Choosing the right Website Hosting Company

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.

What Does a Website Hosting Company Do?

The service provider you work with provides many of the features and functionalities you need to keep a strong company website online.

  • The domain determines the web address. Your host will help you choose and claim one.
  • The server handles website traffic. A server is the hardware that hosts the website itself and supports visitor traffic flowing through it.
  • The database for file storage. The database holds the space your site uses, including the images, videos, and lines of code that make it up.

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.

Does the Host Offer SSL Security?

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.

Other Offerings and Nice-to-Haves

You’ve got the basic structure for a website and the security features, but what else can you expect from a web host?

  • Technical support. Occasional technical problems are always worth preparing for. Find a provider that won’t leave you in the dark.
  • Training resources. Better yet, look to teach your business how to manage the site itself to some extent. Many service providers have resources for this purpose.
  • Reliability. Probably the most important feature of any host is the assurance that there is a safety net in case something goes wrong, like a server crash or unexpected downtime.

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.

How Can You Find the Perfect Web Host?

Ask yourself the following questions whenever you’re comparing your options for web hosting services.

How Much of the Server Resources Do I Need?

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.

What Type of Hosting Do I Need?

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.

  • Shared hosting. In this setup, your website is hosted on the same server as many other websites and shares the resources like processing power and memory usage with the others. This affordable option is ideal for starting companies but likely won’t be the choice for larger organizations with higher traffic expectations.
  • Virtual private servers. Similar to shared hosting, a virtual private server (VPS) hosts your website alongside others on the same server. However, your site in this case is in an isolated environment and thus has exclusive access to its own CPU processing, RAM, and disk space. VPS setups cost more but ultimately give you more power to support extra traffic.
  • Dedicated hosting. Taking VPS to the logical next level, dedicated hosting gives your website an entire server to itself, making it more secure and less error-prone but also far more expensive.

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.

Is This Service Well-Received By Past Users?

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.

What Do the Terms of Service Specify?

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.

Discover the Best Hosting Options With Globalgraphics

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.

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