Selecting the Best Web Hosting Solution for Your Business
When you set up a website, and you want other people to see it, you will need to upload (or publish) it with a web hosting provider. Web hosting services work by storing your web files in web servers connected to a very fast network. It is from the servers that your website information is sent back to the computer of anyone who types in your web address. From there clients can surf and view pages of your site.
Web hosting involves managing servers and their software, offering support, security, speed, bandwidth and much more. Typically, it would be expensive for SMBs to host their own websites. Using a web hosting service allows many companies to share the costs of a fast Internet connection for serving their files.
In today’s digital market, it’s imperative for small businesses to choose a reliable web hosting service. Part of making the right choice may involve choosing between a shared, cloud-based (virtual) or dedicated server. You have to weigh your options and assess the pros and cons of each option before making your choice.
Shared hosting services are the most popular options for SMBs. They are often very affordable and a cost effective option if you are on a tight object. Shared web hosting means your website will be hosted on the same server as the websites of other clients. Although you can save much more than you would when using your dedicated server of managing one yourself, the number of users on the server your website is being hosted on is going to determine the speeds of your connectivity.
If you’re expecting a large volume of traffic or your hosting needs are unlikely to be met by using a shared server, dedicated hosting is the way to go. The costs of leasing your own server may be higher than shared or virtual private servers, but you get the benefit of full control. Moreover, you don’t need to share space and bandwidth with other businesses or individuals.
Virtual private hosting
A virtual private server falls between dedicated hosting and shared hosting. You get more control and freedom over the software and hardware for your site but also give others the opportunity to host their site on the same network. It’s an ideal choice if you want to have your own online private server.
Factors to consider when choosing a web hosting service
Be sure to compare the reliability and uptime of several web hosting companies you are interested in before settling for one. Ensure your web host has numerous positive reviews and recommendations from previous and existing customers before paying for a long term contract. As it may be impossible for your website to be up 100 percent of the time, you want to work with a company that can guarantee an uptime of 99.99 percent.
Search for a company that offers more than enough bandwidth for your website. This is especially important if you expect your bandwidth needs to increase as your business grows, and your site expands. Paying for bandwidth by the GB can be expensive when your demands eventually grow. Therefore, read the terms of usage before registering for an account with a hosting company.
Timely, consistent and responsive customer service is probably the most important factor when choosing a web hosting company. The secret to a successful online presence is to find a company that provides good, fast and reliable customer service round the clock. You want to work with a company that is ready to offer help through telephone, live chat and email.
It is essential to test drive the customer support, especially during the trial period to assess the reliability of the company’s customer service. See how long you are kept waiting for help or on hold over the phone and assess the knowledge and expertise of support staff. If the company has an online chat option, check out how good it is. At the very least, go through the company’s customer support policy and look for online customer reviews before signing up.
Most web hosting companies offer a free trial service before signing up. This is the perfect opportunity for you to see if you can comfortably use the interface. Look for a web hosting company that has easy-to- use interface where you can effortlessly manage different aspects of your web account. You don’t want to have to go through technical support each time you want to add, delete, manage your email addresses or change passwords. Such tasks are common maintenance chores you should be able to easily execute on your own without the need for technical assistance.
In general, there is no perfect web hosting company. Even if you are prepared to dig deeper into your pockets, high price doesn’t guarantee quality hosting and support. You have to make detailed assessments and comparisons to find a company that can deliver according to your expectations.