Owning a website involves two often misunderstood elements …… a domain and a host. Understanding the difference is key to effective site management.
The domain is the internet address people use to get to your site. For example, the Mark Lovett Web Design domain is marklovettdesign.com. You can register a domain with any number of registrars/providers by paying a fee, usually $10-$35 yr to use that web address. When ready to host your website, you’ll need to change the domain’s DNS record to point to the host server files.
Web host is a place where people store their websites. The host is the service that stores your website’s files. Your domain points to your website’s files on your host’s server when someone types in your URL online. For example, I often use Bluehost as my hosting provider. The host charges fees for the service based on type of plan, site speed, uptime, support, features, security etc.
Four Types of Web Hosting
There are four basic types of web hosting: Shared, Virtual Private Server (VPS), Dedicated, and Cloud Hosting. The estimated prices do not include site maintenance.
- Shared Hosting $1-$4 mo
Your website is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or even thousands of sites. This is low cost, entry level, hosting that works for sites with low traffic where speed is not important. If your site uses a premium WordPress theme, your site will be very slow to load causing problems when working on the site as well as for users with little patience.
- Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting $30-$40 mo
A virtual private server hosting divides a server into virtual servers. Your site is sharing a server with a only a few different other users and the cost is mid-level. It’s the next best thing to a dedicated server. I use a VPS server often and it works very well. It’s much faster and more secure than shared hosting servers.
- Dedicated Hosting $80-$150 mo
Your website is the only site stored on the server, hence the name dedicated server. It’s very expensive, but if you have a high traffic site and a fat budget, this is the best option for you.
- Cloud Hosting
A team of servers (called a cloud) work together to host a group of websites. Multiple computers work together to handle high traffic levels for your website. This is another high cost setup for high traffic sites.
WordPress Site Maintenance
WordPress site maintenance is a necessity and it can be time consuming. It includes tasks such as backups, upgrades, updates, security, tune-ups, checking for bad links, deleting spam, and more. You can do this yourself, or you can subscribe to a service which usually runs about $30-$100 per month depending on the size of your site and amount of site maintenance needed.
What good is an amazing site if nobody sees it? To get your site noticed you’ll have to do web marketing which involves create interesting content applying sound SEO principles, and integrate with social media.
“Mark Lovett is wonderful to work with! I am a graphic designer with limited web experience, so when I needed a website for my own firm, I turned to Mark for help. He enthusiastically agreed to work with me—he did all the setup and technical work, but at the same time, we sat together and he taught me how to get in the back end and do some things myself. He was patient and had a great sense of humor as I tried to grasp this foreign language!
I would highly recommend Mark for organizations who need him to handle EVERY aspect of their website, as well as for others, like me, who need help, but also want to be able to change things themselves. Thanks to Mark, I now have a website I am extremely proud of. In addition, he made it happen quickly, which to me was imperative. Bravo Mark and many thanks!”
Dovetail Design Studio