If you have a website then you’ll need somewhere to host it. That is a server that stores the files relating to your website and allows people to see your website on the Internet.
Recent press coverage about website hosts deleting files and therefore customers’ websites from their servers accidentally has led to many companies reviewing their hosting arrangements.
But what should you consider when deciding who should host your website?
How much server capacity do you need?
This is defined by the webspace needed (determined by the amount of content on your website and whether you include photos, videos or music) as well as the Bandwith, which is determined by the volume of traffic on your website. Beware companies who promote this as ‘unlimited’ as there will be some limits and additional charges, even if they are buried in the small print.
Are you using your website for e-commerce?
If you are selling on your website you will need a secure server (SSL Certificate) – and your website will display HTTPS at the beginning rather than just HTTP.
How quickly can someone download your website? If it is too slow then Google will penalise your website in search engine rankings and you may even lose customers who decide to buy from a competitor instead.
What services do you need?
Do you want web and email hosting in one place? And do you want someone to take care of your domain name registration and renewal? And what about search engine optimisation to improve your website’s search engine rankings?
Your website can either be hosted on a dedicated server just for your company or on a shared server. Dedicated servers cost more but you will have more flexibility and control over what you can do.
What level of management do you need?
This will include aspects such as the level of access you need, for example, to create email addresses, the security available and the level of support you will need from your host, as well as how easy it is to access that support.
Who is responsible for the backups of your site? If the worst should happen and your website is deleted from the server, does the hosting company keep a backup?
How much will it cost?
Expect to pay for website hosting (and a premium for services such as a dedicated server) with many hosting companies offer monthly or annual plans. If you are considering free hosting beware that this often comes with a requirement to hosts ads on your site – something you may not wish to have. There may also be hidden costs not explained at the outset.
The small print.
If you are unhappy with the service provided how easy is it to change providers? Are there admin and release fees involved? Beware of companies who take over password management for you, such as access to your domain name, which could make it harder to change providers.
At The Tech Lounge, we offer web and email hosting for personal and business use which is straightforward and professional with no hidden costs. Click here to find out more.