In this lesson, we’ll talk about hosting servers and learn:
Welcome! I’m Leighton, your webmaster. Today, we’re looking at a crucial part of a website — the hosting server. Remember, a server is like a sub-division… It’s where your websites (or, digital homes) live. So there are 3 necessary elements to publish a website: (1) Domain Name (2) Website itself (3) Hosting Server. A domain name, as we discussed in the last lesson, is about $15 a year. Websites can be built for free. But a hosting server will cost more.
What is the exact cost? It depends. On what? What do you think would impact the cost of a server? (pause) Well, are electric bills the same for all house sizes? (pause) No! The more power needed, the more expensive the utilities. In a similar way, the more traffic a website gets, the more powerful (and expensive) the server needs to be. You could spend thousands of dollars each month on a server, but what about for your needs? For yourself and your small business clients, a top-tier economy server should suffice, and that’s about $10-$20 per month. Let’s look at some options:
Demonstrate GoDaddy: We’re going to look at the economy servers at GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy is the most well-known domain company in America. We click Hosting… Web Hosting… The prices range from $5.99 to $19.99… First, we notice these are introductory rates. That will end eventually, so let’s pay attention to the standard rate. As a web design business, you really want the highest-tier package since you will be hosting multiple websites, not just one. What does this offer? (Read the features of the Maximum package). Theoretically, you could host all of your clients’ websites on this server.
But what’s my opinion on GoDaddy? What has been my personal experience? When I have used GoDaddy economy servers, like the ones we’re looking at here, I felt like my websites loaded slowly, plus GoDaddy is full of up-charges, including add-on fees for more performance. High Performance should not be an upgrade. I repeat: High Performance should not be an upgrade. It should be default in the highest package. To be clear, my opinion only reflects the economy web hosting servers, not the more expensive dedicated or VPS servers. And, I think their domain management is terrific, so GoDaddy is a solid choice for managing your domain names. But what other companies out there offer affordable servers? A few come to mind. BlueHost.com. InMotionHosting.com. SiteGround.com. All good options. But what company have I used for 15 years? Let’s see!
Demonstrate IONOS.com: Formerly called 1&1, IONOS is a Europe-based company founded in 1988. I’ve had an account with them since 2006, and I use several of their servers. Let’s look. Hosting > Web Hosting. “Plans for Agencies” > Expert. $16/month. We see their rates fall within the $10-$20/month. “See All Details.” Notice the RAM and Memory Limit… This server can handle about 10-20 sites… apples to apples, over time, I found IONOS offered more performance and features for a cheaper cost than GoDaddy.
By nature, Economy Web Hosting Servers are virtually shared with other websites. You don’t know those sites, and you don’t interact with them, but what do you think could potentially happen if some of those websites saw a spike in traffic? If your website sits on the same shared server as other websites that are getting overloaded with traffic? You guessed right. Your website could suffer. So what types of servers are available that are NOT shared? Let’s look.
DEMONSTRATE: Back to IONOS > Hosting > Dedicated Hosting. One option is Dedicated Hosting. These servers are all yours. You don’t share processing power or bandwidth with anyone else. Since I’ve taken on larger clients, I now have Dedicated Hosting. I like the appeal of not having to deal with server software, updates, security, etc. IONOS handles the backend work of maintaining the server. There are also DEDICATED SERVERS. These can be several hundreds of dollars and aren’t really necessary for small business websites that get a few hundred or thousand visitors per month.
So those are the Dedicated Hosting options from IONOS. In fact, most hosting companies that offer affordable shared hosting will also offer dedicated hosting options, as well as the more advanced Virtual Private Servers and Enterprise Servers.
To be clear, you can start and run a web design business with any hosting account. Any hosting option through any hosting provider allows you to design and develop websites for yourself and your clients. But I want to help you build a successful website design business. How do you get to that point? And with hundreds of hosting companies out there, how do you possibly choose the right one for you?
Well, you might compare this with buying a car battery. When choosing a car battery, you might be presented with the “good, better and best” options. If you’re absolutely in a pinch and need the best price, you might choose the cheapest option. If you need the best performance, on the other hand, you can select the higher-quality battery. Ultimately, all of the batteries work sufficiently, but some may offer a better price while others offer better performance.
Let’s compare that with web hosting:
DEMONSTRATE Cloudways. Show the homepage. Features. Pricing. Cloudways does not have Domain registration.
I hope you enjoyed my enthusiasm for Cloudways, the best hosting provider I have ever used! There are other premium managed hosting platforms, like WPEngine and FlyWheel, but they generally limit the amount of websites you can store on each server, whereas Cloudways does not do that, and for that reason, Cloudways is my go-to option for my clients who need the best performance.
So let’s briefly review how to select your hosting provider, then we’ll recap what we learned in this lesson.
So what have we learned?
I’m Leighton, and now you know… web hosting!
If you do not already own web hosting, check out IONOS and Cloudways. Choose either the IONOS EXPERT WEB HOSTING package, one of the cheaper DEDICATED HOSTING packages, or a CLOUDWAYS MANAGED HOSTING SERVER with a data center closest to your location.