Everyone knows what the user-facing side, or the frontend, of a website looks like and how it functions. This is where all the images, text, backgrounds, menus, and color scheme come together to create the user experience. However, that frontend side is supported by what we call the backend. This is the framework of the website and where everything that you can see on the front end works together. Just like you would want the user-facing side of your website to be streamlined and easy to work with, the back end of a site needs to follow suit. Some of the least known – or least considered – aspects of the back end of a website can often be hosting and maintenance. Think of it like parking your car in the garage and making sure you remember to give it an oil change when it needs it. These may not be the most glamorous aspects of owning a car, but they are definitely important in maintaining its health, right? Websites require the same type of attention.
What is hosting?
In short, web hosting is how and where a website is stored – essentially like its home in order for users to access it with your domain (or site address). There are many options out there when it comes to hosting your website. One such option is shared hosting where your website’s data along with others are being hosted on a shared server. This can be a cost-effective way to host a site if you have a personal website, portfolio site, or blog. However, for a business website, we recommend managed WordPress hosting.
But wait…what is managed WordPress hosting, and why do you need it? Since WordPress is one of the preferred platforms for building websites many hosting providers offer managed WordPress hosting. This is essentially a one-stop-shop when it comes to hosting your website and is dedicated specifically to WordPress. This lets the pros handle the technical aspects of running a website and allows you to focus on running your business, Managed hosting takes the guesswork out of creating a home for your website.
Benefits of Managed Hosting:
- Super fast: Managed hosting is optimized specifically for WordPress so it ensures your website is always quick, even if you have high traffic.
- Rapid support: Teams of highly experienced staff who are WordPress experts and are ready to help – not thumbing through the manual to figure it out yourself.
- Easy backups: Messed up and wish you had a save point? Well, with many managed hosting providers it’s as easy as one-click.
- Development tools: This varies by the host but oftentimes includes features like staging environments for the simplest to the most complex of updates without interrupting your live site.
- Security: With managed hosting, there are dedicated security measures in place always looking out for malware or risks to your site.
At Kaptiv8 we offer Managed WordPress hosting through WP Engine, an industry-standard hosting platform. It offers fast & secure hosting plus many other benefits that allow us to focus on what we do best – partnering with our clients to build beautiful websites that tell the story of their brand.
Why do I need to worry about updates?
Another factor that is important to consider for your website is monthly (or regularly scheduled) updates, which are essential in keeping your site running at optimal levels. Think back to the car analogy; you want to ensure your vehicle lasts and is running smoothly so you have to do things like changing the oil, getting new tires, and even just giving it a little wash every once in a while. The same thing goes for a website. Regularly making updates and improvements keeps you from a costly repair later on. We recommend and practice monthly updates for each site that is hosted with us.
Since WordPress is open source and allows you to build the site you want it pulls from many sources for plugins – think addons that help your site function how you want it to – the developers for these addons are always looking to improve and expand their offerings so updates happen all the time. Keeping your plugins up-to-date is vital to keeping your website running smoothly. Similarly, as the base building block of many websites, WordPress is constantly evolving its core code (the framework that each WordPress site is built on); updating it so all its users continue to have safe, fast, and secure websites.
These recommended updates ensure three things:
- Your site is as up-to-date as possible: Since the digital landscape is ever-evolving and new versions of plugins and updated core code are being developed all the time it is important to remain as up-to-date as possible.
- Your site is performing at its peak: No one wants to land on a website and then notice something is broken, not working as it should, or difficult to navigate because it is running slow. When your website is a major communication tool for your brand you need it to be in optimal working order.
- Your site is as secure as possible: Leaving your site with non-updated areas leaves it vulnerable. Regularly scheduled updates ensure you are on top of potential risks.
Remember, not all web hosting providers offer scheduled updates and leave this important task up to you. As a hosting provider, Kaptiv8 offers these updates for you so you can focus on what matters most: your clients.