Welcome to another episode of Navigate the Rapids - the show where I explain digital marketing trends, strategies, and every day topics that every business owner needs for success - both online and off.
- This is episode number 27 - Web Hosting
- My name is Will Hanke, I own a digital marketing agency based in Saint Louis, Missouri, and this is my 21st year in the industry. Yes, I was building websites back in the days of web directories, before Google and search engines as we know them even existed.
In today’s show we’re going to talk about…
- A big Facebook change
- Ask Will - How to discover which content of yours worked well in 2017
- Main topic - Web hosting
- Featured resource
- Whoops I forgot to mention - new segment
- So let’s get started. Just over a month ago Mark Zuckerburg from FB announced some big changes to the FB feed. On podcast 67 of DigiKnow we talked about the announcement, how it affects businesses, and how it will change how advertisers will really need to step up their game with quality. It’s all about engagement now. If you’re not creating content that is worth sharing, you’re wasting your time. Not just FB, but in general its time to stop with the fluff and either create good, quality content, or stop wasting your time and budget on the efforts.
- By the way, you can subscribe to DigiKnow by visiting redcanoemedia.com/digiknow
Up next is my Ask Will segment. This week’s question is an email from Ray.
Will, we are in the middle of revamping our blog fand have hired a writer to do some posts on our products, processes, and members of our staff. We know we do have some good blogs out there, but aren’t sure which ones . Is there a way to identify those fairly easily?
- Since we just talked about how FB is pushing for better engagement, it only makes sense that you identify which pieces that you’ve created so you can improve on them and build more similar pieces.
- The easiest way to do this is to use Google Analytics, assuming you have it running on your site. If you do, you’d want to log in, and then select a date range that you think is fair for your assessment. I’d recommend at least a year’s range or more.
- Then click on Behavior, Site Content, All content. Now you’ll see all of the pieces that got traffic in your timeframe. Sort by clicking on the x button and voila! your most trafficked content.
- Now, I’d also recommend you look at other metrics, like comments and shares. If you share this content on social media, it’s worth seeing what people responded to as well.
- Use Pareto’s Principle - the 80/20 rule. Take your top 20% content and make it better.
- For more info on this, see the shownotes for this episode, number 27, and I’ll have a link to a video that shows you how to do this in more detail.
- Promo Are you struggling with a particular task, or do you have an SEO or other digital marketing question? Tape your question and I’ll feature it on an upcoming episode. To learn more about how to do that, visit redcanoemedia.com/askwill
Alright, so let’s get into the main topic for today. Today we’re talking about web hosting.
First, a definition
- Web hosting is like the piece of land that your website lives on. Your domain is an address that points to a location on a server where your website lives. All the files, databases, etc are found there
There are two main types of hosting nowadays - NIX and Windows
- Windows is not that popular and not used as much as in the past. In fact, many popular hosting companies are phasing out their Windows hosting
- It sometimes costs more and doesn’t always handle all the programs needed to run a website today
- The other is *NIX. Typically this is a LINUX system - or some flavor thereof. It could also be referred to as BSD. This is the most common type of hosting and what most hosting companies default to
- For purposes of today’s talk, I”m going to refer to this type of hosting for that reason
Types of server configurations
There are a few main types of configurations, each getting a little more expensive as they go because of their capabilities
- Shared hosting - this is when hundreds of websites are packed into one server, using up most of the disk space. This is good for starting out, but understand that some servers can’t handle popular or well-trafficked sites under this system.
- VPS - this is usually a mix of only a handful of accounts per server. Instead of competing with hundreds of other sites for processing, you’re only dealing with a few
- Dedicated - This means just what it sounds like - your own server in a computer facility somewhere. No other website is on your server.
- Cloud - This newer addition to the mix is my new favorite - it simply means your website is still hosted on a server, but it could actually be replicated across multiple servers across the country. Redundant backups and copies are available, making delivery to your visitors quick.
- Disk space is cheap nowadays. The expense related to most hosting accounts is in the management. Sites like GoDaddy (probably the worst place to host your website) offer very cheap rates and cheap or limited support along with it.
- Typical business hosting can be between $7 or $8 a month and up to $30 or so. It really depends on how much space you need, the amount of traffic you get, and how large your website is.
- If you have a popular website, you’re not going to want to be on a shared hosting package, of course. VPS and dedicated servers can be upwards of hundreds of dollars a month.
- Again, you’re not paying for the space necessarily, but the electricity, the software required, and the manpower to run it.
- Software is the big one here, along with manpower. Systems are always getting updates, and those have to be installed by someone that knows what they’re doing.
This is the amount of data that flows in and out of your server.
- For example, if you have a homepage that is 10kb, and someone visits your home page, they’ll download your home page and you’ll use 10kb of bandwidth.
- If you’re hosting videos or other large files, this can cause your bandwidth to increase dramatically. It’s better to host those on sites that specialize in that, like YouTube, Vimeo, and Amazon S3.
- The amount of bandwidth you get allotted can also affect your pricing. In fact, if your site is small but popular, hosting companies may ask you to move to a better package simply because of the bandwidth.
- You could be slowing down other sites, which I guess is a good problem to have!
A few things to consider when buying hosting
- Backup frequency
- Support level (and cost, if not included in monthly)
- Ability to host more than one site on an account (addon domains)
- SSL - is it included or does it cost extra, and is there a cost for installation
Resource / Tool
Lastly I want to talk about a tool that I use and how you can use it to grow your business.
- The tool is a website called WHOIS
- I mentioned this in passing on episode 26 about domain names
- WHOIS lets you know some pretty cool information about a website, including (in some cases) who is the owner, when it was registered, when it expires, and where its hosted.
- Some people register their sites as private. If that’s the case, you won’t be able to see their personal info
- Registration length is an SEO factor, as I mentioned on episode 26 about domain names.
- You can visit the website WHOIS.SC
- Its free!
Whoops I forgot
On episode 26 about domain names, I failed to mention a really cool option that not a lot of people know about- backordering
- You can ‘sit’ on a domain name and if it fails to get renewed, the registrar that you’ve paid to backorder it will try to grab it for you
- In many cases these never expire, and are tranferrrable
- Typical costs are around $20 to $30 - one time
Thank You for Listening - What to Do Next
- Ok that’s it for today’s podcast! I encourage you to visit redcanoemedia.com/ntr to subscribe and get notified about future episodes.
- Of course, if the information you learn here helps your business, I’d very much appreciate a review as that is what helps me get the word out to more people.
- All the notes, links, videos, and anything else we talked about today are available on our site at redcanoemedia.com/ntr
- Thanks for listening - I’ll see you in the next podcast!