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When you have a business website, it’s important to choose a high-quality hosting service. However, in order to do that you need to understand how website hosting works and what to look for in a provider.
If you compare your website to your physical store, your hosting would be like the land that the store is built on. It’s foundational, and having the right location can make or break your company.
Let’s look at how hosting works and how to get high-quality service.
A web hosting service runs servers where websites store the files they need to operate. The host ensures that those files are available for viewing when someone visits the website.
For example, when you upload a video to your website, it gets stored on the hosting server. Everyone who visits the site can then watch the video. The speed and quality of viewing will depend on the quality of the hosting service you choose.
Maintaining the servers means keeping an eye on security, ensuring uptime, and keeping loading speeds high. The specific hosting plan you choose will determine how much space you have on the server and whether you share it with other websites.
Choosing the right plan with a reliable web hosting provider is essential. Most small businesses should avoid shared hosting because the performance of other websites in your sector can impact your site. If a business in the same section of the server gets a ton of traffic one day, every other website in that area will be slowed.
To save some money without running those risks, consider a virtual private server (VPS). That allows you to share space but have divisions between your website and others. Other company’s performance won’t impact you.
As you grow, you may want to get a dedicated server. That allows you to have maximum reliability and performance for your website and gives you all the space you need for your files and content. It’s more expensive, but it’s a great option to grow into especially if you want to allow customers to buy online directly from your website.
Now that you know how website hosting works, it’s vital to choose the right hosting provider. Here are the things you should compare as you make your choice.
If your website isn’t available to the public, what are you paying your hosting provider for? Uptime should be the top consideration when it comes to finding a quality hosting service. Don’t just take the company’s word for it either — read Google reviews so you can understand the experiences of real customers.
How fast does the server allow your website to load? Users will leave if your website takes more than 2 seconds to load, so you can’t afford to have a slow hosting service. Be sure to also optimize your website for faster loading times by using caching and other strategies. Fast loading times are a key search engine optimization (SEO) ranking factor as well.
Having security on your website is only useful if your hosting service has strong security as well. Look for powerful firewalls and monitoring for unauthorized activity. Your hosting company also needs to support SSL certificates, which enhance your website security. SSL is a ranking factor for Google and many browsers won’t allow users to visit a non-SSL website without a security warning.
Security is one reason to avoid shared hosting plans. If a different website in your section is compromised, every site in that area is at risk.
Small businesses deserve excellent customer service from every provider they work with, and hosting services are no exception. Most smaller companies don’t have the technical expertise to manage their own hosting and technical details, so if something goes wrong it’s important to have responsive customer support from your hosting provider.
Can your hosting plan grow with your business? The best hosting providers offer affordable plans based on your current traffic and content but also have plans that allow you to move up as your online presence grows.
Also, be sure that your hosting provider can accommodate any seasonal traffic surges you might experience online, such as buying during the holiday season or increased traffic during a summer price special.
A great website is foundational to your company’s success online, and high-quality hosting will help ensure your website is fast-loading and secure.
As you grow your online presence, you’ll attract more traffic to your website, which will help you develop more leads and customers. Curious how to bring in more traffic? We can help. Our company specializes in SEO and digital marketing for small to medium-sized businesses. Contact us today to learn more!