Online visibility is critical to any type of business. With the growing figure of internet users, a lot of small or big companies are joining the World Wide Web because of the numerous benefits of having online presence. Whether a firm is just starting up or has long been in the business, it is unlikely not to have web presence. Today, if your business does not have a website, it is as if it is not existing. One vital lesson in life is, to thrive, you must learn to adapt to rapid change.
In establishing web presence, an individual or a company needs to create a website. For a website to be visible to customers all over the world, a hosting service from a web hosting firm is required. Way back in 1991, in order to host a website, owners must have their own server. The price of web hosting services before was very costly and not everyone could rent out web space. However, with the vast advancement in technology, web hosting firms can now provide services not only to large businesses but to all types of clients. The elusive dream of small companies decades ago of having a website is now a reality for all.
Because the competition for business is tough, companies are looking for ways to multiply the number of their clients. It is undeniably true that having a website is one essential tool in the provision of excellent customer service which entices paying customers. For that reason, it is a must that companies should look for the best web hosting firm to host their website.
With the increasing number of web hosts to choose from, companies must carefully select the right web hosting provider. There are web hosting agencies which provides free web hosting services while other web hosts are offering professional web hosting services.
Is the idiomatic expression “You get what you pay for” applicable when it comes to web hosting firm? Here are the significant differences of free versus paid web hosting companies.
Security and Back-Up
When choosing the right web hosting agency for your business, security features should be a priority. There are a lot of consequences if security is taken for granted. If your website is unsecured, possibility is, you will not only lose your identity and information. Customers’ trust will be put at stake too. Moreover there might be a need to pay for IT experts to solve security issues. According to hostingfacts.com, “an estimated 37,000 websites are hacked every day.”
One of the dangers of free web hosting services is that your website is not 100% secure. Since they cannot spend much cash for security measures, websites are prone to malware and spam attacks. Also, most free web hosting providers are unstable. Therefore, if the company shuts down, the content of the website will disappear as well.
On the other hand, it is interesting to note that paid web hosting firms are aware of the demand for extensive security protection. Professional web hosting providers are performing regular site maintenance to ensure that website attacks are restricted. To prevent customer information from theft, Secure Sockets Layer has become a standard feature. In addition to that, web hosts often perform back-up for their servers.
Free web hosting providers permit their customers to choose from a range of available templates, widgets, color schemes and headers for free. These templates are easy to use so you can set-up your website in a few minutes. Instead of buying a domain name, a subdomain is created which you can use for your website. If you are one of those who want to own a website as a creative outlet or just to showcase your writing skills and the things that you are passionate about, you can enjoy the hosting service without any fee.
Paid web hosting companies offer clients with a higher level of customization. There are a lot of theme choices available that suits the personality and branding of your company. Nowadays, people who are browsing the internet are more interested in visiting websites that are well-designed. This makes customization a very vital tool in the online marketing strategy of business. Furthermore, paid web hosting firms allows having a personal domain name which signifies identity and uniqueness.
A professional-looking website manifests high quality which represents the products or services a company is promoting. If a website looks old and obsolete, the tendency that customers will click away is high. Therefore, if you want to build traffic and attract customers to your site, its design and appearance must not be neglected. Unimpressive websites drive potential clients away.
University of Malaya’s presentation about website customization revealed that the website may be the first marketing communication that is why it needs to be appealing and eye-catching. The text and font size must be easy to read and, colors must blend well .In addition to that, it must be simple and uncluttered so that visitors can focus on your message.
Storage Space and Bandwidth
Websites that will only contain simple text files and few images will need smaller web space. For instance, personal websites will consume lesser storage space compared with websites that are dedicated for music and high quality videos. Free web hosting companies offer limited amount of disk space. If your website is still young and only contains not more than 150 web pages, free hosting plans might suffice.
In handling traffic, free web hosts give bandwidth cap which means that you cannot handle the number of users who want to visit your site. Others have hosting package upgrades to let you increase the amount of user. Bandwidth caps are not noticeable to new websites if they are not yet getting lots of traffic. If these websites are not uploading files such as video or music, the average bandwidth usage is 3 GB. However, as the website becomes popular, extra charges may apply for exceeded traffic requirements.
If you are aiming to attract more customers to your website, bandwidth is necessary in handling traffic. Paid web hosting firms have packages for storage space and bandwidth for customers to choose from. The category of website and the type of files uploaded are necessary in the selection of hosting plan. The larger the website, the bigger the web space needed. Many web hosting providers are offering unlimited storage packages. Read reviews on web hosting firms to know which package to purchase if you are planning of building a profitable.
The accessibility and availability of technical support is one of the most neglected criteria in choosing a web hosting provider. Because web hosting services are now user-friendly and does not require customers to be IT savvy, it may seem that all is well. However, server errors and downtime are inevitable. To personal website owners, it may not be an issue but to company websites who are earning from it every hour, it may result to loss of revenue.
For free web hosting providers, 24/7 technical support is not guaranteed. Because the hosting service is free, some will not offer free support or might not offer it at all. In cases of technical difficulties, free web hosting customers may wait for days for the technical support team to address the problem or website owners fix the problem on their own.
Most professional web hosting providers have technical support team that are accessible round-the-clock. Aside from answers to FAQs, they have a support team composed of IT engineers and consultants to help you with your server issues and other technical hitches.
Though it may be normal to encounter technical glitches, to a company website, the time that it is not operational may lead to loss of clients and profit. It is crucial that in times of server errors, there is someone who can help you fix the problem.
Free web hosting firms are putting their own ads on your website in exchange of the free service. You have no control of the ads displayed and you will not receive a single cent from the money earned through display ads. Some allow you to place your own advertisements but others limit or prohibit ads. Moreover, advertisers often reject websites that are not self-hosted.
In contrast, paid web hosting companies let you display ads, join affiliate programs or sell a digital product in your website. Selling private ads is also permitted especially when the site is already gaining lots of traffic. Another thing is, the website will look more professional because customers will not be bothered by unwanted ads.
One of the main reasons why people start a website is to make money. If you have created a website just for fun or leisure purposes, free web hosting services are enough. However, if you want to experience maximum potential of earning from your website, a paid web hosting firm which does not restrict your ability to monetize your site must be consulted.
To conclude, your reason of starting a website matters in choosing the right web hosting firm that will host your site. There are benefits and drawbacks for both type of hosting. If you are blogging for fun, then there is no need to pay. On the contrary, if your goal is to earn, investment is a necessity.
Are you in need of web hosting providers to help you with your website? Visit CrowdReviews.com for reviews of web hosting firms.
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