At a time when most businesses have an online presence and are reliant on web traffic as their main source of leads (and ultimately revenue), it is extremely important to always stay connected to the Internet. Your website hosting provider carries a lot of responsibility for achieving this goal.
In addition to supplying a domain name that is unique to your business and publishing your website so that your customers can find you online, your hosting provider will also be responsible for several other critical factors. This is why you need to do your due diligence before settling on your service of choice.
If you’re not sure how to choose the right type of hosting for your website, the following article will help you arrive at the best decision.
Types Of Hosting
Various hosting options will get your website online. They all cater to different needs including server speed, control, storage capacity, and technical know-how. As such, a careful evaluation is necessary before selecting one of the web hosting options presented below.
Shared hosting is a popular choice among smaller businesses. Here, your website is stored on the same server as various other sites. Server resources including RAM and the CPU are also shared and this is why shared hosting prices are typically much lower than the alternatives.
While shared hosting is the easy option, particularly for small website owners, the main drawback is that surges in usage by other sites you share the server with can ultimately impact the user experience on your own website.
Dedicated hosting provides website owners with significant server-level control. This is because the entire server will be dedicated to the storage of your website alone. As a result, you’ll have full root and admin access, which gives you authority over everything including the operating system and the type of security you initiate.
Expect to pay a premium price for all the benefits dedicated hosting delivers. It is the most expensive hosting option out there and is most suited to websites that attract a substantial amount of traffic. You will also need to possess a high level of technical expertise within your organisation to handle the installation and continuous maintenance of the server.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
VPS hosting falls somewhere in the middle of shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It’s well-suited for website owners that require extra control without the need for dedicated servers.
Websites hosted on virtual private servers possess their own section on the server but still share the physical server with other websites. This allows for more storage space and additional customisation options. However, other websites on the server can still affect your site’s performance and strong surges in traffic will continue to be a challenge to handle.
If you don’t have vast technical knowledge but are leaning towards the greater control of dedicated hosting, VPS could be a good option. It also provides some of the cost benefits of shared hosting.
With cloud hosting, amalgamated computing resources are used to affect the end-to-end operation. It means users can utilise as many resources as required without the need to build and manage their own computing infrastructure.
The resources in use are spread out across different servers, which diminishes the possibility of suffering downtime as a result of a server breakdown.
The scalability of cloud hosting makes it particularly attractive. It allows your site to grow naturally over time, while only utilising the resources it needs and reducing unnecessary costs in the process.
Important Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Hosting Provider
You need to take numerous factors into account before selecting a hosting provider for your website. As with any potential long-term business partnership, it is essential to look beyond offered features alone. The reputation and quality of services provided should also be key components that influence the final decision.
Some of the most important features to consider when choosing a web hosting service are detailed below.
While cost isn’t the most important factor, it often impacts the final decision for smaller businesses especially. Depending on the type of website hosting you’re after, prices can start from as low as £3 per month including a free domain. The cost will then be adjusted according to the additional features supplied.
Always pay close attention to the fine print. Some providers will only offer low prices for promotional purposes during the first year or two of new customers signing up and then increase them to standard rates thereafter.
If you’re a large corporation and require specialised, advanced features ensure that you get the exhaustive specifications into an SLA for conflict avoidance and extra peace of mind.
After putting so much time and effort into developing a high-quality website, which delivers traffic that converts, you’ll want to be sure that it’s accessible 24/7, or very close to that.
Most credible hosting providers will guarantee a 99.9% uptime as part of their service and that is what you want to aspire for. A constant presence online will not only be good for your customers and sales, but it will also be good for your SEO as well.
There is an ever-growing threat of cyber attacks against companies of all sizes, in any industry. These illegal breaches can cause irrevocable damages such as the elimination or replacement of your website’s index.php file.
In addition to this, server failures and local hard disk issues may also become a concern. As a result, there has never been a greater need to select a hosting provider that offers regular, reliable web data backup in case your defences are compromised.
The response time and level of effectiveness related to resolving technical issues is another important factor to carefully consider. The goal is to work with a service provider that offers 24/7 live support – whether it be via phone call, email or webchat.
Be wary of service providers that solely use support-ticketing systems, as it often means longer waiting times. Additionally, factor the support team dynamic into the customer service equation. This is because hosting companies with in-house support departments, as opposed to outsourced teams, tend to deliver the best service.
Not only do email addresses that are linked to your domain name make you come across as more professional, but they also improve engagement with your communications and increase your conversions. As a result, you should choose a web hosting provider that offers email hosting in addition to the standard website hosting.
Be sure to check that they provide the email capacity required for your business. Many providers will offer 5 or 10 email accounts as part of their service. If you only need a few accounts then this will suffice. If you need significantly more than they’re offering, however, you’ll have to find a hosting company that offers the requisite capacity.
Bandwidth refers to the volume of data that can be downloaded or transferred from a website. It has an impact on page load speeds, which in turn affects your online performance, including SEO. If you have a small static website that doesn’t experience a great deal of traffic, most basic hosting packages will get the job done.
On the other hand, large organizations that welcome more than 500,000 online visitors annually will need to increase their bandwidth availability. Many hosting providers will offer various levels of bandwidth and then adjust the price point for each accordingly. It is good practice to get your precise bandwidth requirements into an SLA, ensuring it incorporates peaks in traffic to minimise unanticipated charges.
You may be in a situation whereby you’d like to migrate your existing website to a different hosting provider. This can be a complicated task depending on the type of website you have and the level of technical expertise at your disposal.
As such, you may require extra support to complete the transition efficiently and correctly. Some web hosting providers will provide this convenient service at no extra cost to you as an incentive for migrating your website to their platform. Check that your hosting provider of choice provides this support before making the switch.
Make An Informed Website Hosting Decision
As can be seen, there are many aspects to consider during the decision-making process. First, establish your unique business requirements before you set out to find the right hosting company. Thereafter, carefully assess the different features on offer, making sure to read through the fine print.
Remember that it’s good practice to have an SLA detailing the framework of services in place to avoid disputes and unfortunate surprises further down the line.
By checking all of these key boxes you will be in a much better position to choose the right type of hosting for your website and reap the many benefits that making the best selection brings.
This article was written by Sam Martin of Hosting.co.uk. Hosting.co.uk is a UK-based web hosting company specialising in lighting fast speeds and 24/7 support.