Web Hosting Vs. Web Development – Understanding the Difference

Creating a website for your business does not just involve the design and development stages; after your website is completed, it needs to be taken live so that users can access it, which is where web hosting comes into play. However, since a number of people who own websites are not tech savvy, they tend to confuse between web hosting and web design/development, mainly because they do not realize that they two are different. Therefore, when they encounter various web hosting problems on their website, some of them tend to blame the developer, without realizing that it is not his/her fault. This can create friction between you and your web developer, especially considering that it might not his/her responsibility to fix the issue. Therefore, it is vital that you understand the difference between web hosting and web development issues; so that you can know whom to call the next time you have a problem.

What is web hosting?

Web hosting is a service that allows you to host (or to put it simply “house”) your website. The website is hosted on a server that is connected to the internet, thus allowing people to view your website. The hosting services are offered by web hosting service providers, which are usually large companies with a data center(s) that host several websites.

What is web development?

Web development is simply the development (or creating) of websites. It is separate from web hosting, and it involves creating the functionality of a web design – through the creation of layout, content, scripting, configuring security settings, installing plugins and other third party applications, installing content management platforms, etc.

Web hosting problems and how they are not related to web development

The most common confusion about web hosting and web development involves the problems for each, where some people confuse web hosting problems with web development problems. Therefore, it is important to understand why these problems occur, this avoiding a situation where you blame your web developer for something that is not their fault. Below is a look at some of the common web hosting problems, what causes them, and an explanation as to why they are not the responsibility of your web developer.

  1. Server downtime

One of the most common web hosting issues is server downtime, where the server hosting your website falls, thus making your website inaccessible to anyone on the internet. Unfortunately, since this results in your website also being down, some people might think that the problem has something to do with the web developer – they created the website after all and thus they should know what is happening. However, this could not be further from the truth, as server downtime is a problem that occurs on the side of your web hosting provider and not due necessarily to anything the web team did.

  1. Slow website speed

Another web hosting issue that is commonly blamed on web developers is slow website speeds, especially when loading web pages. While it is possible that slow speeds might have something to do with the functionality of your website, you should not be quick to blame your web developer as the most likely cause of slow speeds is poor hosting features, for example, if the server hosting your website is overcrowded with other websites, if the bandwidth allocated to your website is too small, or if your web hosting server lacks speed boosting features such as Content Deliver Network (CDN).

  1. Security vulnerabilities

Security is another major web hosting problem, especially when the server hosting your website does not have sufficient security features that will help to prevent it from being accessed by unauthorized persons. However, since certain developing security features of the website is the responsibility of the web developer, some people tend to blame them instead even when the problem is not on their side.

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How to choose a good web hosting company

Most of the problems mentioned above are because of having a poor hosting service provider. Therefore, when you are choosing a web hosting company, it is important that you pick the right company to avoid having these problems in the first place. Below is a look at some of the top things you should look out for when choosing a web hosting company:

  1. Reputation

Reputation is very important when you are choosing a web hosting company. A company with a good reputation can offer quality services with very few problems (if any). On the other hand, if you chose a web hosting company with a bad reputation, you will most likely be dooming yourself to poor and unreliable services.

  1. Web hosting server reliability

Another important factor to consider when choosing a web hosting company is the server uptime score. A good company should have a high uptime score to guarantee that your website stays online all the time.

  1. Customer support

Regardless of how good a company is, web-hosting problems are inevitable, and thus, you will need customer support from your website hosting provider at some point. Therefore, the company you consider should have reliable customer support (24/7) to make sure that any hosting problems that arise are promptly taken care of.

  1. Scalability options

When you are choosing a web hosting provider, you need to take into account your future online business needs – you might need to expand the functionality of your business website, which will also mean upgrading your web hosting. Therefore, the web hosting company you chose should offer you a range of hosting plans, which will allow you to upgrade your hosting in the future if, need be.

Summary

Web hosting is a very important aspect of your online business as it helps to ensure that your business website can be accessed by your customers (and potential customers). Unfortunately, most people do not understand the scope of web hosting, and thus when hosting problems occur, they just assume that the website has problems. This causes them to blame their web developer the fault is not theirs, something that can strain the working relationship. Therefore, to avoid such a situation, it is important to understand the common web hosting problems listed above, and how they are not related to your website.

Although website hosting problems are technically outside of the scope of work of the developer we are happy to help you fix your hosting problems at our standard hourly rate.