Imagine you’re launching an auto parts store in your city. You’ve hired a workforce, acquired inventory to sell, planned your store’s infrastructure, and purchased a Point-of-Sale System. But wait, you forgot to sign a lease on your store’s location. If you haven’t done this, you probably won’t have a storefront to sell your products. The same is true for a website without a web-hosting service. Your website and domain will exist, of course. However, your visitors won’t be able to discover you on the internet without a web-hosting service. Similar to how your brick-and-mortar store’s customers won’t be able to visit you if you don’t have a physical storefront.
Now, what is web hosting? Well, according to the analogy mentioned above, web hosting allows you to share your website in the virtual space. So, when a visitor searches your website or clicks your website’s link, they request your web hosting service provider’s servers to connect to your website. When the server approves this request, it sends back your website to the customer, appearing on their internet browser. Moreover, web hosting services provide you other benefits such as 24/7 support and security- not to mention consistent uptime and high performance. That said, let us take a detailed look into how a web hosting service can benefit you and how you should choose one for your website;
1. Think about the support you require
Like desktop computers, servers have to be updated and maintained to keep content safe and performance optimal. So, consider how much you can invest in such upkeep. That said, web hosting services provide a plethora of technical support, such as installation, security, optimization, and maintenance. So, before you obtain such services, consider whether you will hire a team to manage your web hosting server. If not, go for managed support services instead.
Depending on the nature/size of your business, you have to hire support services accordingly. Fortunately, you can find them online as well and within your region. If your company is in the United Kingdom, check out Synergy-UK IT Support Rotherham to avail yourself of various IT services. You won’t have to worry or look after a single IT function from hosting to website design, antivirus, and everything in between.
2. Choose the type of web hosting you require
As an online business owner, you will have to choose the appropriate web hosting service to run and operate your website smoothly. Typically, there are numerous options for all small, medium, and large companies out there. These include shared hosting, dedicated server hosting, managed hosting, and cloud hosting.
Shared hosting stores your business’s site on the same server as other sites. It is a low-cost option and perfect for companies that experience less online traffic. On the other hand, dedicated server hosting is excellent for businesses that get high levels of online traffic. However, it is a more costly option than shared hosting. However, as the name suggests, your website will have a dedicated server.
You will hand off your website’s operation, maintenance, and security to the web hosting service provider itself with managed hosting. Such an option is incredible for small businesses that cannot afford to hire an in-house IT team. In comparison, cloud hosting is a comparatively newer option. However, it works on a pay-by-use process. Meaning, as your business and website traffic grows, you will only have to pay for the cloud space you require to manage incoming online traffic.
3. Determine the type of website you want to create
Consider deciding the type of website you’re after before you do anything else. Then, you can narrow down your web hosting choices. For instance, if you’re creating a blog, you will have to publish various types of content compared to selling products on your e-commerce website. That said, some typical website types include; online portfolios, SMB websites, startup websites, e-commerce websites, to name a few.
Nonetheless, it would be beneficial if you asked yourself a few questions when determining the website type you want. For example, why do I want to create a website? Who will the website cater to among the masses? What is the size of my business? How much traffic can I expect? If you can elicit answers to these questions creating a website and choosing a web hosting service to complement it will become an easy decision.
4. Consider your website’s growth
Are you planning to grow your business? Do you foresee your website traffic growing over time, or will your number of visitors stay steady?
For instance, if you’re a blogger who wants to share their food experiences with a niche, a shared server will be your best bet. Or, if you’re an e-commerce business expecting high levels of traffic, you’ll be better off with a dedicated server. Finding the answers to such questions will allow you to determine the type of web hosting you should go for, considering your estimated and planned growth.
5. Decide on a budget
How much will a web-hosting service cost you? The answer to this question is complicated. It primarily depends on the features you choose and the web hosting service provider you select. Still, considering the price of web hosting services is an essential factor, especially if you’re a startup. That is why experts suggest that you research prices for every web hosting service you have shortlisted.
However, typically, you’ll be paying for the bandwidth. Therefore, the more money you spend, the more bandwidth you’ll get and the more features you will receive. These include analytics, SEO tools, etc.
6. Paid vs. free web hosting, which one should you consider?
There are tons of paid and free web hosting services out there. However, you have to weigh the pros and cons of both before choosing one over the other. For starters, free web hosting doesn’t provide you with extra features, including limited bandwidth, uptime, pages, and storage. Lower bandwidth and uptime mean that your website will be non-functional far longer than it is up and running. As a result, this will lead to unhappy customers and poor SERP rankings.
So, in the end, free web hosting is better for individuals who don’t plan to scale their business and website or store information online. In contrast, if you’re a small business owner or blogger, your best bet is to go with paid web hosting services to get premium features. After all, you will need them to grow your online presence and expand your business.
Now that you have the information you need about web hosting, the next step is to narrow down your options. Choose one that aligns with your estimated budget and requirements and go for it. Again, there are plenty of services out there. In the end, choosing one that benefits your website and business the most will allow you to experience growth and success pretty soon.