While most companies have a website and see the value in its ever-present availability online – those business owners and employees may not know where that website is hosted. Often the agency or third party contracted to build the original website may have purchased the domain and established DNS and hosting on the company’s behalf.
Businesses care that they have a functioning website and aren’t necessarily concerned with where that site is hosted. But when the site goes down, or its due for a redesign – knowing who hosts a website is critically important.
Let’s discuss website hosting, what it is, why it’s important, and how to locate and recover your hosting credentials before there is an issue.
Who is a website hosting provider? What is their role?
A web hosting service allows your business to make its website accessible via the world wide web. Web hosts provide space on a server that must be leased by a client. Those host contracts usually expire/renew each year. Typical web hosting providers include godaddy.com, siteground.com, hostgator.com, and countless others. Most providers also act as domain registrars and DNS providers.
Some larger organizations may host their own site, but smaller businesses tend to work with hosting organizations because of the reliability, security, and lower cost than the equipment and maintenance investment required for in-house web hosting.
Businesses are most concerned with web hosting when their site is undergoing significant work, like a website redesign, or it is experiencing downtime due to interrupted service, hacking, or expired web hosting service.
How do I find who hosts my website?
If you have no idea who hosts your website, or when the hosting expires, you can quickly identify this information in a variety of ways.
The easiest way to do this is through one of the countless hosting lookup tools that can be found through an internet search. Sites like www.whoishostingthis.com, or www.hostingchecker.com can quickly identify a website’s hosting provider so you can take the next steps towards retrieving login information.
Once you search, results will provide the hosting provider, their URL, an IP address, and name servers.
Recovering your hosting credentials
Now that you know your hosting provider, recovering your login credentials should become easier. With employee turnover or former website agencies out of the picture – its more common than you’d think for login credentials to get lost in transition.
If you know the email address associated with the hosting account but not the password, a simple reset will do the trick. However, if both parts of the login are unknown, the only way to get them back is by contacting and verifying your identity with the hosting provider.
Once your account credentials are restored, be sure to document them with other relevant website related accounts like DNS and your domain registrar.
For more information about the digital credentials your business should control, check out our blog for a downloadable credentials checklist.