Do you have a home for your website? Somewhere people can visit night and day, and it will always be ready to accept visitors? If you do, great! If not, no problem, we have plenty of space at ours!
Your website consists of words, pictures, video and so on, all organised into pages. As with all files, these are stored on a computer somewhere. The question for your website is – where should this be?
There are a number of considerations; below are some of the major ones.
Physically. We don’t one someone stealing the computer where your files are stored.
Digitally. We need some protection from unauthorised people gaining access or making changes to your files. For some, this will include the U.S. government, who have wide ranging powers if your site is physically stored in America.
This means that whenever somebody wants to look at your website, it is available. So the computer where your site is stored needs to be on, always.
Not only that, but there should be some sort of backup plan if something goes wrong. A typical example would be for your site to be on two different computers so that if one fails, the second is automatically used, with your customers none the wiser. You can take this a step further by making sure there is more than one connection to the internet, for the same reasons.
The connection to the internet needs to be fast. People don’t like slow loading websites.
You need enough space to store all your files, plus the ability to increase that size as your website grows.
You need a control panel that allows you to easily manage your files, to create backups and so on.
We can see from just the considerations above that it is not practical to host your website on your own computer at home or in the office. You need to use the services of a hosting company. You can either manage this relationship yourself or let us do it for you.
As with any other service you need to assess the balance between the extent of the service offered and the price charged, taking into consideration the reputation of the hosting company and its ability to deliver on its promises. There are a number of leading players in the market, but it is a fast moving industry and some of the smaller, newer companies are very worthy of consideration.
Here are some that I have direct experience of using:
Hostgator (USA). One of the largest companies in this sector. They have some eye-watering introductory deals – but beware the cost of subsequent years. I have found that it can take their helpdesk a long time to respond, so you can be on hold for ages. However, if you have a simple site that requires little ongoing attention, this can be a very cost effective solution.
1and1 (UK). Another large player. Slick advertising but personally I find their management panel hard to navigate and I have moved away from using them for hosting.
TSO (UK). A smaller company but their helpdesk is efficient. If you call them you can get to a speak to a real person very quickly.
Use Roman Britons Websites to Manage your Hosting
If you choose to let us manage hosting for you, we will select the most appropriate hosting company and also arrange regular backups and security checks (click here for further information on the latter). In addition we can manage upgrades to your site, and where appropriate your hosting plan, plus liaise on your behalf for any troubleshooting issues. Basically we will do our very best to take any of the stress out of keeping your website available so that you can focus on running your business.