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Understanding Hosted ProPhoto

ProPhoto announced they will be moving toward a hosted theme for the ProPhoto Theme. To help our customers understand the future changes we created an illustrated guide to understanding Hosted ProPhoto. Ultimately, we want each customer to have the correct information so that everyone has a fair opportunity to decide what is the right fit.

In this guide we will cover the following:

  1. Understanding the parts of your website in an easy to understand illustration
    1. Web hosting “environment”
    2. Domain name “address”
    3. WordPress “foundation”
    4. WordPress Theme “framework”
    5. Theme Design or Templates “style”
    6. SSL & firewall “fencing”
  2. What does Hosted ProPhoto include?
  3. What isn’t included in Hosted ProPhoto?
  4. What is the value of Hosted ProPhoto?
  5. Misconceptions & answers about Hosted ProPhoto
  6. Is Hosted ProPhoto right for me?
  7. Should I make the switch to Hosted ProPhoto now?

Understanding the parts of your website in an easy to understand illustration

Hate reading? Watch the video instead.

Web hosting “environment”

Hosting is where all your website files live inside the internet. For our illustration, think of your hosting as your “city” or “environment.”

  • Provided by “Hosts” such as ProPhoto, Bluehost, GoDaddy, etc.
  • Each hosting “environment” has differing levels of quality, size, speed, and security
Illustration of a laptop with blue sky and clouds to represent what a website hosting environment is.

The domain name “address”

A domain name is how and where visitors find you on the internet. For our illustration think of this as your “address.”

  • Provided by domain registers
  • Sometimes hosts are also registers (ex. GoDaddy)
  • Domains have records called DNS settings
  • DNS records point where the domain name should look for the correct hosted files
Illustration of a laptop with blue sky, clouds to represent what a website hosting environment is, and a green landscape to represent the domain name address.

Hosted Email “mailbox”

Hosted email is a custom email address with a custom domain name after the “@” symbol. For our illustration, think of the hosted email as a “mailbox.”

  • Must own the domain name being used
  • Sometimes hosted email is offered by hosting providers
  • Can have hosted email without the website attached
  • Popular options are Google Workspace & Office 360
Illustration of a laptop with blue sky, clouds to represent what a website hosting environment is, a green landscape to represent the domain name address, and a mailbox to represent a hosted email.

WordPress “foundation”

WordPress is the most popular content management software for websites that allows you to work on your website without touching the backend codes. For our illustration, think of WordPress as the foundation.

  • WordPress is open Source and free
  • WordPress “core” offers users standard features to manage a website such as creating posts with tags and categories
Illustration of a laptop with blue sky, clouds to represent what a website hosting environment is, a green landscape to represent the domain name address, a mailbox to represent a hosted email, and a circle shape to represent WordPress as the foundation.

WordPress Theme “Framework”

WordPress themes improve on the WordPress standard core and offer users enhanced capabilities to create their website without using code. For our illustration, think of the WordPress theme as the “framework.”

  • ProPhoto, Divi are Themes built on WordPress
  • Requires WordPress to work
  • Themes can have a wide variety of options
Illustration of a laptop with blue sky, clouds to represent what a website hosting environment is, a green landscape to represent the domain name address, a mailbox to represent a hosted email, a circle shape to represent WordPress as the foundation, and a outline of a house to represent the WordPress Theme.

Design or Template “Style”

Designs or templates are pre-made versions of the WordPress theme that included the font, colors, and layouts pre-set. Designs are loaded into the WordPress Theme. For our illustration, think of the design as the “style” of the house.

  • Mark Brand Boutique sells ProPhoto “designs”
  • Require the specific theme to work. A ProPhoto design needs ProPhoto Theme
  • Unlimited design variations and styles



SSL or firewalls “Fence”

SSL certificates and firewalls are added protection on top of your website that adds layers of security. For our illustration, think of these security features at the home’s “fence.”

  • Not required but highly recommended
  • Often offered by the host to protect the entire environment
Illustration of a laptop with blue sky, clouds to represent what a website hosting environment is, a green landscape to represent the domain name address, a mailbox to represent a hosted email, a circle shape to represent WordPress as the foundation, a outline of a house to represent the WordPress Theme, a yellow door with on the house to represent the pre-made design, and a white fence to represent the website security.

What does Hosted ProPhoto include?

Instead of only offering the Theme (framework), ProPhoto is now extending its services to offer users the following:

  • Optimized host environment
  • WordPress installation
  • ProPhoto Theme & all updates
  • SSL & integrated security
  • Free site backups
Illustration of a laptop with blue sky, clouds to represent what a website hosting environment is, a circle shape to represent WordPress as the foundation, a outline of a house to represent the WordPress Theme, a yellow door with on the house to represent the pre-made design, and a white fence to represent the website security.

What isn’t included in Hosted ProPhoto?

When you choose to go with hosted ProPhoto you need two items (not already offered by ProPhoto):

  • Domain name
  • Hosted email (optional)

Google and NameCheap are two options of services that will register your domain & offer great email options.

Illustration of a laptop with a green landscape to represent the domain name address, and a mailbox to represent a hosted email.

What is the value of hosted ProPhoto?

  • High-quality hosting (faster)
  • No stress hosting
  • One single source of support
  • Reliable platform
  • ProPhoto updates included

Misconceptions & answers about Hosted ProPhoto

In the wake of ProPhoto’s announcement there have been a few common misconceptions that need some clarification.

  1. Switching to ShowIt is an alternative to a hosted theme
  2. Hosted ProPhoto is more expensive
  3. I have to switch my site right now!

Switching to ShowIt is an alternative to a hosted theme

FALSE:

  • ShowIt is actually a hosted website too. ShowIt charges monthly for the software & hosting of the site. ShowIt does charge extra for the WordPress blog.

Hosted ProPhoto is more expensive

FALSE:

  • Hosting providers advertise a low entry rate but will drastically spike the prices for add-on services and renewals to recoup the costs.
  • ProPhoto pricing is upfront. You will get what you pay for without the hidden fees.

I have to switch my site right now!

FALSE:

  • You do NOT need to switch your site now. You have at least 1-2 years to really decide what the right fit for you is.
  • ProPhoto is simply halting their support on the older versions of ProPhoto.
  • Your site will likely continue to work well into the future

Is Hosted ProPhoto right for me?

When deciding if ProPhoto is the right fit for your next website ask yourself a few important questions.

  • How often do you login to your c-panel?
  • Would you rather have a faster site OR keep costs as low as possible?
  • What kind of support would you like?
  • Are you interested in boosting your SEO scores?

If you require c-panel access, want the cheapest hosting option available, don’t want a support team, and aren’t that interested in boosting your SEO scores then ProPhoto may not be the right fit for you.

On the contrary, if you don’t want to mess with a complicated c-panel, you want a faster site, you want high level of support, and you want to boost your SEO scores then ProPhoto might be a great solution for you.

Should I make the switch to Hosted ProPhoto now?

When deciding when you should switch to Hosted ProPhoto use these set of questions to guide you in your decision process.

  • How much longer do you have with your current hosting provider?
  • Does your host offer refunds for unused services?
  • How many sites do you manage?
  • Is your site slower than molasses?
  • Are you trying to boost your page speed scores and SEO?

If you have a few months remaining on your hosting plan and your hosting provider is not willing to provide a refund, then it might be smarter to wait a few months before making the switch.

However, if your site is slow and you are hoping to boost your page speed scores and SEO this year, then you might consider switching to ProPhoto sooner rather than later.

What’s next?

Hopefully this visual guide has helped you understand hosted ProPhoto and provided some insight on how to make a decision moving forward.

Request a migration today

If you are ready to move forward with ProPhoto you can request a migration from the ProPhoto team today!

You don’t have to decided now

The important thing to remember is you don’t have to decided now or even weeks from now. You have years before you absolutely have to decide what is the best fit for your business.

Get more help moving your site

Maybe you’ve decided to move on from ProPhoto, and that’s okay too. If you are looking for help moving your site we offer custom website design services for all website platforms including ShowIt, Divi, Squarespace, and Shopify. We would be delighted to assist you in your website journey. Get in touch with us today!

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