The Importance of Website Hosting:
One of the most important things in creating a website, is the hosting. Hosting or a host provider, is essentially a permanent online storage facility that will store your website files, so they are constantly available live on the web.
There are many aspects that should be considered when choosing a hosting provider. Some of the main ones are:
Making the wrong choice can be costly to your business. The most common mistake is choosing a small or cheap hosting provider. They often struggle to cope with processing a high traffic or technically demanding website online. Hassles such as poor performance, down time (your site is not available online) and small bandwidth (slower loading times, due to many users) can have a big impact on your business. Hosting HTML pages and basic content is one thing, but hosting complex systems that automates the entire process of ordering and delivering your products, either physical or digital to your customer can be extremely technical, using a lot of the hosting providers resources. This is why it is best to contact an expert like us here at Walkabout Designs, to guide you through the process.
Types of Hosting:
There are currently a few types of hosting – free, shared and dedicated. When you are running a business, free hosting is the absolute worst thing you can do. The reason for this is because these hosting providers generally put unwanted advertisements on your website, don’t allow you to run your own website name, it is usually a sub-domain of their brand. An example of this is www.yourwebsite.weebly.com. This looks utterly unprofessional.
Shared hosting is the most common type of hosting. There are good and bad hosts in this type though. Shared hosting means that your website is on the same server as multiple other business sites.
Cheap shared hosts can be purchased for as little as $1 per month, but they have massive downsides. Generally there are massive limitations on file sizes and bandwidth for your site. This means that if you have a large site or an explosion in traffic, you can end up with your site being taken permanently offline with no warning.
With the better shared hosts, you would expect to pay around $15-25 per month after the initial promotional period – very cheap rent for your online business presence. This level of hosting provider offers fast support – generally via a 24/7/365 live chat facility. With this kind of host they will guarantee 99.9% up-time of your site. Having said that, we have never had a problem with one of our sites going offline, but it does happen occasionally. Most of these hosts have multiple back up facilities located across the globe.
Dedicated hosting is available for generally around 3-4 times the price of good quality shared hosting, though there are huge variations in what is available. Sometimes a business has a massive site and they only way to ensure top quality service is to use a dedicated host.
A good hosting provider must have a fast, efficient and reliable technical support team, for a quick solution to possible technical problems that inevitably arise with having a website. If the support system is weak, you can have endless hassles trying to fix even the smallest issue. An e-commerce system cannot afford to wait 24 or 48 hours for a simple solution or information that can be resolved through the control panel or over the phone. Hosting providers should at least have a live chat service available 24/7.
One of the ways to identify a good value web hosting provider is by the price they charge. The price of a good hosting service is between 10 and 15 dollars monthly. Anything less should raise serious concerns in terms of quality, because there is no way this sector can simply cut costs and maintain a reliable service at such a low price. Constant maintenance and updating is ongoing, along with all the necessary resources for demanding payment systems such as credit cards, PayPal and other online payment systems.
The web hosting provider is the foundation of your online business, so it doesn’t make any sense to save your pennies on hosting. At the same time you shouldn’t pay a fortune either. By selecting a reliable website hosting provider that suits your business needs, you will have the capability for your business to expand and grow now and in the future.
We use and recommend the following companies for fast and reliable website hosting
Find out more about the importance of Domain Names here.