Dependable web hosting is a crucial part of the website design and building process. Working with a reputable web hosting provider is of paramount importance to the success of your website design project, and to the end user experience. Your customers want to have access to every major aspect of your website at all times, and a bad choice in host can make a waste of all the costs you incurred having the website built in the first place… Below, we explain web hosting is one of the most vital website decisions you will make.
What is Web Hosting?
The files of your website are stored on a remote computer server known as a host. Every webpage you ever visited is hosted on a server somewhere. It is not hard to see why you want to use the services of a reliable web hosting company. You pay a different fee for web hosting either every month or annually depending on your requirements and the supplier you are choosing. Your website’s domain name and its design are other costs.
How Does Down Time Impact Your Business?
Those moments when your website is not accessible to online visitors is referred to as ‘down time’. These times can last for a few seconds or many hours (or in some cases we’ve seen DAYS / WEEKS). Choosing a reliable web hosting company will usually give you a guarantee that you will incur little or no down time in any given period. During down times, customers cannot get information or initiate purchases. You risk losing another potential customer for every minute (or second) of your down time. It can also portray your business as being unreliable and have a massive negative impact on your reputation. When you select a web host, bear in mind the amount of traffic you expect. A larger site requires a host that can handle momentous traffic at a time without overworking the system.
Slow Speeds / Poor Performance is just as bad as downtime!
Unfortunately, when clients look at web hosting they often base their decision on price and projected ‘up time’ and assume these are the important metrics. One of the most important thing to consider is how well the server actually performs, and just having a good technical specification is not enough… Allot of Hosting Providers will massively overcrowd their servers! Often prioritizing making sure they make as much profit as possible for their investment, rather than ensuring their client’s websites are loading quickly.
Why does load time matter?
Apart from being extremely important to a user (because nobody likes to wait 30+ seconds for a webpage to load!), a slow loading website will be punished in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). Expert SEO Consultants all agree that loading metrics, speeds and experience are massively important in today’s Search Engine Algorithm’s. Put simply, if your website is performing poorly, expect less visitors to land on your website and even less visitors to stay!
Email Linked to Your Website
A lot of people operate different email account for personal correspondence, online accounts and business correspondence. Your web hosting package can usually contain email hosting accounts that link to your sites domain. This is not strictly required, as this usually requires IMAP / POP connections which are generally outdated – Cloud Mail Servers (such as Office 365) are usually the advisable route.
Hosting your emails separately to your personal emails, helps to arrange your emails and keep them detached from other correspondence. Additionally, it makes your email address more notable because it matches your website and is of paramount importance in appearing as a professional and reputable business.
What is Dedicated Web Hosting?
With dedicated web hosting, a host places a service online for the customer. You have access to it and usually must help to maintain the hardware. It becomes a bit strenuous to manage, particularly when you are running a business and because there is only a single server, a gush of traffic can temporarily bring down your site. If a drive fails, it can take many hours to get your website back up and running – Assuming you are running effective back-up schedules and have in place stringent disaster recovery procedures. For these reasons and many others, most businesses choose to utilise cloud hosting as it is easier to keep going and more dependable.
What is Cloud Web hosting?
With a cloud site, all the hardware is handled on your behalf so you don’t need to worry about it. The service works for the whole platform. A group of servers are connected – If one fails it is automatically detached so you don’t need to do anything. The work is done on your behalf to eliminate frustration and downtime. Cloud sites gauge performance on the fly and adjust automatically so more servers will work together to handle greater spikes in traffic and load. This guarantees no down time. There is also vastly reduced chances of incurring data loss.
Should you use a Web Agency or a separate Hosting Provider?
It’s important to use a full-service web design company to build your website, select a domain name and choose the appropriate hosting method. This enables you to get the best customer service in all situations. The company will be familiar with all the technology involved with creating and maintaining your website. They will be able to resolve any difficulties and answer all your questions without referring your issues to someone else or shifting blame to another third party. Working with a single provider for both your web design and hosting means that you get immediate contentment and accountability.
If you would like to use a third-party provider for your hosting, make sure that your web design company are involved with this process as much as possible. For certain web technologies, it is really important that server configuration is carried out correctly as this can drastically effect the end performance, and cause un-planned disruption further down the line.
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