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What do I need for a website? Part 1 – Website hosting or ‘the server’

September 14, 2016

Welcome to the xyntech blog series on “What do I need for a website”, this is the first post which outlines what you need to have and know for starting and continuing your website. Websites can start off as basic and simple as you would like or grow to be as big as your wildest dreams but they all need to start somewhere with the same essentials. This article will cover Website hosting, the server or the place where your website can call home.

Just like the documents on your computer, your emails or your hard drive of family photos, you need to have your website stored somewhere. Now, this could be on any old computer that has internet access but there’s a couple things that are essential to where you store your website:

  1. Is it reliable?

    Your website needs to be ready and visible anytime a potential customer is searching and ready to buy or contact you. To be able to do this effectively and efficiently the best practice is to use a server owned by a web hosting provider who owns and maintains their servers. A server needs constant internet access and is a computer that won’t intermittently turn off and restart. Any off time or periods where the server is down the hosting provider needs to be able to be contacted urgently

  2. Is there enough space?

    Especially if you have a many different products and photos for each product, the space your site needs can quickly start to add up. The host needs to be able to provide you with enough space for your site to be stored there.

  3. Is there enough bandwidth?

    Just like your month to month internet plan which has a limitation of download and upload, there’s a similar process for website download and upload called bandwidth. Hosts may provide different plans with a variety of bandwidths, to figure out your best plan will depend on how many visits to your site there will be, how big an individual page on your site is, how many images per page there is, the size of the images and how regularly you are uploading more content on your site. Your host and web developer can help you with that.

  4. Is it up to date?

    The server needs to be kept up to date by the hosting provider. Technology is exponentially growing and allowing more and more options for your website and applications and the server needs to be able to keep up with that

  5. Is it secure?

    This is essential when you have an online store or have any sort of private information on your website. You want to make sure that you site won’t be hacked and no viruses infect your site etc. This can help be prevented by the host with firewalls in place but also making sure you update your website regularly if you are using any sort of plugins or Content management systems.

  6. Is it safe?

    Sometimes things go wrong, power goes out, computers get fried and websites get hacked but to help combat all of this, backups of your site need to be provided. Backups can be run as regularly as you would like, weekly or monthly is ideal and especially prior to creating big updates to your site. Backups are recommended to be stored on an additional remote location too.

  7. Is it easy to manage?

    You may want to start with a basic site and then upgrade to a multi database site with online store. Being able to easily make changes in the back end is essential and is helpful to be able to go the direction that you would like to with your website.

  8. Is there support?

    A website host needs to be able provide support 24/7 ready to be called on at a moment’s notice to make any repairs that are necessary. If your website is needed for your business run that’s your top priority and it needs to be the hosts priority to.

When you’re looking at getting your website set up you need these questions answered. Web hosting at Xyntech will answer yes to all of these questions to be a great hosting option for your site. Contact Us if you are interested in hosting though Xyntech.

- Will Shield

Common SEO Terms (part 1)

July 3, 2016

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation. Optimising your website for search engines (like Google) to ensure a better ranking and online presence.

404 Error: When a page is missing or no longer there a 404 page will appear in it’s place, the ideal for these pages is to not occur where your content could be.

301 Redirect: A redirection applied to a page that is no longer there to ensure the user still goes somewhere where there is applicable content.

Web Master Tools: Now called Google Search Console, allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimise visibility of their websites

Common tools used in Google Search Console

Clicks: The total number of times link to your site was clicked on.

Impressions: The number of time your website comes up in a search result.

CTR: Click Through Rate, Clicks divided by impressions as a percentage.

Position: Your position in the Google search results

Crawl: The action committed by type of internet bot called a Web Crawler which systematically scans through your site to ensure that all pages are accessible and have content there. Will alert any pages marked 404 error

 

More definitions coming soon!

- Will Shield

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