Owning a website is like owning a car.
It’s a big investment up front. It’s essential for business. We trust it with the most precious things in our lives. Yet we tend to stick our heads in the sand when it comes to the mechanics.
Like it or not, your website is important.
It’s the kind of purchase that’s going to require your full attention from time to time, starting with: “Where exactly is this thing parked, right now?”
If you see yourself in business in the next two years, you’re going to have to know the very basics of website hosting.
So take off your shoes and put your phone in a drawer. We’ll keep this simple, and under five minutes.
How Do I Park This Thing?
If you own a car. You need parking. Same goes for a website.
If you’re trying to wrap your head around what ‘parking a website’ looks like, just visualize the different types of parking out there that you already know.
First up is the classic cul-de-sac carport with the sliding garage door.
Enjoy Secure, Private Hosting in Your Suburban Garage
Your site is self-contained, with its own private entrance. It’s tucked well away from all the other sites crammed in towers by the freeway. It’s an independent option, and that’s reflected in the price.
Why do you want this? You’re not sharing keys. You’re the only one with access to the garage, so it’s safe and private too. If there’s a virus going around, you’re in the clear.
The only downside? The buck stops with you. You’ll need to pop the hood and get familiar with the machinery.
I know this is a beauty, but price is a consideration. Also, only owners have hobbies like ‘home repair.’ Does IT on your spare time sound like you? And I don’t mean some IT, and I don’t mean some of your spare time either. This will be your new hobby. You have to love the nuts and bolts. Not your jam? Let’s keep looking.
Next stop: underground.
Secure and Cheap but the Privacy’s Weak. Hosting At The Underground Parkade
The average city car lot is big on gates and cameras and uniformed guards.The intimidating security presence is more a deterrent than anything. It has its function though. So no one’s in there that shouldn’t be—for the most part. As for the vehicles, it’s tight. You know the drill, don’t leave your valuables in plain sight, or bring any attention to yourself.
Why would you want this? It’s cheap and secure from the outside world.
The downsides? Everyone is sharing the same keys. All it takes is one bad apple. It’s not like they are doing background checks down there.
Okay Mr. Human Error. Mister Misanthrope. Mr. People-Are-The-Problem. I get it, you want a spot and then you never want to deal with it again. And you certainly don’t want anyone in there. There’s another word for this, it’s called a tomb.
Cheap, secure, out of sight, out of mind: AAAARGGH-SO-EASY STORAGE
The model is simple: Build a fortress with impenetrable walls, and state-of-the-art locks, and keep it cheap by stacking it high with thousands of cars, slotted away, and limit all access going in. It’s just parking. Not comfort. Pile in.
Everything’s Alright Until Something Goes Wrong
Thing is, when you wall yourself off from intruders on the outside, your problem becomes your neighbours. Viruses spread like fires through a shanty. If your neighbour gets it, you’re getting it too.
Why would you want this? You like cheap, you like safe, and you don’t give a rat’s ass about access. Websites should be seen and not heard.
The downsides? Be prepared to wait weeks to get the keys if you need them. You’re not supposed to come back here, remember?
Still too dear? Well, the world has discount parachutes for a reason.
Not Secure. Not Private. But Cheaper Than Hell: Dystopian Overnight Parking.
You know that creepy old lot by Kingsgate Mall with the one flickering streetlight and the barbwire fence, and the distinctive lingering scent of old skunk. This is where abandoned sites go, when no one cares where they’re at.
This is what cheap hosting is. Exposed, barely secure, and as neglected as it gets. You never know who’s in there. You want access? Over there. The gate’s still bent up in the corner from the last time someone crept in.
Why would you want this? You don’t. This is the last thing you want. If you’re paying next to nothing, though, then this is what you have.
The downsides? All of them. Your private files, emails, personal data, it’s there for the taking. Banking info, private thoughts, they might as well be first page news.
The fog is starting to lift a bit, isn’t it? Aren’t you glad you’ve stayed with us this far? Web hosting isn’t that complicated. It’s just out of sight. That’s no excuse though. If you wouldn’t leave your briefcase in the backseat of your car at any of these spots, are you sure you’d like to leave your keys with them too? Now, let’s get you out of here.
You can stop looking over your shoulder, we’re back.
Back Home At The Garage
Remember this place? The private garage with sweeping views that lets you get away from it all? Chances are you loved everything about it—except for one thing—you don’t like to pull weeds or wires or change your own oil and you definitely don’t subscribe to Littlest Coder On The Prairie.
So we’ve found you one better. It’s the perfect fit for the city type who loves to be remote as long as there’s wifi.
It’s exactly the same as our first suburban garage, but this time it’s in a gated community of twenty or so business owners like you. Everyone has their own private access. Plus, there are only two keys, one for you—and one for me.
Enjoy Your Stay At Immersion’s Gated Community
We liked our garage so much be bought the whole community. Now, we have twenty detached garages in all. So if you want a secure and private place where you hold all of the keys but none of the responsibility that comes with it, then this is it.
If your email lags, don’t waste your day playing IT. Get on the horn and I’ll send somebody down. That’s what landlords are for.
If you’re trying to hang a picture, and end up hammering through the wall—we can fix that for you. We have a maintenance retainer set aside for stuff like this. If something compels you to dig around the foundation and you hit a water main and the water won’t stop spraying until the city comes to turn off the the block—We have an extreme response troubleshooting retainer set aside for thing like that as well. Also every Daylight Saving Day, we make the rounds. We check the units for bugs and mould, uneven floors, and broken links and things to fix.
I have a ton of space here. Over the years, some of my clients asked if they could park here too. Sure. I’d rather them be safe here, than in some sketchy tower crawling with abandoned sites that don’t use any protection. Crammed conditions, sharing keys with strangers, leaving the door wide open on some nights—you know where this leads if they don’t start to taking better care of themselves.
When a client has a kit with me, their sites is my responsibility, so I move their vehicle into one of my garages where I can keep an eye on it.
Now, I’m not saying that we have private valet service that will rotate your tires while you’re off at Saint Martins. What we do have, is a nice little gated community though. Everyone has a pool. And a nice big garage. And a Bow-Flex in the corner under a quarter-inch of dust.
It’s got all the privacy and security you could ask for. The front gate of the community keeps out the traffic, and the your own parking spot ensures you always look respectable.
Your Secure, Private Carport Keeps You Asleep
Is this the kind of place you’re comfortable leaving your briefcase in your car overnight? Sure. You don’t give it a second thought.
And if, god forbid, your neighbour has a fire, it won’t spread to your house too.
You know everyone who lives here. You’re already friends with some of them, in the Facebook sense, the rest, they all pop up as “Mutual” suggestions. So there’s one degree of separation at most and that’s comfort enough, that even if you leave your front door open, the worst thing you might find is a plate of cookies.
It’s a friendly place. You’re welcome here. To find out more information, just shoot us an email at mike (at) immersioncreative.com
Beyond Just Hosting, Here’s What We Offer.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or refer to Immersion’s Frequently Asked Rhetorical Questions.