Hosting is an important part of running a website that many people overlook but it can have drastic effects on your websites performance if not taken into account!
To start with let’s go over what hosting is so that we can understand why it’s important and how it can cause problems.
Hosting is essentially a computer connected to the Internet and holds your website so that when your clients request your site it is able to send the files over – think about it as a man acts sitting there constantly waiting for people to ask for information. This information is requested when someone types in your website address ie www.google.co.uk, the man then looks at the request and then works out which files need to be sent back before combining them and sending them back to the client – just like sending an email.
Each of these requests take time and resources to deal with – even if this happens in a blink of an eye, but the important part of this is that our man only has limited capacity to deal with the requests. If the man gets to many requests then things will start to slow down while he processes all of the requests and if the demand continues the slow down will get to a point where pages are loading so slowly clients are left waiting and in some cases the site will go down all together!
This is where the different types of hosting reveal themselves, at the bottom level you get shared budget hosting which involves a single server (man) being put in charge of multiple websites – think 100’s – he then has to deal with all requests for all websites he looks after. This set up is based on the assumption that each one of the sites is small and does not get allot of traffic so that the man dealing with requests is able to keep up with the demand. If a single website on this server gets popular and takes up more resources then all sites on the server will be affected with slow loading pages and ultimately down time.
At the other end of the range you have dedicated servers which is essentially a single man looking after a single website, this means that the site has the full resources available to it as its not shared with anyone else. This set up can even be expanded to include multiple servers / men looking after a single site.
The downside of upgrading your hosting to that level is it gets expensive very quickly! to learn more about the different types of hosting please see my other blog post What is web hosting? and how to choose the right type
I decided to write this post after seeing several people with big problems caused by poor hosting, the results ranged from very slow running websites, sites that displayed error messages to the customers to sites that simply did not work. All of these are bad for client relations and can give a bad impression so it is important that you have hosting that is upto the job! Cheap hosting may look ideal to start with but in the long run the damage to your reputation it can do is incredible – not to mention the cost of putting thing right!
The thing to remember however is no hosting solution is 100% and blips are to be expected but if its a regular occurrence its time to look at your provider!