“Web Host? A What?”
First things first, if you are already familiar with what web hosting is, you can skip this section. For those who are not internet-savvy, a web host is a company with lots and lots of computers who allows you to lease space on those computers to store the data for your website. It is the computers where your text, images, and dancing bananas GIFs () are stored for your domain name (
www.mysite.com) . Hosting is something you must purchase in addition to your domain name if you want to be found on the web (unless, of course, you keep a server handy in a broom closet).
Oh, ok. So They’re not all the same?
Heavens, no. Of course, you can pick any one you want, from the cheapest you can find to the most robust supercomputers that could plan and power a fully automated trip to poor, old, evicted Pluto. The problem in taking a random shot with any old cheap web host is that their servers are unlikely be powerful or modern enough to fuel a professional website. They could be slow, unreliable, outdated, poorly supported, or neglected.
What’s wrong some of them?
Well, we all like a good deal. But when it comes to many things, you get what you pay for. The reason some of these hosting sites are super-cheap (like, $1 a month) is because they skimp on important features, like the storage space you receive, the number of visitors you can get each month, the level of technical support you’ll receive if your site goes down, or, in the case of Yahoo Small Business Hosting, outdated server protocols.
Case Study: Yahoo Small Business Hosting
Cover your eyes, it’s about to get very nerdy in here.
We ran into an issue with launching a website on a very basic Luminate/Yahoo Aabaco Small Business’s hosting service. The
.htaccess file is a very normal and common part of a website; this is not some voodoo file that casts spells on visitors. Yahoo doesn’t allow an
.htaccess file to be uploaded (reputedly for “security reasons”), which can cause an issue when navigating around the complex website we built. The home page looked and worked fine, but if you clicked on any internal link on the homepage, you received an Error 404: File Not Found. The
.htaccess file has a redirect functionality, which will resolve ugly and complicated URLs to tidy and easy-to-remember URLs. Without this file, we had to change our permalinks from Post Name to Custom Structure, appending
/index.php/ after the root. All the pages in the site after the home page looked like this:
www.mysite.com/index.php/my-page, instead of the preferable
Further, Yahoo’s hosting is slow to upgrade to the newer versions of PHP. This can cause an issue with certain features of a modern website, from contact forms to how the site actually renders and functions.
Okay, you can look now; the nerding is over.
Now, we’re not picking on Yahoo here. Cheap hosting is fine for personal sites: simple HTML sites that don’t do a whole lot or for sites that don’t have a whole lot of data (e.g.: mostly text, a few small photos or graphics, and no fancy animations or slideshows). Cheap-o hosting is not for professional sites.
Who should I pick, then?
Well, you can host through us when you purchase a web design package. We can walk you through the entire Getting-A-Website process and tell you why and how we’re doing everything. We offer hosting plans starting at $39/month. Hosting is fast, reliable, and you speak to an American when you call. This hosting is secure, and prevents downtime, SPAM, hacks, and costly data loss. Most importantly, it is robust enough to power a professional website with the allocated resources necessary.
And you won’t regret having a lightning-fast site with nearly 100% uptime, I promise.