No matter what type of business you run, if you have an online presence in the form of a website, you are going to need to choose a web host provider. This can be a difficult task for a lot of businesses, as they don’t know what they should be looking for, nor do they even really know what a web host does. 

Does this sound familiar? Well, don’t panic, as this blog post will go into everything you need to know about web hosts. This includes the different types of hosting options you have available to you, why hosting matters, and what you should be looking for. So, let’s get started…

Different types of hosting

The first thing that you need to understand is that there are a number of different hosting options available to you. This includes free hosting websites, self-hosting services, and hosting a dedicated server yourself. 

Let’s begin with free hosting websites first. This includes the likes of WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, and Tumbler. These websites can be very tempting because they are free. However, they are not recommended because you have no control whatsoever over your website. This means that if something was to happen, for example, one of the websites was to close down, you would lose everything. Also, your email address and web address won’t match, which can have a negative impact on your brand image. 

Self-hosted services are usually the most obvious option and the best place to start. You will pay a small monthly charge for something like this. You will have control over your website, and you will be able to monetize your website in any way you please, which is not the option when it comes to free hosting websites. 

Once your traffic increases and your business grows, hosting your own dedicated server is well worth considering. This is possible with all operating systems. But, what are the benefits of going down this route? Well, you will have more flexibility, enhanced security and performance, and your own unique IP address. As server resources are not shared, this is the best option in terms of performance. This is better for established businesses, as you may want to start with a self-hosting service until your idea has been proven and you know you are onto a winner with your business.

Why hosting matters

The importance of hosting can often be undervalued, especially by business owners who do not really understand what the service is about. However, your web host has a monumental impact on the performance of your website. And, the performance of your website has a massive knock-on effect when it comes to other areas of your business. 

If the hosting provider you use does not offer a high level of guaranteed uptime, for example, there is a real chance that your website is going to spend quite a bit of time offline. Every moment you spend offline is a moment you are not only frustrating existing customers but missing out on opportunities too. Plus, this is the sort of thing that will hurt your search engine ranking. 

Another element that could hurt your search engine ranking is a slow page load speed, which is another thing your online business could suffer from if you do not have a good hosting provider. Page load speed plays a huge role in terms of user experience and SEO. If your website is slow to load, users are only going to close off the website and look elsewhere. 

It is important to recognize the huge impact that your web host is going to have on the overall performance of your website and, consequently, your online visibility and the reputation of your company. This is why it is critical to take the time to assess all of your options carefully. This is also why a lot of people decide to move to their own dedicated server after a short while. 

If you are not at this stage yet, though, make sure you take the time to read plenty of reviews that have been left by other business owners. This will give you a good indication regarding the amount of downtime, the performance, customer service, and all of the other critical factors that come together to make a good web host. You can also find lots of comparison websites and expert review websites whereby those involved in the industry have tried all the services and provided comprehensive feedback and assessments. Just be mindful that these websites do not have any affiliations with the companies before making your decision. 

Web hosting myths debunked

Hopefully, you now have a good idea regarding why web hosting matters and what solutions your company can choose from. So, let’s end by taking a look at some of the most common myths surrounding web hosting…

  • Most web hosts have their own data centres – Not all web hosts have their own data centres. Unless they say explicitly that they do, you should not assume that this is the case. If you are unsure, do not be afraid to ask for clarification.
  • “Just host with your domain register” – A lot of people think that this is how simple web hosting is. However, purchasing web hosting and registering a domain are two different things entirely. Yes, it may seem a lot easier to simply host your site where you purchase your domain, but the easy route is not always the best one. You need to make sure the host provider offers high levels of quality and ticks all of the boxes with regards to performance and uptime. 
  • Free is the best – This is something that we discussed earlier when we mentioned about free hosting websites. Free hosting is tempting because it does not cost anything on the surface. However, it can cost your business money if you end up losing all of your online presence because of a mistake the company has made, a data breach, or a closure. Not only this, but free hosting also comes with a lack of professionalism because your emails and URLs will not match. 

As you can see, there is a lot that needs to be taken into account when you choose a web host for your business. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding what your business can do in terms of website hosting, as well as the different factors you need to keep a lookout for when you are choosing a web hosting provider. Luckily, thanks to the Internet, there is so much information out there about the services web hosting providers offer. This will help you to make an educated decision for your business.