We all know the importance of being a good host or hostess. A host's job is to provide a comfortable and friendly environment for their guests. A bad host means a bad experience...
Hosting for websites is no different. It is their job to provide a secure, well structured, and user friendly environment for your website and whomever is managing your website.
Now, I will answer a question many people ask me on a daily basis.
What is hosting?
The host is the actual home for your website. The files that are put together to build your site need a physical place to be kept. This place is often a server kept in a temperature controlled building with 24/7 maintenance. Via hosting, you are given access to these servers virtually so that your website can be built without you ever needing to be near the physical server.
Remember how we talked about your domain name being the address for your hotel? Well, your host is your hotel and your domain name points to it.
There are a few different types of hosting and some are better suited for certain types of websites than others.
The most common you will come across are Linux and Windows.
Depending on the type of site being built, you would pick a different server type. If you are building with Joomla, WordPress or Drupal, Linux is most likely to fit your needs. If you don't know what Joomla, WordPress or Drupal are, don't panic! We will be putting out a blog post explaining them soon!
Also, I would recommend ALWAYS getting hosting that uses "cPanel." Specifically ask for "cPanel," and you will get a dashboard with your hosting account that will give you and your web designer the freedom to create just about anything you need to set up your site without having to buy extra features from the host.
There are many providers for hosting and some are definitely better than others. I would recommend either using your web designer's hosting or doing research on the pricing and features available at stand-alone hosting companies. If you have any questions about hosting or if you need hosting for your website, I would be happy to answer you and help you out!
Well, that is the short and sweet explanation for what a host is.