Why I Moved All My Websites to SiteGround
After 20+ Years in the Web Hosting Business, I Moved All My Sites to SiteGround
Here's the Big Idea in a Nutshell
When I closed my web hosting business, I needed a place to move all of my own websites. I needed the fastest, most secure, easy-to-use and affordable hosting company to work with. I found them.
I've Been Spoiled for Twenty Years!
I was in the web hosting business for over 20 years and provided technical suppport for thousands of websites all over the globe. I made a change to my business model and decided after two decades to "retire" that part of the company. So I closed the doors on that service.
But we still do business online. Obviously, the article you are reading is on one of my websites: DotComClassroom.com
I've been kind of spoiled for those many years because anytime I wanted to set up a website, I had unlimited resources to do so. I just added them to my own servers. I certainly didn't need to buy hosting from one of my competitors.
So when I closed that arm of the company, I did a lot of reserach to find the host I knew I would want to stay with for years to come. I'm more familiar with hosting than the average bear, so I knew what to look for.
In this post, I'll share with you the process for my decision on where to move to.
A Quick Lesson on Web Hosting
Let me start by telling you something about how web hosting works that most people do not know.
Buying a web hosting account is almost exactly like renting an apartment.
Here's what I mean...
Web hosting companies have things called "web servers" - a type of computer that stores website files and other resources that are needed for websites to diplay on the Internet.
They rent out space on those server so that people can store their website files, email and database content - much like a property manager rents out space in an apartment building so people can store their stuff.
And like an apartment building, a web server has it's own unique address. Instead of 1234 Main Street, it's uniquely marked by something called an IP address. For example, 18.104.22.168
And like the aprtament building at 1234 Main Street, a web server also has a name. Instead of being called the Main Street Manor, the server's name would be something like ns1.nameserver.com / ns2.nameserver.com (Not as pretty, I know - but this is the geekness of technology.)
Additionally, each apartment has its own designation. If you lived at The Main Street Manor at 1234 Main Street, we'd still need to know you are in apartment 2B in order to find your exact location.
The same is true for a web server. To get to the exact website at 22.214.171.124 on ns1.nameserver.com, we need to know the domain you have pointed there: yourwebsite.com
This is why you are asked for a nameserver when you register your domain - so that when people go to yourdomain.com, they land at the right apartment complex (host) and are taken to the exact location (website) in that building (server).
And not to belabour the point, but you are even given a set of keys to your apartment on the server where you are renting space: a username and password - so that only you, or those who have those keys can get in.
Different Types of Hosting
There are many kinds of hosting service you can purchase, but what I explain here are the most common forms offered by hosting companies.
I suspect that most of the Internet is on shared hosting. That is the case simply because it is inexpensive. Shared hosting can cost as little as $5 to $15 per month.
But like renting an apartment, shared hosting has its issues. When you are sharing resources with other potentially bothersome neighbors, it can cause problems for you and your visitors.
Sticking with the apartment analogy...if shared hosting is like renting an apartment, a dedicated server is like renting the whole building for yourself. You get your own unique IP address, custom name servers and you don't share server resources with anyone. But you pay for that priviledge. Dedicated hosting is for serious online enterprises and start at $200 a month for just a basic dedicated server.
VPS (Virtual Private Server)
A VPS is somewhat of a hybrid between shared and dedicated hosting. Instead of renting a single apartment unit or renting out the entire building, with a VPS you are renting one whole floor. It is still shared to some degree, but you are sharing with fewer neighbors and your party walls are much more secure between floors. As you may have guessed, the cost is somewhere inbetween shared and dedicated server hosting.
You may have noticed that I left out what is called Cloud Hosting from my apartment analogy. That type of hosting uses a very different kind of archtecture than the conventional ones listed above.
Cloud hosting involves server clusters which basically means the your website doesn't depend on just one server. Instead it uses multiple virtual computers to spread out the workload.
The apartment metaphor breaks down here because it's hard to imagine that your furniture and belongings being spread out through several buildings would actually make your life less complicated. So we'll just leave that topic for another post someday.
Shared Hosting Problems
Speed of Your Website
When you are sharing a server with several hundred other websites, you are also sharing certain server resources. If one of your neighbors has a lot of traffic, that can sometimes affect your website.
Here are some not-so-fun facts about the importance of page load speed:
- It's been proven by Google that most people won't wait more than 3 seconds for a web page to load. This means there will be fewer visitors, an increased bounce rate, and eventually reduced SEO ranking which can translate to lower sales figures.
- Studies have shown that a site loading in 1 second provides 3 times more conversions than one taking 5 seconds. So, for every additional second you spend waiting for a page to load, you could be losing out on traffic and conversions.
- Some pages are more important than others and affect the visitor’s perception and behavior more strongly. Faster checkout, login, and homepages matter most.
That’s why you want a host that has solutions for keeping your site up and loading as quickly as possible.
Because you are sharing a server with other website owners, you are also sharing an IP address. Even if you purchase a dedicated IP on your hosting account , the base number of that address is still associated with the shared server.
If you happen to have a hosting neighbor that does a lot of spamming…it’s possible your IP address could get blacklisted and prevent your emails from getting through.
The right web host can minimize the possibility of this from happening to you by providing the necessary protocols for your outgoing email. A good web host provides the proper SMTP sender authentication, something called a PTR record for the mail server, a firewall, SPF for incoming, DKIM or Domain Key and SSL for security. All these technical acronyms simply mean that they can keep your email, domain and IP address as clean as possible (assuming YOU don’t do any spamming!)
You don’t want a host that cannot provide or explain the need for these important safeguards.
Must-Haves for Your Hosting Service
Content Delivery Network
Since web page load speed is of utmost importance, you want a web host that uses and provides a large global CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN causes your website to load faster by pre-saving copies (cache) of your website files on various CDN servers around the globe making your site load best for those more geographically convenient to any particular server in the network.
An Easy-to-Use Control Panel
For years, the hosting company I ran used a web hosting control panel called cPanel. I was a big cPanel fan because it is the dashboard that allows you to manage all the things your web hosting account can do. Inside cPanel is a File Manager for uploading websites. There is a place to create and check email accounts. Dozens of other features are provided from the basics to advanced tools like MySQL database creation and PHP management.
Setting up your email accounts, managing their passwords and accessing the send and receive interface needs to be easy and convenient.
Many security breeches occur because of poor email account management. Make sure you have a control panel that you can get into and get around in.
I can't emphasize this enough. It may seem obvious, but before you choose a host, make sure their control panel is user-friendly. Hosting is complicated enough. You don’t want to have a steep learning curve when it comes to managing your website and domain.
For all of the above reasons (and much more), I chose SiteGround to host all of my websites. While I’m no longer in the hosting business, I still do business online and I have a lot of sites, I create content, produce video, do training for digital and affiliate marketing, build websites and I run an e-commerce website as well.
So I need good, solid, safe secure and fast web hosting without breaking the bank.
Here are some of the key features that I based my decision on:
SiteGround's content delivery system is based on Google's Cloud Infrastructure. Their network spans 16 locations globally (US, Western Europe, Australia, Africa, Singapore, Japan, etc.) By partnering with Google as their main data center, SiteGround provides me with the most stable network I can get dollar-for-dollar.
SiteGrounds's data centers prevent server power outages with multiple power feeds, generators and Uninterrupted Power Supply technology. Also, critical components have multiple redundancies to make sure everything runs smoothly.
To get maximum uptime, multi-carrier networks are used simultaneously. Not just that, Google Cloud's facilities across the globe provide geographical redundancy and backups across countries continents – an extra layer of reassurance!
To make sure your data stays safe, SiteGround's data centers are made secure with multiple protective layers. Only Cloud certified staff have access to the server room and there's a 24/7 security team on standby to tackle any emergency.
When you send information over the internet to the cloud network, it's all encrypted and kept secure with extra tools like anti-phishing Security Keys.
I have always used cPanel, but SiteGround has the first proprietary control panel I like better. The best way for you to see why is to watch my video here, where I show you around the control panel on one of my SiteGround hosted accounts.
For more information about what SiteGround offers, I recommend that you visit their website here.
DotComClassroom.com is a service of:
BlackWire Marketing, LLC
1292 High St Suite 219 Eugene OR 97401 USA