Having an online presence is almost mandatory for modern-day companies.
A 2020 study verified that half of small business owners prioritized online interactions with clients, with that trend continuing well into the coming year.
In addition to maintaining a corporate Twitter account and Facebook page, you may be looking to build a website for your product or service. Writing up appealing content and hiring web designers are the first steps, but you will need a hosting provider to make the image in your head a reality.
How exactly do you work with a service provider to get your website live onto the Internet? Your choice of a hosting company is crucial, as it serves as the foundation of the online presence of your company.
The service provider you work with provides many of the features and functionalities you need to keep a strong company website online.
These are just the essentials, of course. Many providers have other services to look out for. A major one that’s practically a must today is cybersecurity.
Did you know that 68% of business leaders think that cybersecurity risks are on the rise? While the Internet has greatly improved the way businesses interact with their customers, the risk of cybercrime is always a threat with how many high-profile data breaches occur with both large and small organizations.
That’s where a web host comes in. It can provide you with SSL certificates for encrypting your web data, including sensitive consumer payment information. eCommerce companies will especially need it when they handle credit card data and contact information.
On top of reducing the threat of cybercrime, SSL certificates also give potential clients a sense of trust in your company. SSL shows up as a green padlock symbol on the client’s web browser, meaning any transactions made will be protected with encryption. Google also treats SSL as a positive sign for a website and will be more willing to rank the page higher in the search results.
You’ve got the basic structure for a website and the security features, but what else can you expect from a web host?
There are hundreds of hosting options available to businesses, and the market is incredibly competitive. Let’s talk about some ways to differentiate each vendor.
Ask yourself the following questions whenever you’re comparing your options for web hosting services.
Hosting providers might charge based on the amount of storage and bandwidth you are expected to use. Decide how much data your website takes up and how much bandwidth is necessary to support your expected visitor traffic.
Remember that you ultimately get what you pay for. Cheap out too much, and you risk significant downtime or bad support.
Web hosting comes in many different “flavors,” each of which with its own reliability, speed, requirements, and benefits. Consider them alongside your own preferences and needs.
A recent new trend is the rise of cloud hosting, where multiple servers connected over a network balance out all the processing load of running the website. Because of multiple redundancies, the chance of downtime is far lower with the cloud.
Do your own research beforehand to check the reputation of each web host. Reputable review sites will show you any consistent complaints or issues past customers may have faced. Just as important is how well the company responded to that feedback.
Read the user agreement of each host carefully to know what you’re getting into. Don’t skim through, as the choice of a web host is an important consideration.
Some things to look for include a refund policy and the limits of the service. For instance, many “unlimited” hosting plans actually have hidden limits within the subtext that you should look out for.
Finding the right web host may not seem like a big deal, but trust us, it is. Slow websites provide a poor user experience, and are less likely to rank on Google.
If you’re looking for expert advice on what web host is right for your business, get in touch with Globalgraphics. We have decades of experience building websites, navigating domain registrations, web hosts, and a variety of other services.