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Everything You Need to Know When Selecting a Web Host for Your Business Website
Nov 29, 2023
Are you in the process of creating a website? Did you know that you need to host the website on a server for people to access it?
Many businesses create a website without knowing much about a website. Your website doesn’t go live the moment you design it. It goes live once you find a host for it. We break down the purpose of a web host, the different types of hosting, and what you need to consider when selecting a web host.
Understanding the need for a web host
A web host essentially keeps your website on their server, making it both accessible and visible. For most businesses renting space on a host’s server is more economical than investing in a server for a website. Hosting your website requires you to purchase a server and then maintain it, both require technical knowledge and a heavy cost. Plus a reliable web host ensures maximum security and speed for the site.
The host’s server is a storage space for your site’s files. It stores all the codes and files which include images, content, and anything else that may be on the website. The server is linked to the internet. So, when your domain name is entered into a browser, it directs to the website through the internet which is connected to the server.
The different types of web hosting
When you go shopping for a web host, you will learn that there are different types of hosting services they provide. The most common options are:
- Shared hosting: Multiple websites share a server. This type of hosting is affordable and a good option for small businesses.
- WordPress hosting: This type of hosting is specific for websites designed on WordPress. It offers WordPress sites security, automatic updates, and easy website management.
- Dedicated hosting: A dedicated server hosts the site, which provides better load speed and security. But it also comes with a higher cost compared to shared hosting.
- Virtual private server hosting: Similar to shared, a single server hosts different websites. But this type of hosting provides more resources and is ideal for e-commerce sites and growing businesses.
Things to consider when picking a web host
Now that you have a better understanding of web hosting and the different types, let’s look at how you can pick the best provider for your business website. You need to start with:
Understanding your website needs
What is the purpose of your website? Is it a simple information-based website, or e-commerce, or do you need a database integrated into it? The type of web hosting depends on the purpose of your website. While simple information-based websites can be hosted by almost anyone, e-commerce, and more technical sites have specific hosting requirements which not everyone can provide.
You may also want to consider the tools and infrastructure the host provides. Some may help improve security and site speed. Both benefit your website in multiple ways including contributing to improved user experience which helps with search engine ranking.
The host’s uptime and cPanel access
A web hosting provider’s uptime refers to the time the servers remain online without outages. Look for a provider with a high uptime, so your website stays online with little to no outages.
Visitors should be able to access your website at all times. Not being able to at any point may drive business away.
The cPanel is the hosting control panel. You want one that makes it easy for you to manage your site, databases, domains, and email addresses. It simplifies the whole hosting process, so you don’t need to be tech-savvy to manage your website on the host’s server.
Most big-name hosting providers will provide you with a demo video of their cPanel. Ask for it and see if it is something you can easily manage to work with.
The level of security they provide
Your host’s server needs to be secure to protect your website from cyber threats. When looking for a host, make sure you find one that provides:
- Automatic backups
- SSL certificates
- Malware scanning
Some websites may require additional security, so ask the providers you approach for the security they provide. A secure website is also a must for ranking high on search engines.
You can easily find ratings and reviews for most businesses online. Make sure you do your research on the hosting providers you’ve narrowed down. Look at their ratings and reviews on Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, etc.
Reviews will help you determine how reliable the provider is and the quality of services they offer. Read through as many reviews as you can before you make a selection.
Cost is usually high on most businesses’ lists when it comes to selecting any type of service provider. For web hosting, you can find services for any budget. But, before you opt for the cheapest one, make sure you factor in your website’s needs, what the company offers, and its reviews. Don’t solely go by cost because saving a few bucks may cost you a lot of money if your website is not secure or is down often.
Selecting a web host for the first time can be overwhelming. But, if you know what to look for, the process becomes easier and you have a better shot at making the right decision.
We’ve covered the basics of web hosting and what you need to look for when selecting a host. This information should help you make an informed decision. A decision that will help direct traffic to your website and keep it online at all times.
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