As opposed to the early days of the internet, when you would need to pay a premium to enlist the services of tech-minded expert to build a website for you, it is now incredibly easy to take advantage of today’s extensive online world at an affordable price.
But, while it might be tempting to choose the cheapest option on offer, there are several downsides to this decision. The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true. So, what hosting does your business need? And why is it important to get this right?
Types of web hosting
There are four major types of web hosting, typically categorized by the size of resources that you need to run your business website:
- Virtual Private Server hosting – Also known as VPS hosting, this is where one server is divided into several parts, giving each and every website its own exclusive resources.
- Cloud hosting – This is where a team of servers (the cloud) work together to host a group of websites. High visitors levels and spikes in traffic are never a problem due to boundless resources.
- Shared server hosting – Shared hosting is where one website is placed on the same sever as several other sites. All domains will usually share a common pool of server resources, which can result in slow speeds and poor performance.
- Dedicated server hosting – This is where you exclusively rent an entire server. This provides the ultimate in performance, control, and security, but subsequently costs a lot of money.
Why is the right web host so important?
First and foremost, the wrong web host could result in a loss of revenue. This is because if your website goes down, customers won’t be able to learn about the business or buy its products and services. Amazon learnt this the hard way in 2013, after a 40-minute outage cost the online retail giant nearly $2 million in lost sales.
Then you must consider how slow websites affect online exposure. Site speed has been a Google ranking signal for quite some time now, as it can have a negative impact on the user’s experience. Therefore, the wrong choice of server could mean your website doesn’t appear on the first few pages of search engine results.
Last but not least, a cheap web host option might not provide adequate protection against the threat that cyber criminals pose. In recent years, incidents of hacking and data breaches have increased in prevalence, forcing IT departments to bolster online security, starting with their web host.
Choosing the right web host
Your choice of web host will almost always be dependent on your traffic and bandwidth requirements. However, there are a number of other considerations you should bear in mind too.
Some sort of 24/7 customer support is highly advantageous on account of the fact that the Internet never sleeps. It also makes sense to choose a provider with at least 99 per cent server uptime due to the revenue you could lose from unavailability.
Last but not least, the ability to scale is often overlooked, as your web hosting solution now might not be sufficient when the business grows in years to come. Don’t put a cap on your growth through a poor choice.