What is Web Hosting and Who Do We Recommend?

Our clients regularly come to us with questions about web hosting. We thought that others may find the answers valuable, so wanted to share our answers here on our blog.

The Questions

In the hopes of sharing our knowledge and experience with others, we’ll use this blog post to answer three questions we field with some regularity.

  1. What is web hosting?
  2. Why does web hosting vary so much in terms of pricing?
  3. Who do you recommend as a host?

Our Answers

FAQs about web hostingWhat is Web Hosting?

Web hosting is an online service that enables companies, non-profits, individuals and more to publish their website on the internet.

Generally speaking, a website is made up of files which live on a computer (for hosting websites, those computers are called servers) and are typically accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Web hosting companies like GoDaddy, WP Engine, Kinsta, Pagely, Liquid Web, Green geeks, and Rackspace rent space on their servers, charging fees based on the size of the website, the amount of traffic coming to the website, the speed at which the website is served to web browsers, the complexity of the website and more. Web hosting companies can host all sorts of different websites such as brochure-style, eCommerce and news publications. They are also able to run different software environments such as WordPress, Drupal, Java, Ruby on Rails, etc..

Yet, Why Does Hosting Vary So Much in Price?

There is so much variation for a number of reasons:

1. Specialization

Some web hosts, such as WP Engine and Kinsta, among others, are dedicated to hosting specific website software. WP Engine exclusively hosts WordPress websites. As their focus is dedicated to hosting WordPress websites, their energy is put towards making WordPress websites run faster, safer, and more smoothly than other non-specialized servers.

2. Hands-on Support

In recent years, web hosts have begun offering a more hands-on approach to supporting their services. Historically, some companies would give their customers free reign over their servers but were not always willing to help fix technical issues that often arose.

Now, companies with a more-controlled hosting structure and configuration are eager to work with clients to fix what might be broken on the clients’ websites. Web hosting companies now provide highly-customized and responsive support, often available via online chats, support tickets, and even over the telephone. These companies help their customers resolve issues with the hosting environment, as well as with some of WordPress-specific issues.

3. Additional Services and Tools

More and more, web hosts are offering additional services on top of their standard hosting packages. Some of the additional services offered include a CDN and SSL certificates. A CDN (content delivery network) helps visitors to a website get the content faster. An SSL certificate (secure socket layer certificate) provides a level of security needed for taking payments through a website.

While not all websites need these additional services, the benefit of a web host offering these additional services along with quick support means having these technical requirements handled more easily and efficiently.

4. Administrative Functionality

Many web hosting companies have greatly expanded the administrative control that customers and their tech teams can maintain over their websites. With expanded greater functionality and more advanced utilities available via easy-to-use online tools, companies like LBDesign can handle many of the regular technical tasks themselves, rather than relying on the web host to address the issue. As such, it makes for a quicker resolution of issues and faster application of tweaks to the system.

5. Additional Web Hosting Price Considerations

The size of a website, the amount of space it occupies on a web server, the amount of traffic to a site, and the scalability of resources available to that site all effect web hosting pricing. For example, if a story on a website goes viral, and there are more visitors than usual coming to the site, the site may crash if the web host doesn’t immediately and automatically allocate additional server resources to handle the additional traffic. Some web hosts have built-in systems to handle that response automatically. That responsive approach to web hosting will add cost to the web hosting bill.

Which Web Host Do We Recommend?

For the great majority of our clients, we find WP Engine to be the best value for money. WP Engine’s exceptional support and technical setup makes working with WP Engine a breeze for us – which means we can charge our clients less.

By the way, LBDesign does not engage in affiliate marketing. We make no money signing up our clients for WP Engine’s services. We use WP Engine because we think they are top of the WordPress managing host game.

Admittedly, WP Engine is more expensive than some of the other hosting companies, but we firmly believe that a good hosting company is worth it, especially considering the time and effort put into crafting your website. While we appreciate WP Engine is not a perfect fit for every site, we recommend them for most clients.

If you have questions about your own web host, we invite you to get in touch with us.

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