WHAT IS WEB HOSTING AND SSL?
Nowadays everybody knows that every business needs a website because of the crucial role a website plays in a brand's success. Only a lot of new business owners hold back because they are aware of the technicalities and all the many moving parts involved in the web design process. Allow us to clear all that up for you...
After choosing your Domain Name, two of the most important technical elements are WEB HOSTING and SSL
WHAT IS WEB HOSTING?
A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organisations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. It is the place where all files that are relevant to your website are stored. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data centre. A web hosting company usually provides this service for business owners for which they charge a fee which is billed monthly or annually.
HOW DOES WEB HOSTING WORK?
Your next questions are probably, "So how do web hosting providers operate?" and "How does web hosting work?"
These companies (web hosting providers) store a website's information on servers. Whenever visitors type your domain name on their PC, it will automatically connect to your webspace on the server to automatically download your site's page content into their into their internet browser on demand.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WEB HOSTING COMPANY
Most hosting plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee enabling you to evaluate the service to see if it meets your needs. As a startup, you may choose the starter plan or any other affordable package. As your business begins to evolve your digital requirements will often become entirely more sophisticated. As soon as your website gains traction (and attracts more visitors) suddenly you'll discover the budget hosting account you signed up for is beginning to struggle: website loading speed may drop, website performance becomes sluggish, which might drive visitors away. And you don't want that! The best thing to do is upgrade your hosting plan and buy more server space with more resources to accommodate the increasing traffic.
TYPES OF WEB HOSTING
Most web hosting companies provide different levels of hosting to meet the diverse needs of their customers. As your business evolves, you might need to move from one type of hosting to another. Here are the basic hosting types.
This is the perfect solution to the hosting needs of many small businesses and organisations. Your business will be sharing its server with other clients - usually clients whose company or domain name begins with the same letter as your own does. It is an entry-level hosting type, and the business owner does not require any technical knowledge to operate its control panel. However, because all these website share the same server resources traffic surges (or spikes) on other sites using the same server as yours can slow down your own website.
VPS or Virtual Private Server is similar to shared. The only difference is that your website will have access to a separate partition on the server with more resources allocated. Although it's more expensive, it's perfect for medium-sized businesses expecting a reasonable amount of traffic.
Ideal for WordPress site owners. You will have access to preinstalled plugins, which you can use to perform some tasks. It comes with a special WordPress-optimised configuration which all helps to run your WordPress website smoothly.
This type of hosting is all you need if you want an individual server dedicated to hosting your own website alone. It comes with great flexibility and control, as well. Big Players like Google, Facebook, eBay and Amazon all own their own independent hosting services.
This hosting type is very popular because of the little or no downtime it offers website. How so? As the name suggests, everything is stored in multiple locations in The Cloud. This is called a Cluster. If one server encounters a problem, your website will be able to draw on resources redirected from another server, automatically.
Security and Trust
It's important to mention here that one of the criteria for operating a successful business online is to provide a safe environment where clients feel, for example, confident to make purchases from you. This brings us to the next important concept you should know after choosing your hosting provider and plan - SSL certificate.
WHAT IS SSL?
SSL, meaning Secure Server Layer, describes a standard security model that connects a website server and its client (browser). It establishes an encrypted link that protects data shared on the site. With SSL, sensitive information such as credit card numbers and credentials can be transmitted securely on the website without it being vulnerable to hackers and malware. Online scammers can quickly target a website without SSL encryption and use sensitive data on the site for fraudulent purposes.
HOW DOES SSL WORK?
Even if all browsers are fully compatible with SSL protocol, both the browser and the server need an SSL certificate to gain the needed connection. For the SSL connection to be activated, three essential keys are required. These are the private, public and session keys. After the secured connection is accessed, all data is securely transmitted using this unique session key.
SSL AND YOUR SMALL BUSINESSES
You should consider getting an SSL for your website if your business involves any exchange of visitor data, not just buying or selling of goods or services online. As far as eCommerce is concerned, SSL provides your users with the confidence they need to release sensitive information such as names, social security numbers, and credit card details on your website without the fear that cybercriminals would steal such data.
Today, nearly all internet users systematically check for the SSL (green padlock) icon on a website before trusting it with their details. Such URLs also begin with httpS and not simply http.
NB anything you enter on the address bar of any browser is open for hacking unless it is secured. Your customers will be fearful of this if you don't have SSL in place. With an SSL certificate, any information entered on the browser is protected. It gives your potential customers an all-important "safety" signal.
Whilst purchasing an SSL certificate for your domain is still optional, its importance cannot be overemphasised. Fortunately, many hosting companies can help you to purchase an SSL certificate for your domain before hosting it on any server. We hope this information on what is web hosting and SSL helps you get the best out of your business website.