What Does it Take to Host a Great Website?

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Reliable, fast, and secure website hosting is a critical part of running a successful website, and the company you choose to host your website matters. Your customers expect zero downtime and zero issues with your website every time they do business with you. But what your web hosting company might not be telling you is that there's a lot more that goes into great hosting than the fancy "unlimited storage" and "unlimited bandwidth" specs that they like to throw out there to lure you in. Let's make sure you truly are in the know on what it takes to host a great website.

What is web hosting and why do I need it?

Web hosting is a set of resources and services that give your website the resources and connectivity it needs to be accessible to visitors online. Without hosting, you may have a website, but no way for people to access it. Your website’s data and files are stored on one or more remote servers in a data center, providing the power, bandwidth, and infrastructure needed to make your site accessible to your customers through a web browser. Many small businesses without any technical knowledge or resources make the mistake of looking for the cheapest hosting package they can find, assuming all hosting companies and hosting packages are created equal. That may be somewhat true if you are hands on and can handle everything yourself, but for the typical business owner, they need much more than that. They essentially need a company that can provide the hosting resources as well as the ongoing servicing needed to ensure the website is performing optimally. Like a car, you can't drive it around forever without changing the oil, tires, washing it, and performing other maintenance tasks that keep it running smoothly.

If I already have a website, how do I know who’s hosting it?

Most commonly, your website would be hosted by the company that built it for you, or a hosting provider that they partner closely with. Most website developers and website design companies provide hosting along with their web design services so that the customer can have one point of contact for their website, and so that the website designer can have better control over the deployment and maintenance of the website once it has been launched.

Dakota Cloud Networks provides reliable hosting infrastructureCompanies with internal resources that build their own websites may attempt to host them on their own servers, or they may have a hosting account with a 3rd party company such as Dakota Cloud Networks to provide hosting resources. You can figure out who is hosting your website by finding out what IP address it resolves to, and then checking to see who owns that IP address. There is actually a great tool out there called Hosting Checker where you can simply put in your website address and they will do the work to figure this out for you. This may, though, not tell you exactly who your hosting company is. For example, most hosting companies rent space in data centers to provide hosting for their customers, and the data center may own the IP addresses that they use. Therefore, a search may tell you who your data center is rather than the actual company that provides your hosting service.

Does Onsharp provide website hosting?

At Onsharp, we understand that our customers don't want to have to call another vendor for hosting services, so we provide hosting directly to our customers and then work with data center and infrastructure partners to provide the power, bandwidth, and hardware resources we need to deliver quality hosting. We partner with 2 infrastructure providers to deliver hosting to our customers. We use both Vultr and Dakota Cloud Networks so that we can provide redundancy to our clients in case there are issues with one of the individual providers. Depending on the redundancies, speed, and security required by our customers, we are able to engineer hosting configurations that range from one server that hosts hundreds of sites to a group of servers that host a single site with fault tolerance at every layer of the hosting stack. 

What makes Onsharp the best company to host my website?

We've seen a lot of situations where businesses will have their website developed by one company, host their website with another company, and then handle their domain name ownership and registration with yet another company. Some businesses might do this to find the lowest pricing for each aspect of their website. However, this complexity can end up costing more in the long run by making things more difficult and creating confusion when trying to troubleshoot a hosting problem. While we are more than willing to work with other vendors that handle domain name registration or DNS configuration, we prefer to handle everything directly for our customers so we can provide them with the fastest and highest quality hosting services possible. We understand every layer and step involved in hosting and maintaining websites, so when you trust your website hosting, domain name registration, and DNS to Onsharp, you can be assured that we will solve your problems and answer questions quickly and without having to refer you to someone else.

How do I know if my current hosting company is doing a good job?

That's a great question, and a question that most businesses don't often think about until a major problem hits them out of nowhere, such as a major outage, a hacked site, or lost files. Most hosting companies will tell you that they are only responsible for providing the hosting resources (power, bandwidth, and storage space) for your website and that they are not responsible for backing up your site, keeping it safe and secure, or making sure it runs fast.

At Onsharp, we don't believe that providing that type of hosting solution is good for anyone. Most of our customers have no idea how to keep their site safe and running fast because the tasks involved in doing so are too technical. They need a web hosting company they can trust to handle everything needed to ensure speed, reliability, and security.

That is why we offer a complete hosting solution that we call Website Essentials.

What is Website Essentials and how is it different than normal hosting?

We believe that there is a critical list of things that a company must do on a regular basis to guarantee the reliability, speed, and security of their website. We call this the "essentials list", and it is the meaning behind the name of our Website Essentials package.

With Website Essentials from Onsharp, not only do you get the typical hosting resources such as hard drive space and bandwidth, you also get a knowledgeable team of dedicated resources that is constantly working to protect your website. What do we mean by this? Here's a short list of some of the routine services that come included in Website Essentials:

  • Regularly updating your CMS platform.
  • Regularly updating and testing plugins.
  • Encrypting your site (https://) and renewing your SSL certificate every year.
  • Performing nightly backups and retaining enough backup history to recover your site in case of an issue.
  • Protecting your site against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Running external vulnerability scans every 90 days to ensure that your site is not vulnerable to any new security threats. Curious what the results of a vulnerability scan look like? Click here to download an example scan.
  • Providing SMTP email relay so that form submissions on your site are reliable and logged.

We've wrapped everything a business needs to ensure a fast, secure, and reliable website into one complete package. That's because we are much different than GoDaddy, Wix, DreamHost, and all of the other hosting companies out there that leave the hard work of providing outstanding hosting to you, the customer.

We encourage you to leave the headache of designing, building, and managing your website to us, the experts, and start spending more time growing your business. For a limited time, redesign your website with us and get 1 year of Website Essentials for free. We're confident that you'll love our all inclusive website hosting services!

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