Web Hosting and Website Maintenance

Feb 9, 2015 | Blog, Web Hosting

One of the concepts several of our clients and people I talk to on “the street” routinely misunderstand is the difference between website maintenance and website hosting. In one of the first blog posts I wrote, I explained that there are 3 different costs to building and maintaining a website: Start Up Costs, web hosting costs, and Domain / URL costs. In another blog post from December 2013, I briefly wrote about web hosting, saying:

Most web developers and designers are not server administrators, and that is why you often times hire two different companies to provide these two very different services.

My goal in this post is to briefly explain the difference between web hosting and website maintenance.

Web hosting is a service that makes your organization’s website work online. Websites don’t just sit in “the cloud” in la-la land. They exist on a very real (and sometimes very powerful) computer (server), or on a sophisticated network of computers, somewhere. These servers require a good deal of careful configuration, monitoring, and updates in order to remain securely available online.

If the server crashes, it is the responsibility of your web hosting company to fix it as quickly as possible. If the server gets hacked, the hosting company has to secure the server and fix the damage (normally this means reinstalling the operating system from scratch, and restoring websites from backups).

On the other hand, your website security is your responsibility. (Unless, of course, you have an agreement setup with your hosting provider that includes website updates).

As I wrote in a blog post on “Securing your Website“, you absolutely must keep your website code updated. For example, common Content Management Systems like WordPress and Drupal routinely come out with security updates for their respective platforms. You can review all of the “core” WordPress security updates at https://wordpress.org/news/category/security/ and Drupal’s security news at https://www.drupal.org/security.

If your website gets hacked, chances are, your hosting company will tell you that it is your responsibility. You must fix the issue – that isn’t what your hosting provider does (unless you have a separate agreement with them, of course).

And so, nonprofit organizations are often times left in a lurch when their website does get hacked. Often times, the person (or company) who developed the original website is no longer available or worse, has all of the passwords, preventing an organization to fix the damage quickly.

The best way to protect against this is to be proactive by: keeping a (secure) record of all of your passwords, and keeping your website code up-to-date.

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Why Choose Barred Owl Web?

We have worked with David at Barred Owl for several years. The experience has been great. He is very knowledgeable and serves us well with prompt help and utmost professionalism. The price we pay is very competitive and a great value for the products we receive. I would recommend without reservation that you explore Barred Owl as a solution for your server and managed web-hosting needs.
Mark Morgenstern, Senior Director, Grow2Serve

Barred Owl has hosted our websites for many years with consistently great uptime. David & his team have always been responsive when the sites experience high traffic issues. They have been creative in thinking about ways to improve server performance and proactive about security updates. They have always been a great value, and we will continue to use them for all our hosting needs.
Evan Donovan, City Vision University

Top-notch service from start to finish! Friendly, responsive, and completed my website migration and hosting project with little to no input on my part - which was exactly what I was looking for. I imagined a months-long headache of problems and they nailed it in just one business day. Very reasonable priced as well so my small budget could afford them. My professional advice: Do Not Hesitate to hire Barred Owl Web!
Fern Bertch, Great Favors

A Few of Our Clients:

Bakke Graduate University (BGU)
Bethel Bible Village
Chattanooga Room in the Inn
Great Favors
International Peace Initiatives
Law Office of Daniel J. White
Metropolitan Ministries (MetMin)

Midwest Tread
Mission Data International
NET Institute
Rogue River Counseling
City Vision University
Tranco Logistics
Yoko Consulting

Contact Us

P.O. Box 21514
Chattanooga, TN 37424