What is Web Hosting?
Your website is made up of a set of files. These files need to be on a computer somewhere (‘hosted’) that has a permanent connection to the internet. The computer that the website files are kept on is generally referred to as a server. This allows anyone, anywhere to be able to view your website at any time with an internet connection themselves. Your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox) downloads these files as required and interprets them so the website appears.
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.
What is the difference between ‘Dedicated’ & ‘Shared’ Servers?
Maintaining a high powered ‘dedicated’ computer/server, which has a very fast permanent connection to the internet can be very expensive.
Therefore, many hosting companies offer cheap ‘shared’ hosting options where several clients will host several websites which all sit on the same server, potentially all with the same IP address.
Are there any dangers with shared hosting?
Imagine the server to be a block of flats. You own one of the flats. How much your flat is worth will be dependent on things like the size of the flat, what your neighbourhood is like and the security. Do you know who your neighbours are, and who they have over? You may have locks on your door, but when they are already in the building, things are generally less secure.
Shared Hosting does not only impact on the security of your website, but it can also affect things like search rankings. If there is a client on the same server and IP address who is using it as a SPAM mailer, some search engines may reflect badly on everyone else on the same IP.
Even though the risks are increased on a shared server, they are still minimal. If you have a small static website which is purely there as further information for your business, you are likely to be ok. If you have any form of data capture, even a simple contact form that stores the responses on a database, but particularly for CMS & ecommerce solutions, then you should consider alternatives.
Consider Local Packages
Consider Local runs a dedicated server. The only websites on the server are under our control and we restrict the high end admin access. Although still not a guarantee of immunity to hackers, it does certainly offer an increased level of protection.
This server is also linked to a backup server which is housed in a separate data centre for additional protection.