Finding and committing to a hosting service for your new website can be a big decision. Similar to purchasing the perfect home for your family, there are many aspects to consider before taking the leap and moving in.
This guide will explain some important aspects you need to explore before selecting a host, and an overview of our Worry-Free Hosting service that is built directly in to the Architect Website Builder.
Worry-Free Hosting – Key Tech Specs:
- Every site published through Architect includes the Worry-Free Hosting service.
- Hosting is based on the Amazon Cloud with 99.999% uptime.
- Free SSL certificate included with every site (HTTPS).
- Use any custom domain on an Architect site (using a CNAME record).
- No ongoing maintenance or patching required for security.
- Publish sites using instant one-click publishing – no FTP required.
- Access all of your client sites from a single dashboard.
- Unlimited bandwidth with no page restrictions.
- Energy sourced from 70% renewable sources.
What is Website Hosting?
Every site on the web lives on a hosting server, which can exist anywhere in the world. Think of your host as the home your website lives in.
You can find that home using the address, which is known as a domain (www.yourdomain.com). Domains can be purchased separate from your hosting and can be individually pointed to any hosting server on the web.
Before you commit to a hosting service, you need to evaluate aspects such as speed, stability, security, and cost. With the announcement that Google will prioritize fast and secure sites in its ranking results, the decision of where to host can ultimately impact the overall success of your website and business.
Users hate slow websites and typically leave them immediately. Slow hosting servers are one of the primary causes of slow-loading sites and can have a very negative impact on your Google rankings.
Hosts typically offer various plan levels for sites with low or high levels of traffic, which is known as bandwidth. The higher your bandwidth needs, the more expensive and important a quality host will be.
Without Code’s website builder, Architect, includes one-click publishing to our Worry-Free Hosting service, which is based on Amazon’s Cloud Hosting. Amazon offers one of the largest and most stable hosting platforms on the planet and is used by many of the world’s biggest websites.
When your site is published from Architect, it’s instantly optimized and uploaded to the hosting service. Optimized sites are lightning fast, and typically rank at the upper limit for Google’s PageSpeed test. This test is used to grade the speed of a website, and the higher the grade, the more likely your site is to rank highly on Google searches.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
If your website contains images or media – commonly known as “assets” on the web – they must be loaded from your hosting server the first time a user visits the site. The geographic location of your hosting server can have a big impact on the load speed of an asset. If your visitor is based in Asia and the website assets are being loaded from a US-based server, they may experience a lag in their load.
Architect hosting includes something known as a Global CDN (Content Delivery Network), which means that website assets are loaded from a server that is geographically close to the visitor. Global CDN’s are typically quite expensive to set up (hundreds of dollars a month for big sites), but can have a significant impact on website load speed.
Every Architect site hosted with us automatically uses a Global CDN.
There’s nothing worse for a business than having your website unavailable for users. This situation – commonly known as “downtime” – occurs when the website hosting server goes offline, and your site temporarily disappears from the web.
Amazon Cloud Hosted sites have a 99.999% uptime, with built-in redundancy to avoid any downtime. Should Amazon experience a server outage, visitors to your site will be automatically routed to other duplicate servers, ensuring an uninterrupted customer experience.
As a result, Architect Worry-Free Hosted sites are extremely stable and always available when your customers need it.
If you’ve ever encountered a site on the web that displayed a “warning” when loaded in the browser, it probably has security issues. There’s nothing more damaging to your online reputation than having your site hacked and populated with inappropriate content.
Having your site “hacked” refers to a broad list of potential security issues. It’s less often the cause of a single direct hacker trying to modify your site, and more commonly the result of automated computer programs scanning the web looking for sites that have holes in their security.
For example, WordPress is a very popular content management system that often struggles with security issues. The use of extensive 3rd party plugins can open up WordPress to security exploits. As a result, it’s very important to stay on top of frequent updates for both the WordPress core system and any plugins used. That’s a big job, and it requires constant oversight and some technical expertise.
Architect Worry-Free Hosting has built in security controls, and never requires an update on your end. It’s completely hands off!
Free SSL Certificates Included
If you want your site to rank highly on Google, you need to follow their recommendations for security. In 2017, Google announced they would give preference to secure sites, meaning sites loaded as HTTPS instead of HTTP.
Converting to HTTPS means you need something called an SSL Certificate applied to your site. SSL Certificates are sold on an individual basis, and typically cost $50 – 150 per year depending on your needs. They also require some technical setup to properly install on a site; an incorrect setup could negatively impact your Google rankings.
Architect Worry-Free Hosted sites include a free SSL certificate with each site published. This is a huge cost savings for designers, and by conforming to Google’s recommended security practices you could see a big positive impact on your search rankings.
When evaluating hosting service costs, you need to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples. There are a huge variety of hosting services available, all with differing bandwidth limitations, hardware specs (e.g. RAM and CPU speed), and other bonus perks. It’s dizzying!
A shared hosting service may cost as low as $10 per month, vs. a dedicated server which would start at $200 per month.
Hosting can easily become a profit center for a web design business or freelancer. Most service providers mark-up on the hosting costs and bill them back to the client. This creates an additional revenue stream that isn’t tied to your time and recurs on a constant basis. It can help smooth out your cash flow and provide some stable, regular revenue.
By including value-added services like client editing (i.e. CMS), as well as more powerful features like ecommerce, your monthly client contract should increase accordingly.
Architect Worry-Free Hosting is included with each site published, and costs $9 per month or $90 when paid annually. This is far less than many other hosted platforms and is not subject to any bandwidth or page restrictions. With the inclusion of free SSL certificates, our global CDN and a full content management system (for VIP members), your clients are getting huge value for an amazing price; this leaves you lots of room to markup and make more money!
The monthly or annual price above also includes access to the website builder itself. While you typically pay a separate price for both your application (e.g. Adobe Muse) and then hosting on top, Architect’s application and hosting fee is a single cost. You can access all of your hosted sites from a single dashboard, making it quick to jump in and out.
The technology industry uses a lot of energy, and it’s worth exploring how the energy required to power your hosting servers is generated. Each site hosted on our service (using the Amazon Cloud) follows Amazon’s sustainability practices and is powered in an environmentally-friendly way.
Click here to read about Amazon’s commitment to renewable energy and sustainability:
As you can see, selecting a host is a decision that involves many different factors based on your individual site needs. Users feel comfortable visiting sites that are fast, stable, and make them feel safe. No matter where you decide to host, just be sure you’re giving your site visitors a beautiful web browsing experience and keep them coming back for more.