What is Web Hosting?

A web site is a collection of files, usually HTML text and images. In order for people to visit a web site on the internet, the files have to be stored on a computer that is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This computer is called a "server" because it "serves" web pages to anyone browsing the internet. Although anyone can set up a server at home, serious web servers are connected directly to the internet, not through dialup, DSL, or cable. These servers can handle thousands of visitors every hour and are usually part of a large network of servers in a data center.

Design215 Hosting

Because we bring product photography and web design together for a complete solution, we also offer web hosting for our clients. We lease dedicated servers in a secure facility in the midwest with 24-hour monitoring, redundant connections, and backup power.

Why Design215 should host your web site:

  • Reasonable rate, $252.00/year.
    We don't have the lowest prices in town but we aren't the most expensive either. Our basic plan is designed to fit the needs of average sized companies. We bill $252.00 once per year, which works out to $21.00 a month. This rate includes:

    • The same FreeBSD Unix, Apache 2, PHP 8.1+ environment as our own site
    • SSL Certificate from Lets Encrypt
    • Up to 1GB of storage
    • 1 mySQL database
    • Backup server in a second location
    • Google Apps Email*
    • Premier customer support

    *customers pay Google directly for Google Services.

  • We are not in the "high volume" hosting business.
    We don't sell hosting to the general public and we have strict policies on what web sites we will host. This means more personalized customer support for you and better security for your site.
  • A secure environment for professionals only.
    Most large hosting companies don't have any idea what people are doing on their servers. Nobody cares until the server crashes and every site on that server is down because some kid was sharing his pirated video game collection with 200 other kids. We know every person who hosts their site with us and we know how much traffic their site generates. Generally, we only want to host our own clients but if you would like to host your site on a server shared by a limited number of professional businesses, please contact us.
  • We've handled tough hosting challenges.
    We've hosted PULPchat since 2001. Hosting a chat application is not easy. Most hosting companies won't even allow chat applications on their servers. Think of an average web site that might have a new visitor every few minutes. The demand on the server is not great because each person only stays a few minutes and might stay on each page for a couple of minutes. If the server goes down for a minute, either no one notices or one person who is trying to visit a site at that moment might get a "server not found" message.

    Now think of a chat server with hundreds of people having simultaneous conversations. If the server goes down for a minute, hundreds of people have just had their dialog cut off. The fact that PULPchat is a great application wouldn't mean a thing if we couldn't provide reliable hosting for it.

Tips for a successful web site

Whether you are new to the web or not, here are a few things that will help you achieve the best results when you are promoting yourself or your products on a web site.

  • Buy a good domain name.
    Keep it short, easy to remember, and easy to spell. If you don't, your customer will end up at someone else's site. We recommend that you purchase your domain name yourself from a company that specializes in domain names, not your hosting company. If you ever want to switch hosts, it will be much easier! We use GoDaddy.com.
  • Don't pay for more than you need
    This goes for hosting as well as web design. Get a few estimates, then come talk to us. If you select a "cookie cutter" web design package, you'll most likely be paying for more than you need or you won't get all the features you want. A good web designer should work with you to determine the needs of your particular business and provide only the features and services that are necessary.
  • Keep it simple
    Stay away from flashing text, animated logos, and intro pages. People try to find what they are looking for as quickly as they can. If you make them sit through a long intro, they might go somewhere else. If your site is clean, easy to navigate, and loads quickly, your customers will thank you and keep coming back.
  • Advertise
    Just because you have a web site doesn't mean that people will automatically flock to it. If you are selling products, you have to advertise your web site. Different products require different types of advertising. We can talk to you about what we've found works best and what doesn't.
  • Use your site's email address
    If you want to look professional, your business email address should be yourname@yoursite.com, not your AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail address. Keep your other email address for staying in touch with friends and family. Put your business email address on all of your business cards. Also, we have techniques for making your email address visible to your customers while keeping it hidden from spammers.
  • See Also: Web Design and Hosting Checklist

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