Maintaining a site for your business is more than just coming up with the right design and content. A big part of the success of your site will depend on the web hosting provider you will be choosing. With so many options available, it can be quite confusing to find the right fit
In order to make the best choice, it will be beneficial for you to have a basic understanding of how web hosting works. Below are some key details to help you get started.
What Is Web Hosting?
According to Website.com, a web developing and hosting firm based in Canada, web hosting is a service that allows organizations or individuals to post a site on the internet. Providers offer the technology needed so that websites can be viewed by online users.
In simpler terms, web hosting is like providing a virtual closet where all the information needed for the website can be stored and accessed. Any computer that’s connected to the net will be able to view the information that’s kept by the hosting service.
Nowadays, the most preferred method of transitioning data to the digital form is through WordPress. However, despite how simple this method is, you will still to make sure that you use it with one of the best web hosting providers. The key to ensuring the security of the site is on choosing the right provider.
There are different types of hosting services available. Below is a quick guide to help you understand each one better.
- Shared Hosting – This type of hosting places multiple websites in one server. Hundreds or even thousands of sites share the resources of the server such as the CPU and RAM. Using this type does not require extensive technical skills which is why it is one of the preferred hosting services.
The downside though is that it is not able to handle high traffic as the server caters to other sites as well. As a result, the performance of your website can get affected by the traffic of another site housed in the same server. In addition, you do not have root access to the server as other confidential and proprietary information are in the same location.
- Virtual Private Server or VPS Hosting – This type of hosting is similar to the first one. The main difference is that the server is divided into subsections. Each section is assigned to one specific website. This provides a more secure environment and each user has root access.
However, VPS is still unable to handle high traffic. Despite the different sections created, is still one server handling all the websites.
- Dedicated Hosting – As the name suggests, this type provides you with your own server. It is exclusively for your own use so it is more secure and you have more control over the server. While it can handle more data and traffic, it also comes at a higher cost. Using dedicated hosting will certainly be an expensive investment.
- Cloud Hosting – In this type, multiple servers work together to provide the hosting needs of multiple websites. It is able to handle spikes and traffic more efficiently. However, it does not allow root access needed to change settings or install some software. This type of hosting can also be quite costly.
Benefits of Choosing a Good Web Hosting Provider
A good web hosting provider certainly comes with a host of benefits for your site. Whether you choose free web hosting or choose providers that offer their services for a fee, below are some of the benefits you can enjoy.
- Reliability – When you identify your needs before getting any web hosting services, you can determine which type would be the right fit. This means you won’t need to spend more for features that may be unnecessary or save money but compromise quality. With the right web hosting, you can ensure reliable services. For example, bigger companies usually need faster load time which can only be delivered by newer or exclusive servers. With more people needing to access the website, a spike in traffic may cause a shared service to crash.
- Freebies – Top web hosting providers also often give additional benefits when you sign up with them. These could be tutorials, SEO programs or free email systems.
Email management systems offer business benefits that can help streamline the communication process within your company. Having this added on feature with the hosting services is certainly a huge plus.
SEO or search engine optimization is an online marketing tool that improves your ranking on organic searches. An SEO program is a beneficial feature as it helps you have a stronger online presence. You get more traffic so the costs of maintaining your website become a sound business investment.
- Technical Support – In a perfect world, websites would never have any issues. Unfortunately despite regular maintenance, servers can at times experience some hiccups. When this happens, working with web hosting service provider comes with the expert support. You have peace of mind knowing that you can get assistance when you have technical concerns.
- Cost Efficiency – By working with affordable web hosting providers, you eliminate the need to make costly investments on equipment, hardware and data centers. In addition to that, you also don’t need to worry about maintenance and updates and not mention hiring a workforce for these jobs.
You have the luxury of paying for only the service you need and then later on upgrading as your business grows. You do this without having to worry about up front investments on facilities and software.
These are just some of the benefits listed by satisfied site owners on reviews of web hosting providers available online.
What to Look For in Web Hosting Providers
With your site’s efficiency and success depending heavily on the web hosting service, it is important that you make the right choice. There are some key things that you will need to factor in when considering which provider to choose.
1. Uptime – This is one of the most important things that you need to know about your potential web host. This is the opposite of downtime so it is basically the amount of time that the service is operational. It is measured by the “nines”.
- 99% Uptime – The system will experience a downtime of 7 hours and 12 minutes within 30 days
- 9% Uptime – The system will experience 43 minutes and 12 seconds downtime.
- 99% Uptime – The expected downtime of the system is 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
- 999% Uptime – The system is expected to experience a 26 second downtime.
- 9999 Uptime – The system will experience a 3 second down time within 30 days.
The web host you choose should not have an uptime less than 99% as that would mean the system will have a lot of downtime.
2. Server Location – Some people believe that with today’s technology, the location of the server where your site is hosted is no longer important. However, this is far from true. Server location is still crucial based on the following,
3. Speed – There are still instances where the site’s loading time is still affected by the proximity to the server. However, CDN services are an exception to this.
One of the key factors in the success of your website is loading time. Visitors may get impatient and decide to click away from your site thus increasing your bounce rate.
4. SEO – The location of the server certainly affects the ranking of the site on SERP. This is because search engines use speed as part of the algorithm in rating the site. When the page loads slowly then it is less likely to generate traffic from organic searches.
5. Higher Conversion – Converting traffic to customers is one of your primary goals for your site. With the server location affecting loading time, it can also impact your conversion rate. Studies show that 40% of customers decide to abandon a site when it takes more than 3 seconds to load. That is close to half of your traffic resulting in a loss of revenue.
6. Support – While the features the providers are offering may be impressive, don’t forget to check what type of support services they have. This includes setting up, customer service and technical support. It will also be important to know their phone support hours and whether they provide chat support.
Keep in mind that your interaction should not stop the minute you sign the dotted line. You need to ensure that you will be able to get assistance when you encounter problems with your site.
7. Payment Plan – Investing in a web hosting service will require a considerable capital. Check if they offer flexible payment options. For example, if you are signing up for a two year subscription, will you need to pay the entire amount upfront or could it be divided into increments.
These are just some of the details that you will need to know to ensure that you are getting a provider that can deliver the results that you need. Check the list of web hosting providers on CrowdReviews.com so you can get started on finding the perfect fit.
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