Having a website for your business is incredibly important in this technological world we live in. However, there is a lot that goes into successfully managing a website. Many business owners don’t have experience creating or running a website. This daunting task can be too much for someone without experience with website hosting.
Whether you built your website yourself or had it created, you need someone to host it to keep it up for public use. Rank Fuse has put together this article to tell you everything you need to know about web hosting.
Why Does My Website Need a Host?
Web hosting grants your website its own space on the Internet by putting the site on a server or servers. The server gives your website storage and access. Servers can be either physical machines are virtual. You can purchase your web hosting via a web host, also referred to as a web hosting provider.
The web host stores and manages all of the information on your website, including text, images, videos, and any other content you may be offering to those who find your website.
When it comes time to choose a web host, you will want to consider a few different factors. Let’s take a look.
What to Consider When Choosing a Web Host
The first thing to think about when it comes time to choosing a web host is the type of hosting you want. There are four main types of web hosting:
- Shared: With shared hosting, your website shares a server with other websites. Shared hosting is the most cost-effective hosting option, but it might not be the most convenient. If your website or another on the server gets too much traffic, loading time can be severely impacted. In fact, your visitors might start seeing error messages due to lengthy load times.
- VPS: VPS, or virtual private server, hosting is a step up from shared hosting. One server is divided into multiple virtual servers. The main server is shared with other websites, but each individual website has its own virtual server. VPS hosting offers faster page load time than shared hosting. While you will have more control over your website than shared hosting, if you get high traffic volumes, you might still have some issues.
- Dedicated: A dedicated server is yours and yours alone. While a dedicated server is going to cost you more money, you will have complete control of everything. You won’t have to worry about other websites impacting user experience on your website, and page load speed shouldn’t be an issue.
- Cloud: Cloud hosting utilizes multiple servers to host your website as well as other sites. However, cloud hosting is able to account for traffic spikes, so large volumes of traffic on your website or another on the same cloud shouldn’t have any impact on page load speed for the sites in the cloud. This hosting method is becoming more popular.
Once you have determined the type of web host you prefer, it is time to get into specific features of web hosts. Here are a few different features to consider:
- Bandwidth: Speed is everything in the fast-paced world of the Internet. The digital age has led everyone to expect page load speeds to take place in an instant. With high bandwidth, more people can access your site at the same time without having a poor experience. Check to see what bandwidth options are available with each hosting provider.
- Data storage: Web hosts all have different storage options. Before you get sucked in by an ‘unlimited’ plan, make sure that you know just how much storage you are going to receive for the price.
- Ecommerce software: For companies that sell products through their websites, e-commerce software will need to be part of your web hosting. The service that you use either needs to offer an e-commerce software or support the software that you want to use.
- Email: As your company expands, you are likely to need more email addresses. You will want to find a web host that offers multiple email addresses with your domain name. While it is always an option to get these through a third-party, it is easier to get them all from your web host.
- Customer support: Customer support is an important factor to consider. If you aren’t an expert in running and hosting a website, this should be something that you deem imperative. You might be relying on your web host’s customer support team more than you realize.
- Domains: Many web hosts will allow for the creation of multiple domain names in the same account, so you might want to check for this feature if you plan to have more than one domain with the same web host. This will just make managing your websites easier.
- SSL certification: SLL, which stands for secure socket layer, adds e-commerce encryption to your website to protect your personal information and the personal information of your website’s visitors. There are different types of SSL certificates, so you might need to do a little research to see what is best for your website.
- Backups: Find a web host that will update all of your website and company files periodically. Keep in mind that you should also back up everything yourself.
- Uptime: You probably expect your website to be live at all times. Most companies will tout that they offer 99.9 percent uptime, but you should do a little research of your own. Be sure to check in about scheduled downtimes, which might be necessary for updates and other small things.
- Advertising credits: Depending on who you use as a web host, there might be some advertising credits involved. These credits allow you to purchase ad space on various platforms such as Google AdWords. These can be very beneficial, and you should take advantage of any credits you receive.
What Does Web Hosting Cost?
The costs associated with web hosting can vary quite a bit. A cheap web hosting server can cost as little as $10 per month, while expensive options can be hundreds of dollars each month. Most companies will need a web host that e-commerce somewhere in the middle ground.
The cost of your web hosting service will depend on all of the features that your host offers. Make sure that you do a little digging to discover any potential hidden costs. You don’t want to be surprised by your web hosting bill.
To learn more about web hosting, contact Rank Fuse today at 913-703-7265.