If you’ve got a website, you’ve got website hosting. Most times, website hosting is something we set up at the beginning of creating a business and forget about down the line. But if your website is giving you grief or you’ve been seeing small issues pop up that you can’t seem to fix… Your hosting may be (at least partly) to blame.
Learning how to choose the right kind of web hosting for your business is essential. Choosing the one that “looks right” without delving into the specifics could be a problem down the line. So how do you choose? Here’s our best advice.
Types of Hosting
Choosing the right type of hosting is the first step. While you can change this down the line, if you get it right from the beginning, you’ll be setting yourself up for easier growth and less hassle.
Shared hosting is the cheapest, but that’s about where the advantages end. You’ll be sharing server space and resources with numerous other websites, so the security, uptime, and speed risks are too large for most businesses unless you’re local and small.
Dedicated hosting is more pricey, but you’ll have resources all to yourself. It’s definitely a better choice for websites with more traffic, and you’ll have a certain amount of control over your own server.
If you’ve got the budget, cloud hosting is highly recommended. It’s flexible, secure, has tons of space, and is scalable, making it ideal for almost any sized business. The downside is that it’s costly, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
Virtual private servers are the in-between of dedicated hosting and shared hosting. You’ll have your own slice of a shared server, which means you get resources dedicated to your site, but it’s still not quite as stable as a dedicated server. Price-wise, it’s a good happy medium.
What to Look for When Choosing a Web Host
Once you’ve chosen the type of hosting that works for you, consider each of these factors to make sure it’s actually the right choice for your business.
This mainly refers to uptime. When your website is down, nobody can access it, which means you’ll only annoy people who are trying to get onto it. The more uptime, the better.
Security is huge. Some web hosts don’t have the greatest security, which is a risk you just can’t afford to take. Find a web host that offers regular site updates and backups. This will put your mind at ease, as you’ll have a backup if something goes wrong.
If the web host’s server is far away from where your main traffic comes from, it can add seconds to your web page loading times. Considering visitors bounce from a site if it hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds, it’s well in your best interest to choose a web host with a server close by.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
If your web host’s server is a little far away, they can make use of a CDN—content delivery network—to deliver content to users. These routes your site’s content through a network of servers, significantly improving load times. Choosing a host that uses CDNs is a good idea, so you know your content is being delivered to everyone seamlessly.
If your business is on the rise or you plan on growing significantly in the future, make sure your web host can accommodate your growth in terms of resources allocated and traffic coming into the website. Choose a host that can scale with you to avoid having to migrate everything to a new host later on.
Customer support and technical support are essential. If you need help, your web host should be available. The best way to find out what kind of customer service your chosen web host offers is to Google customer reviews. Real people, real experiences, real info!
Nobody wants to think of the possibility that their site could crash… But it does happen. If your site crashes, your web host needs to have a backup that can quickly and easily be restored. Out-of-date backups are no good—choose a host who backs things up regularly.
Resources include storage space available and your bandwidth. If your site is comprehensive and includes a lot of pictures and/or videos, you’ll need a significant amount of space. Bandwidth is all about how much data can be moved between the website and the server in one go. The better the bandwidth, the more people can visit your site at once without the risk of crashing.
Benefits of Choosing The Right Web Host
Choosing the right kind of web hosting for your business comes with a whole lot of benefits and eliminates a bunch of drawbacks. Here are some of the top benefits you can expect when you choose a host that’s aligned with your business goals:
- Easy App Installation – Many hosting companies offer one-click installation of popular apps like Magento, Squarespace, and WordPress. This makes it easier to set your site up without going into great technical detail.
- A Great Uptime Guarantee – Decent web hosts offer an uptime guarantee of 99%+. Don’t settle for anything less!
- Scalability – As your website grows, you can scale to more resources, space, and bandwidth effortlessly, supporting your goals every step of the way.
- Improved Customer Service – If you’re happy with your web host and the relationship is good, they’ll take care of you and your website.
- Increased Website Performance – Everything from uptime to web page loading speed will be improved when you’re with the right host. Your site should run as smoothly as it can.
- Improved Security – You can put your mind at ease knowing that your host has measures in place to prevent security breaches. If something does happen, you should know that your site is backed up and ready to restore immediately.
- Reliable Uptime – The tension that comes with your website being down will be a thing of the past!
- Ability to Handle Your Traffic – Whatever volume of traffic you’re getting in, your host should be able to handle it with no worries about the website crashing. Every user will get a seamless experience.
You can’t get away from the fact that your website will just run more smoothly if you choose the right kind of website hosting for your business upfront. It’s a tricky topic for most business owners, especially if you’re not tech-savvy.
But I can guarantee that if you consider the factors mentioned above, you can’t go wrong in choosing a web host that will suit your purposes. Get this right, and your business should soar!
About the Author
Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency that helps small businesses optimize their websites for business success. He aims to educate business owners on all things website-related on his own website, Reviews for Website Hosting.