What is Website Hosting?


What is website hosting?
Do I need website hosting?
What is managed hosting?
What is the difference between managed and un-managed hosting?
Do I need managed hosting?
What is dedicated hosting?
What is the difference between dedicated and shared hosting?
Do I need dedicated hosting?
What are the disadvantages of shared hosting?
How much does website hosting cost?
How long does it take to implement website hosting?
Where can I get website hosting?
How can I tell if I have shared hosting?
How come some companies offer website hosting so cheaply?
I already have a domain name, why do I need website hosting?
Can I change my web host?
Bottom Line: What kind of hosting do I need, how much will it cost and where do I go to get it?

What is website hosting? top

"Website hosting" is also known as "web hosting" or "hosting". In order to have a website on the Internet, you will need to have a computer server that is connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Typically, your web host provider will rent out space on their computers. The services that the provider offers differ from company to company, but usually would include:

  • Web space to host your files
  • Reliable connection to the Internet
  • DNS services so that you can point your domain name to their server
  • Web services so that people can view your website
  • E-mail services so that you can send and receive e-mail from that domain
  • FTP services so that you can upload and download your files
Do I need website hosting? top

If you want a website then you will need website hosting. After your website is designed and programmed, the files have to be "hosted" somewhere. This means that your website will be connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the Internet, by renting space or bandwidth from a web provider.

What is managed hosting? top

Managed hosting is website hosting where a company takes care of all of your needs. Typically, this would include configuring or updating your e-mail, FTP and password settings. If you have an issue, you can call them up and they can help you.

What is the difference between managed and un-managed hosting? top

Un-managed hosting is website hosting where a company programs a control panel for you to access all of your website settings. This is usually recommended for more advanced users, or for people that have a lot of time on their hands to learn their proprietary system.

Un-managed hosting is a lot cheaper than managed hosting, since there is no human intervention. You can call up an un-managed host and ask questions, but they will usually suggest that you read their online manual first and if you have any additional questions, to call back.

Usually, the technician will not give much in the way of consulting advice and will reply with standardized answers read from their knowledge database.

Your choice between the two will have to do with budget and how much time you want to allocate to configure systems, such as FTP, DNS and e-mail.

Do I need managed hosting? top

We would recommend getting managed hosting unless budget is of a particular concern and you have a lot of time on your hands.

The fact of the matter is that you could do your own landscaping or furnish your basement but if you don’t have the time, you could always outsource it.

Typically, this is what usually happens to an un-managed hosting account

  • One day you hire a new secretary
  • You need a new e-mail account and have to change contact information on your website
  • You dig through old files to figure out who your host is
  • You find your old host, but don’t know the password
  • Your old computer had all the passwords in it and your new laptop doesn’t
  • You call to reset your password and have to go through some security questions
  • They finally give you the password and you can log in
  • You log in and have to figure out the control panel to add a new address
  • You have to figure out how to reset the FTP password, since you don’t remember that one either
  • You finally update all of the information on the server
  • You have to configure the e-mail account on the computer

In an ideal world, a good managed hosting company will do this:

  • One day you hire a new secretary
  • You tell the hosting provider what you need
  • They make the changes
  • They walk you through how to configure your Outlook and SMTP settings
  • You return to concentrate on your business

However, un-managed hosting definitely has its advantages in terms of cost. Especially if you know what you need to do technically and have a good filing system, un-managed hosting may be right for you.

What is dedicated hosting? top

Dedicated hosting is hosting where your website is the only website on the computer system or server.

What is the difference between dedicated and shared hosting? top

Shared hosting means that your website is on a computer system with other websites. You are sharing system resources, such as hard drive space (web space), computer processing power (CPU sharing) and bandwidth (web traffic).

Do I need dedicated hosting? top

The short answer is NO. You probably don’t need dedicated hosting unless you have enough revenue and bandwidth to justify the expense. The company should grow a step at a time and expand as needed. There are some instances when you would need dedicated hosting right at the beginning, but most of the time, it isn’t justified. Usually, this occurs when you need to install a program that your shared hosting environment will not allow.

What are the disadvantages of shared hosting? top

Shared hosting is definitely cheaper than dedicated hosting. That’s a big plus. It’s also a lot simpler than dedicated hosting. Many websites simply do not need anything complex that would justify a dedicated server.

You should consider leaving a shared hosting environment when the shared system resources are compromised. This occurs when your IP address is black-listed, the system isn’t secure or there aren’t enough resources to service all the websites on the server.

Black-listed IPs: If your server host doesn’t have a good ethical hosting policy, your server IP address may be black-listed. This is most notable in 2 cases, firstly, if spammers are allowed on your server, many mail servers will black-list you, disallowing you to send out e-mail.

Secondly, if there is adult content on your server, some parental-control software might black-list your IP address since you are coming from the same place.

Unsecure services: Depending on how proactive your host upgrades their software and operating systems, there may be large security holes. Compromised security will allow hackers to get on to the system and possibly steal or corrupt data.

Insufficient amount of system resources: Since you are on the same computer system, poor monitoring of the server health will result in your websites being less efficient. For example, if one of the users take up the majority of hard-drive space, the system will cease to run. Similarly, if one of the websites on the server is running a program that takes up much of the computer processing power, then your website will be very slow.

Your website may also be slow if there is limited bandwidth coming in. Depending on how big of a "pipe" your provider has that is connected to the Internet, bandwidth spikes may be a problem.

These are the 3 main reasons why you may want to move from a shared hosting environment. However, as long as your web host is pro-active, many of these points can be disregarded. For example, if your web host has an ethical hosting policy and doesn’t allow any adult-oriented websites or spammers on your website, you can largely ignore the point about being black-listed.

How much does website hosting cost? top

Hosting rates differ between different companies. These are the typical rates in $USD.

  Unmanaged Managed
Shared < $ 10.00 / month $20.00 to $30.00 / month
Dedicated $80.00 to $100.00 / month $300.00 to $500.00 / month

Currently, there is a large amount of competition for unmanaged, shared hosting accounts. It has been largely commoditized so you shop around for the best deal.

In terms of pricing, it totally depends on the company involved. Smaller shared host companies often have only one server and try to put as many websites on there as possible.

Similarly, some companies are much cheaper because they will "accept anyone". This should be a red flag since it will usually mean your website will get into trouble further down the line.

How long does it take to implement website hosting? top

Un-managed website hosting typically is instantaneous once DNS propagates since it is pretty much a cookie-cutter activity. The systems are already in place to make a duplicate of a directory and everything is already pre-configured.

Managed website hosting usually takes about a day after the host talks with you to understand your requirements. The longest part is the human factor, since the managed website hosts have to understand your business and setup your website accordingly.

Where can I get website hosting? top

There are many websites out there that offer website hosting.

For un-managed website hosting, we recommend www.MaknetDomains.com. This is a reseller of the world famous GoDaddy franchise and we recommend it often to our hands-off clients who just need something good but cost effective.

For managed website hosting, we recommend www.Maknet.com. You can contact us for a website inquiry form or call us at 1-866-625-6383 (1-866-MAKNET-3) for someone to discuss your specific needs.

For managed dedicated servers, we recommend www.iNetu.net. They are an amazing company with great customer service and we have dealt with them for many years now.

If you need a web design firm to take care of the programming as well as the website hosting, then we recommend www.Maknet.com. Please call us at 1-866-625-6383 (1-866-MAKNET-3) to discuss your specific needs.

How can I tell if I have shared hosting? top

If you don’t know, you are probably on a shared hosting server. If you pay less than $ 50.00 / month, you are probably on a shared server.

Alternatively, you can always ask the server host whether there are other websites on the same server as yours. It simply isn’t cost-effective to put just one website on a server and pay $ 5.00 / month. In fact, if this was the case, you should probably move anyways since it is questionable how the server host stays in business!

How come some companies offer website hosting so cheaply? top

Some website companies have a different business model, whether it is a "loss-leader" campaign or a bid to get market share, there are many reasons why hosts can offer things so cheaply.

In the previous examples, many of the larger companies offer cheap hosting to lure you in for their other services, and this is very legitimate. You should be careful of the other companies (usually when they solicit through spam) for very cheap website hosting. They are either illegitimate companies, or they just have a limited number of servers, trying to pack as many websites into them as possible.

These types of web hosts should be avoided because it is similar to a local gym that has already paid for their facility and simply just selling more memberships, without regard to the customer experience or what their needs are.

I already have a domain name, why do I need website hosting? top

You can imagine website hosting like a telephone system. If you get a 1-800 phone #, you still have to connect it to your phone systems. You are renting out a phone system, some telephones and a connection to the communications network so that you can forward the 1-800 phone # to your company.

In order to have a website, you need a domain name and website hosting. The domain name, such as www.Maknet.com, you get from a registrar. This is similar to the 1-800 phone # you can get from your telephone company.

The website hosting is similar to the actual connection from the telephone company to your company. You need website hosting so that your computer will be on the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Without website hosting, no one will be able to see your website.

Can I change my web host? top

As long as you have control over the domain name, you just need to point the DNS entry from one server to another. It is trickier when you do not have control of your own domain name, but most registrars have a mechanism where you can fax in a letter of authorization on letterhead and they will change it over for you without any problems.

The most difficult part of website migration is having the know-how or expertise to transfer with minimal downtime. This includes services such as e-mail, hosting and dynamic databases. If you have a competent web host, they should be able to provide everything you need.

Bottom Line: What kind of hosting do I need, how much will it cost and where do I go to get it? top

If you have a very tight budget and have the technical experience or time to read manuals, un-managed website hosting may be for you. The cost is less than $ 10.00 / month and you can get services at www.MaknetDomains.com.

Often, the people in this category are student associations or non-profits that have a "nephew" or "cousin" that can handle the configuration and setup of the domain.

If you are interested in having long-term sustainability with minimal headache, we highly recommend having a managed website hosting solution. It will cost about $ 25.00 to $ 30.00 / month and you can contact us at 1-866-625-6383 (1-866-MAKNET-3) or click here for our advanced quotation form.

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