Does Hosting Affect Your Website?
When you design a website for a client, you’re in charge for the most part. You’re the one that’s mastered the art of web design, who understands search engine optimization strategies, and so on. However, there may be cases where the decisions your clients make before hiring you end up adversely affecting how you design their website.
Web hosting is a critical part of every website, whether you’yore building on a self-hosted platform like WordPress or a hosted one like Wix. Nevertheless, the choices your clients make with regards to web hosting can affect what you’re able to do for them.
If you’re not part of the web hosting conversation, then you at least need a good understanding of how their decision will dictate what exactly you can build on top of their chosen hosting plan. Here’s what you need to know.
Does Web Hosting Affect How You Design a Website? The answer: very much “Yes”.
Hosted vs. Self Hosted
When you build websites with a hosted site builder platform (e.g. Wix, Squarespace, Shopify), there’s definitely less to worry about. These kinds of site builders automatically include hosting — hosting that they manage — so all you have to focus on is designing the website.
But is that always a good thing? Unless you’re building a website for a very small business or for yourself as a freelancer, it might not be.
Control panel access — which you typically only get when you purchase your own web hosting for content management systems like WordPress — gives you more control over the back-end. This includes things like domain management, FTP file uploads, .htaccess edits, and so on.
Self-hosting also gives you the ability to own your data. So, if your client ever decides to migrate to a different site builder solution, you don’t have to start from-scratch. That will be a problem with hosted platforms.
Web Hosting Type
If you’re building a website on a self-hosted platform, you also need to think about how the type of web hosting will affect your work.
Typically, there are four kinds of hosting to choose from:
This puts the website on one server where it shares resources (bandwidth, disk space, etc.) with other websites. If other websites are resource-greedy, the website’s performance and sometimes security can be compromised. Web hosts also tend to be very strict on how many site visitors and transactions can be processed, too. This is really only best for very small blogs or portfolio websites with light traffic.
This is similar to shared, except that the website shares resources with other websites across multiple servers. This way, if performance is lagging or there’s an outage on one server, another one can pick up the slack. It’s a much better choice for local businesses and others that are smaller in size but are working to increase traffic.
If shared hosting is like staying in a hostel with a bunch of other people, a virtual private server (VPS) is like staying in your own private hotel room. You still only get access to resources in a small segment of a server, but they’re 100% yours. This a great choice for SME websites or growing ecommerce sites that would benefit from greater security and more reliable performance.
This is the equivalent of owning your own home, which also means it’s the most expensive and difficult to maintain. Your clients should only buy a dedicated server when they’re hosting an enterprise-level website or global e-commerce site from it.