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Website Hosting Issues

6/3/2014 Author: Felicia King

How hosting works

Basic concepts

The whole purpose of having a website is so that your customers or other humans you want to interact with can find the information you want to present. The internet domain naming system was invented in order to provide business continuity and the ability to use friendly names for resource location.

When a person looks up using a web browser, their computer does an internet phone book lookup. Here are the steps in brief.

  1. Browser looks up
  2. Name server for returns record (phone book entry) for that DNS record.
  3. Computer contacts resource on that IP address for information to return to requesting computer.
  4. Website is displayed
  5. Domain name hosting service
    Tells where name servers are
  6. DNS record hosting service
    These are the name servers that host the phone book entries.
  7. Website hosting service
    Delivers website content for port 80 and 443 requests

Obviously, the actual process is much more technical and detailed. What is important for you to understand is that a few technical resources are involved, and there are only a few ways in which the communications will work properly.

Technical resources involved

Many people are lied to by website hosting companies regarding the need to transfer their domain or their name servers to the hosting company. If you do this, you give up all ability to modify the DNS records yourself or through dynamic update technologies, which are more than likely required to support your infrastructure. Therefore, retain your domain and DNS hosting services with has the tools to work with any type of website hosting technology, including the worst and most poorly designed.

Optimal configuration

The optimal configuration is that your domain and DNS hosting services would be with They are the best in the world. You would NOT share your hosting password with anyone other than your IT generalist. NEVER give the password to that account to your email or website hosting provider or developer.

The next component of optimal configuration is where you have a dedicated IP address for your website hosting account. If this is not possible, then using host headers is perfectly acceptable and will work well. What does NOT work well is templatized hosting that is engineered such that it cannot accommodate host headers.

Hosting to avoid

Anything that does not have a dedicated IP address for your website or that does not fully support host headers should be avoided. There is no way to directly redirect domain requests for your website to a templatized hosting account. The only way to deal with it is to use URL hops. I am not aware of any DNS hosting provider that has the sophisticated URL hopping or web hopping features in order to work with templatized hosting other than

If your website hosting company tells you that you have to transfer your name servers to them or the website will not work, then you need to fire that hosting company immediately because they are selling you templatized hosting.

Templatized hosting

What is templatized hosting

Templatized hosting is VERY common in the real estate and dental industries as well as other medical industries. Professional services by smaller firms are the intended customers (victims) of choice for templatized hosting companies. I have also experienced that Yellow Pages uses templatized hosting. At least Yellow Pages is honest about their service is and does.

With templatized hosting, you pay a monthly fee to have a company provide you a slightly customized website. The vast majority of the content comes from centralized templates owned and operated by the hosting company. In the real estate industry, you can get a website that has your listings on it as the real estate agent. So this requires a special plug-in module that pulls just your listings.

In order to make this templatized hosting work, the hosting company cannot use host headers or dedicated IP. Using one of those would require that they actually manage individual websites, which is not what they want to do in order to make lots of profit.

All templatized hosting is based upon a DNS infrastructure that they control and maintain. They maintain records which are merely subdomains of their master domain.


So agent Bob Smith will need to setup a URL hop for to go to

The templatized hosting company's perception is that your business is so small that you have no other infrastructure other than your website. This includes you not having any email hosting on your domain name. Since you wish to be a professional, you probably do have email hosted on your domain name. If you transfer name servers to them, then your email will cease to function. This is because they do not maintain any DNS records that support your other infrastructure needs.

Basically, any hoster that does not give you full control over your DNS records with immediate update capability through a login into a website control panel should be avoided. If you transfer name servers to the templatized hosting company, you will lose all ability to modify DNS records on your own.

How to deal with templatized hosting

You can ask them to setup host headers. I have found that in 99% of cases, they will not and cannot do this because their hosting product is so poorly engineered that it will not work that way. Real website hosting companies offer either dedicated IP hosting or host header functionality.

The only remaining viable option is to use a URL hop. That requires the use of whatever the URL is that they provide that actually does resolve to the website you want to see.


Templatized website URL

Web Hop DNS record that you setup webhop to webhop to