If you have a website, or are thinking about getting a website, you probably have a vague idea that you need website hosting, but you may not have any idea what that means or why it is important. Don’t worry, you are not alone! At its very simplest, website hosting is the computer hardware and software (which make up the server) that your website runs on. I know that someone is groaning right now, because the reality is more complex than that, but for most of us, this explanation is adequate.
So, why should you care about your hosting, if it is that simple? Because while the concept is simple, the number of options available is overwhelming. The choices you make will impact the effectiveness and ease of use of your website.
The first complication is that different companies bundle different services in with hosting and it may not be apparent to you that two companies are offering very different things. For example, a hosting package may offer email services, website building, and domain name management. I have had clients come to me who were paying for hosting in two different places because they didn’t fully understand what each company was doing for them or that they were paying twice for the same thing. There are also differences in how much computer space you are getting when you pay for hosting. In some cases, the server (hardware & software) is shared with other websites/businesses, in others the server is dedicated to your business alone. Storage size and processing speed also vary across different solutions. Like I said, overwhelming…
Then, we get in to managed hosting, a service we offer at The Box. Unfortunately, this term does not have a consistent definition. At its most basic, the hosting company maintains the underlying software your website runs on (unless you are a computer server expert, you need this level of service.) A higher level of service includes updating the software your website uses (e.g., keeping WordPress updated.) Outdated software is a leading cause of website hacks. Unfortunately, most companies that offer this level of updates only use automated updates. If the automated update fails, someone (i.e., YOU) has to go in and manually perform the update.
The Box Difference
At The Box, we offer Managed WordPress Hosting that is worry-free for our clients. We partner with Liquid Web hosting. Liquid Web maintains the underlying software and performs automated updates on the website software. Then, The Box performs the manual updates needed when automated updates fail. All of your website software is kept updated so that your site will continue to perform well and not be susceptible to hacking. We will immediately let you know if something on your site has become so outdated it can no longer be maintained, offering you the chance to upgrade the site prior to it failing.
We attempt to recover your site if it is hacked. Hacking has become a serious problem, with software “robots” roaming the internet looking for vulnerable sites. Most sites are under some kind of attack on a daily basis. Fortunately, having strong passwords, keeping software updated, and a few other protection measures will reduce most sites’ vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, some sites will still be hacked. With many hosting companies, you have to pay steep fees before they will attempt to recover your site. While The Box cannot guarantee recovery, we will attempt to restore your site as a first measure. In addition, we keep 30 days worth of backups for our clients, meaning we can fall back to a version of the site prior to the hacking occurring if necessary.
Finally, The Box includes updates to your website content as part of our managed hosting package. Up to 30 minutes a month of content updates are included for no additional charge when you host with us. This means if you need a blog post added, or your service hours changed, or items added to your calendar, all you have to do is send them our way and we will get that information on your website in a timely manner.
Find Out More
Hosting can be purchased for as little as $5/month and as much as hundreds (or even thousands for large companies) of dollars a month. The difference is due to server capacity and level of service being offered, which varies widely. At The Box, our Managed WordPress hosting gives you one place to call for all issues related to your website. You do not have to have any technical knowledge about what is going on. You just have to say “make it work” and we take care of it.
If you have a WordPress site and this sounds like what you are looking for, let us know! We will be happy to help you out. If you are uncertain if managed hosting is what you need or have any questions, please just ask! Our initial consultation is always free. We want all our clients to have peace of mind for their tech worlds. It’s why we’re here.