direction of your hosting company. When the customer arrives at your address, the hosting company serves up your website (house) for them to interact with and explore.
The most important things to consider in a hosting company are:
A host has to build and rebuild your website every time someone arrives at your address. Obviously you don’t want your visitors to wait every time they arrive, so the faster the host the better.
As the media is finally reporting, there are a lot of bad people (and bad robots) online. A good host makes sure they can’t get into your website and is constantly vigilant against these threats.
Occasionally a host will need to perform maintenance to repair cracks in the foundation or install a new security system. But you don’t want your website to blow over every time there’s a windstorm or become flooded every time there’s a little rain. Hosting should be something you can set-and-forget.
In the event of a disaster, what’s your insurance plan? Most small businesses–let alone some web developers–are not going to back up their website on their own, so make sure your host keeps copies of everything in case disaster strikes.