What You Need For A Website In 2020

What You NEED For A Website In 2020

So, it’s now 2020. We don’t have flying cars, personal robots or on-demand space travel. At least, not quite…

The internet arrived as we know it over 30 years ago, and undoubtedly changed the course of our future. Anyone living pre-internet would have pictured a much different 2020, but alas this is the 2020 we have. 

Since the 90’s the internet has been a household topic. Email was new, now it feels old. Websites were simple, yet so complex. With so much time and so much focus on the side of the World-Wide-Web, you’d think it would be easier to understand. However, in 2020, it seems that it has become so easy to represent your business online, that it’s not really that easy at all anymore..  

The problem is the number of options available to you. It becomes overwhelming, and for many, too difficult to even get started. That’s why we’ve put some time into this guide that will hopefully clear up the questions EVERYONE has the FIRST time they set out to make a website.

First, try to understand what a website is. A website is an interactive digital page that is powered by the same components you’d find inside your computer. In fact, a website can be compared to the programs on your computer or the apps on your phone. So if you would like to BUILD a website from scratch, the first thing you need are those components. 

Like your computer, tablet or phone a website requires the following components to operate: 

  • Storage
  • Processor
  • Memory
  • Software

When regarding websites, these components are otherwise referred to as Web Hosting. 

You see, when you build a website it has to be stored somewhere. Like your favorite selfies, every website is stored on a harddrive somewhere. When someone wants to interact with your website, a processor works to serve it to them. This is why the speed of your website is limited by your hosting. To complete the tasks that a website is intended to complete, it uses a combination of these components and they translate the written code to display your creation to the end-user. 

So, what do you NEED to build a website in 2020? Just 3 things!

  • Web Hosting
  • Domain Name
  • Building Software/CMS

Web Hosting

As we mentioned above, Web Hosting is simply a computer (or a piece of a computer) that you can rent remotely that will store and process the data that makes up your website. These rentable computers are otherwise known as Servers. 

If you need help choosing a Web Hosting Plan, you can read more about that here.

Domain Name

A domain name (www.comverthosting.com) is a custom label for your website’s address. Technically, your website’s address is an IP address made up of numbers (99.99.990.999). This address represents the piece of the server that your website is being stored on. But, obviously it would be much too confusing to remember everyone’s IP address (we can’t even remember phone numbers anymore!) so you can purchase a Domain Name to represent your website instead. 

Supply and Demand has created a competitive market for domain names so if you need tips on how to choose one, click here.

Building Software/CMS

Once you have some form of Web Hosting and a Domain Name, it’s time to start putting your content and data onto your server. This is most commonly done through a CMS like WordPress, or Building Software like Adobe Dreamweaver or even Shopify. Choosing how you create the website itself is often one of the hardest parts when you’re starting out.

If you need help choosing a method of building your website, click here!

It’s important that you understand these fundamentals of website building before you begin your first website project because often you’ll find these components bundled together in different ways that may or may not benefit your unique project. Also, if you choose to hand off creation to a professional instead of trying it yourself, we hope that you’re better prepared when you do.

In Closing 

Last, but not least, we want to be clear that we decided to write this guide to help newcomers make sense of what can otherwise be a confusing and overwhelming topic. Heck, that’s also why we started Comvert Marketing over two years ago. This was before a Global Pandemic that has accelerated the transition to online business that we saw coming years ago. Unfortunately, due to this acceleration, that means there are a large number of people who are being thrown into this online world with little education or direction. Of course, the internet is not very new. But it is new enough that the majority of the world’s population grew up without it, and so it’s not as well understood as one may think it ought to be. We do hope this article helps clear up the very basics of what you NEED to make a website in 2020.

If you would like to learn more about Web Hosting & Domain Names, check out some of these related articles:

  • List 1
  • List 2
  • List3
  • List 4
  • List 5

If this article has instead furthered your fears of Web Dev, we kindly ask that you do two things: 

  1. Let us know! That’s the opposite of our intention. So, if we’ve added to the noise out there, let us know how and we will listen and correct wherever necessary. 
  1. Hand it off to us! Afterall, this is what we do! If you’re suddenly realizing that this is not your area of expertise, we’re happy to get your business online for you.

Thanks so much for reading!    🙂

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How To Choose A Web Host

How To Choose A Web Host

Okay, okay. We’re not here to tell you who to choose, and if you’re already reading this thinking that you know how this article will end, you may be… wrong! Ha!

First of all, we’re not going to tell you to choose us. We may not be the best fit for your business. We’re also not going to tell you to choose someone else. That’s not why we’re here either.

We’re here to help you make the choice on your own, based on your needs and experience. 

What To Consider:

  1. Why do you need Web Hosting?

What is your plan? Are you building a website? Developing an app? Building multiple websites? Developing multiple apps? Or maybe none of the above? This may sound obvious, but you must figure out the answer to this question first and foremost before you begin shopping or you may be in for some stress.

  1. Where are your users/customers located?

You’ll find that different Web Hosts use Servers in different locations all over the world. The reason is simple, data must travel. It’s true. Although it seems like magic, every time you click on a link and load a web page, that page is being served from the ‘computer’ they’re renting from their Web Host and being delivered to you on their network. The data must still physically travel, albeit very quickly. This means that the closer your Server is located to the end user (your customers/readers), the quicker your pages and content can be served to them. 

To help make sense of this, picture this: 

At Comvert Marketing, our client-base is mostly Canadian, largely American and somewhat global. We could rent servers all over the world, but it makes more sense to keep fewer, closer. That’s why you’ll find most of our servers here at Comvert Hosting are located in Lansing Michigan. Michigan is conveniently located close to the majority of Canada’s population, while still being in proximity to the continental US. To enhance our network’s coverage, we also have a server in California and another in Europe. This is just the base. 

To further improve servability to other regions around the world, we include Cloudflare with all of our Hosting Plans. Cloudflare’s network spans much larger than any host because they are a Content Delivery Network (CDN). They exist so you can optimize your home-base location while still being able to serve a quality experience to others anywhere in the world. Learn more about Cloudflare here.

  1. What are your plans post-launch?

To keep this simple, let’s say you need to choose a Web Host to host a new website for your business. Great. Well before you choose, try to think about what you’re going to be doing with the website after it’s online. Chances are, you won’t (or at least shouldn’t!) create a new site and leave it alone on the internet collecting digi-dust. You will likely have to market your website in some form. Even if that just means indexing it with Google so users can find you on the biggest search engine in the world. 

If you already know your marketing efforts will be minimal and done yourself, a Web Host like GoDaddy could be very beneficial. GoDaddy’s platform was designed with the DIY’er in mind and they offer some amazing tools to easily get online and do some basic digital marketing. But what if one day you’re ready to expand your efforts? Maybe make a more unique website, or just grow into more advanced marketing techniques? Well, then unfortunately, that’s where GoDaddy’s (and others like it) benefits end. They do DIY well, but once your business grows beyond this stage, their service becomes costly and frustrating. Their platform doesn’t allow outside customization, and like other pagebuilders, when you use their platform to build your website, your hard work and content is technically their property, not yours. (Read more about that here). This is when you may want to start doing more in-depth research into the other hosts, but to save you the potential time and costs, we ask that you think about this BEFORE you jump into a hosting plan.

If you plan on customizing your website beyond what a template can provide, or if you think you’ll have a professional (like Comvert Marketing) manage your digital marketing in the future, your website may be better off on WordPress.org or being custom developed. And if this is the case, the options you have for Web Hosting are a little different. For one, you can save some money, because when you go with a big-guy platform like GoDaddy, you’re paying for a lot of product R&D that you’ll never use, when you really only need to pay for a server somewhere. Unfortunately this doesn’t narrow your choices down too much, but it’s important to know before you choose a host.

  1. Careful Reading Reviews

Another tip on choosing the best Web Host for your new website is to consider the reviews you read in context. What I mean by this is experience. One host may have glowing reviews, but all from first time hosters and another may have very little reviews but from experienced developers. 

Think of shopping for Web Hosting like shopping for tires. Everyone has a different level of need and experience that provides the context to how they write their review. If you’ve only ever driven on low-budget tires, you’re going to love the mid-budget line and write a great review for them after a short time. But if you’re used to grippy, high-budget tires, you may have a different opinion on the mid-budget set that got such great reviews. Make sense? This can be applied to most products, truthfully, but like tires, there are different levels to hosting and different experience levels leaving reviews for hosts. Be sure to take each review with a grain of salt and remember your own needs before making a decision.

Continue reading “How To Choose A Web Host”

How To Choose Web Hosting

How To Choose Web Hosting

No matter which Web Host you choose, this advice should apply to anyone offering LiteSpeed Web Servers and similar packages to us. 

When you’re shopping for Web Hosting, you’ll find three different types. Shared Hosting, VPS, and Dedicated Servers. Within these different types of hosting, you’ll find different plans or packages. The details found in these plans is what you’ll use to determine which plan you need.

If you’re not sure which Web Host you should go with, or how to choose, we’ve written an article about that here: How To Choose A Web Host

Shared Hosting

Shared Web Hosting is quite literally a plan where you share a section of a server with others doing the same as you. These plans are great for lower traffic websites, but they max out at about 250,000 monthly visitors, and since everyone is sharing the same IP address, it will always suffer a lack in performance compared to a Virtual Private Server or Dedicated Server. This may sound less than ideal, and technically it is, but you can typically find great Shared Hosting plans for less than $10/month so if you don’t need more, these plans can get you online for very cheap. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about sharing your server with others. Your account will be protected and can’t be accessed or modified by others on your server. The only hindrance of sharing your server with others is found in the speed and performance of your website, and these days, that gap is closing quite rapidly. For low traffic websites, you will not notice a difference. You will only notice this hindrance with high traffic or large websites. 

To combat the effects of sharing a server with others, we chose to build our platform on LiteSpeed Web Servers which use SSD storage and optimized Caching to boost the performance of websites 20x. We also offer Cloudflare, which can help to improve the deliverability and speed of your website to users who may not be close to our servers. With these features and smart website development, you can achieve blazing fast loading speeds and great performance with even our Shared Cloud Hosting plans, or others like them.

VPS Hosting

A VPS is a Virtual Private Server. This means that instead of sharing the server’s resources with others, you have your own section of the server and it’s resources along with a Dedicated IP address. This means that you have much more power at your disposal and you won’t be affected by others on the same server in any way. VPS Hosting is necessary for App development and very high traffic websites, online stores or blogs that have outgrown typical Shared Hosting plans. If you operate a high traffic website on a Shared plan, you will likely be notified by your Host when it’s time to upgrade. So if you haven’t been, you are most likely okay. However, even if you’re close, you’ll no doubt see an improvement in performance. 

Dedicated Server

If you’ve been reading this entire article, you can probably guess this one now..

That’s right! A Dedicated Server is when you, and only you, have the entire server to yourself. This also means that you, and only you, reap the benefits of having the entire server to yourself. All of its power and resources are dedicated to your website(s), or app(s) and you also have full control over the software you use and how you set up your server. These plans are typically used by developers, but of course you don’t have to be a developer to buy them. Some very high traffic websites would certainly benefit from having its own Dedicated Server, but if you’re in this category you’ll likely have a developer anyway 😉

In Closing

This is a quick overview so we hope this gives you a better idea of how Web Hosting plans are divided, and what makes these different types, well – different. If there are any areas you’d like us to focus on more, please leave a comment and we’d be happy to do so.

If this article has instead furthered your fears of Web Dev, we kindly ask that you do two things: 

  1. Let us know! That’s the opposite of our intention. So, if we’ve added to the noise out there, let us know how and we will listen and correct wherever necessary. 
  1. Hand it off to us! Afterall, this is what we do! If you’re suddenly realizing that this is not your area of expertise, we’re happy to get your business online for you.

Thanks so much for reading!    🙂

What Is cPanel?

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