Hosting (also known as website hosting or web hosting) is the business of housing, serving, and maintaining files for one or more websites. In other words, you rent space on a computer to hold your website.
Do I need web hosting to have a website?
Courtesy of HostingAdvice.com
Business owners know they need a website. Even if you’re a two-man operation, you’re not in sales, per say, or you only cater to locals, you still need a virtual storefront to bolster the success of your business’s physical location. Having a website means exposure to a broader pool of potential customers or clients; it helps you establish credibility in your field, and people trust businesses with an online presence other than a Facebook page and a Yelp listing.
The follow-up to that tip is the often understated importance of keeping your website online consistently once you’ve built it. While your brick-and-mortar may have routine 9-to-5 hours of operation, your virtual store is open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year — or it should be.
Anything short of 100% not only means a drop in traffic but revenue loss as well. You wouldn’t randomly close your doors during peak business hours, would you? Downtime costs you, so web hosting providers offer uptime guarantees to assure you of their service and reliability.
What is Uptime?
Uptime is the amount of time that a server has stayed up and running. This is usually listed as a percentage, like “99.9% uptime.” … If a hosting provider has a high uptime percentage, then that means that their servers stay up and running and so any site you host with them should stay up and running too.
Uptime Guarantee Definition & Downtime Calculator
Bringing it back to the basics, uptime is the amount of time your website is online and accessible to the public. Naturally, you want this rate as close to 100% as possible. As such, hosting providers often offer an uptime guarantee to distinguish their service from that of their competitors.
An uptime guarantee is your web host’s assurance your site will be online a certain percentage of a year. You can calculate how much cumulative downtime to expect for your site given a certain uptime rate, or see the highlights below. It’s generally understood that 99.9% uptime is a hosting industry standard, whereas five nines or better (99.999% and up) is the ideal.
- 99.9% uptime means your website may be down for a total of 8 hours, 45 minutes, and 57 seconds each year.
- 99.99% uptime means your website may be down for a total of 52 minutes and 35.7 seconds each year.
- 99.999% uptime means your website may be down for a total of 5 minutes and 15.6 seconds each year.
- 100% uptime means your website is always online (be sure to read any SLA fine print.)
Some hosts offer a service-level agreement (SLA) with their promise of availability. In short, an SLA commits the host to a refund should a customer experience downtime in excess of the uptime guarantee. An SLA typically defines a minimum outage period to give the host time to detect the error, and then a host may credit you a certain percentage of your monthly fees for a month in which you experience more downtime than normal.
Why do I Need an SSL Certificate?
If your website doesn’t collect sensitive information, like credit cards or social security numbers, you may not have needed an SSL Certificate. However, with the new browser notices, it’s now important that every website has an SSL Certificate.
Transferring data in plain-text or in non-encrypted format can be intercepted, compromised and stolen! Many transactions done online involve submitting personal information such as social security numbers, credit card information, usernames and passwords. Cybercriminals who intercept unencrypted communications will gain full access to this data and can use it for fraudulent purchases.
An SSL certificate is what makes a website trusted, as it makes people confident enough to provide sensitive and private information online. Organizations must use an SSL certificate to secure their site if they wish to take online payments or expect their visitors to submit confidential information. Besides building trust and security into your website, SSL certificates also help with SEO efforts now that Google is providing a rankings boost for pages that are served over https (“s” stands for security) instead of http.
Over half of the websites use an SSL Certificate to encrypt their traffic. If you use Chrome as your browser, you probably have noticed the ‘Not Secure’ label in the location bar, and when you click on it, it reads as follows: “Your connection to this site is not secure. You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords, or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers.”
Google HTTPS Ranking can no longer be ignored.
Over a year ago (since July, 2018 to be exact) with the release of Chrome 68, Non-HTTPS sites are now labeled as “Not Secure”. Technically, this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your site, but visitors may be confused by the label. Furthermore, this has the potential to directly affect the credibility of your website. Google wants a more secure web and is staging a multi-phase roll out of changes to its Chrome browser to encourage website owners to switch to HTTPS, also known as SSL.
Data from Google Chrome usage shows that more than 70% of Chrome users are visiting HTTPS-enabled websites, which indicates that browsing via HTTPS is becoming the norm. Armed with that data, Google is taking steps to “encourage” the global adoption of SSL/HTTPS.
At our agency, we promote security and safety when navigating online. If your website is not secure, now is the time to get an SSL Certificate, have it done through us for just $75/yr. Email us or call us at 703-408-1411 to have your website secure in 24-48 hours.