What is Website Hosting and Maintenance?
What the heck even is website hosting and maintenance? Every small business knows they need a website, but then they get hit with a bunch of new terms and questions like, who are you using for your hosting service? Who is doing the maintenance on your website? And unless you’re familiar with the website industry, those words may as well be in an entirely new language to you. Some even think or say things like, I don’t need any of that, just a website, please and thank you.
Hate to break it to you, though. If you have a website, you need hosting and maintenance. Why? Let’s break down what they are and why they’re necessary.
Website hosting refers to the process of storing and making a website accessible on the internet. When you create a website, regardless of what it’s for or how big it is, all of the files, images, content and code need to be stored on a server. Web hosting companies operate and maintain these servers, ensuring that your website is accessible to visitors 24/7.
A good hosting provider will maintain high uptime, meaning your website reliably functions without frequent downtime or interruptions. They’ll also offer various types of web hosting that serve different functions and come at different price points. Your chosen company will help you decide which tier of service is best for your needs.
In order to even connect your website to a domain (e.g. www.example.com), you need to point the domain’s DNS (Domain Name System) records to a hosting provider’s servers. To put it simply, your website cannot exist without someone hosting it for you.
Website maintenance is exactly what it sounds like. It involves those pesky updates, fixes, and improvements that keep a website running smoothly and securely. A well-maintained website ensures that visitors have a positive user experience. It also prevents security vulnerabilities and performance issues.
You’ll need to pay for maintenance for regular content updates. ‘Content’ includes text, graphics, and media. A website unfortunately cannot be put up once and then forgotten about. To stay relevant, it needs to be regularly updated and active.
Maintenance services also perform software updates, including your plugins and scripts. Allowing your plugins to expire or run without their updates leads to broken functionality and even security risks.
Maintenance services will also implement security measures like SSL certificates, firewalls, and regular backups. This includes periodically checking for and resolving viruses and bug fixes for optimal speed and upload services. .
Website Hosting and Maintenance
Both website hosting and maintenance are required to have a website, whether that’s for personal or business needs. Most companies offer both hosting and maintenance as a package deal under a monthly subscription. Many offer tiers of services so you can choose the best package that suits your needs (and budget).
You don’t even necessarily have to find a separate company to host and maintain your site. Site builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and even WordPress offer their own website hosting and maintenance services. Alternatively, it’s possible that your website designer offers hosting and maintenance services as well. A designer’s offerings are often more robust than what other companies can offer and may include monthly reporting and virus removal.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, neither website hosting or maintenance can be skipped or overlooked when building a business or personal website. Both are crucial for running a successful website. Website hosting provides the necessary infrastructure to make your site accessible on the internet, while maintenance ensures that your website remains secure, up-to-date, and functioning optimally for visitors. It’s vital to weigh your options when choosing a hosting and maintenance provider to best serve your needs. When in doubt, our knowledgeable web designers can discuss your needs and make recommendations as needed!