How to choose the best website hosting for your business
Once your website has been built, it has to be hosted. Secure, reliable hosting is essential for a successful website.
To make it possible for your website to be seen by anyone anywhere in the world at any time of the day or night, it must be hosted on a computer that is connected to the internet 24 hours a day. This simply means that your site is “stored” on a server that is always connected to the internet and that whenever anyone requests it, they are directed to that server.
Your personal PC or laptop generally isn't connected to the internet via an “always-on” connection - or it's not switched on all the time. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t try to host your own website – most of the time it would be unavailable to those wanting to view it.
If people can’t access your website when they look for it, they will simply move on to another one, taking their business with them.It is therefore essential that your site is hosted by a dedicated hosting company that will ensure it is always accessible.
A good hosting company has top-of-the-line, up-to-date virus and anti-hacking protection. Its servers are also stored in a physically secure location. This means that unauthorised people will not be able to access your site and make undesirable changes to it.
A professional looking site, that is stable and fast loading, does a great deal to encourage a visitor’s confidence in your business and makes it more likely that he will do business with you.
No free lunch
A little caution when it comes to choosing hosting is necessary. Every hosting provider / reseller is renting servers and buying a monthly quota of bandwidth from a dedicated hosting company. These servers have a fixed amount of disk space and bandwidth allotted to them per month.
Bandwidth costs money– no matter which country we talk about – and so, no hosting company is able to offer unlimited bandwidth for a fixed fee as they too, are running a business and must cover the costs of services used.
This means that no hosting provider or reseller can really offer unlimited bandwidth for a fixed fee either – if he goes over the amount he's bought for the month, he'll have to pay for it from his own pocket...
So where do these “ unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth” offers come from – especially the very low priced ones? Well, to put it as simply as possibly, they're hoping you never try and take them up on their offer!
What usually happens in a case like this is that the hosting provider has lots of relatively small websites running off one server. Many of these sites don't get a lot of traffic and so don't use up a lot of bandwidth. Very basically, this means there's bandwidth “over” so if one site suddenly gets a lot of traffic, it can use bandwidth “allocated” for other sites.
Of course, if a number of sites increase their traffic, this will use up the available bandwidth which the provider has paid for and he then either gets charged per MB extra that he (you) uses or, in extreme cases, his (your) bandwidth may be stopped. And the chances of him not charging those with websites on his server for this are....?
You won't know how many other sites are hosted on the same server as yours so you can have no way to be sure that there'll be bandwidth available for people to get to your site if you run a successful marketing drive etc.
Generally though, if the offered hosting cost is very low, it's highly likely that large numbers of sites are being run from one server, which is not an ideal situation for a business website as access to the site will be slow or may even timeout(be totally unavailable) as the server is too busy or overloaded.
The old saying “You get what you pay for” is very valid here. There's a reason a new BMW costs more than a 1978 Toyota Corona...
Do you get e-mail addresses (on your own domain name) with your hosting?
E-mail addresses using your own domain name make you look far more professional and serious about your business than an untraceable e-mail address from Hotmail or some such free e-mail provider.
Find out how many e-mail addresses you get with your hosting each month. Some companies either provide no e-mail addresses or only one or two e-mail addresses with your package and then charge extra for each additional address. This can become expensive if you need a number of different e-mail addresses for different people and departments (E.g. The manager, sales manager, person sending general info, person taking orders, the receptionist, the admin person, the customer service person and the workshop manager might all need their own addresses.)
Web-based e-mail accessallows you to get your e-mail no matter where you are in the world. This is especially handy when traveling or away from the office for a while. Ask your web developer if your hosting package also includes this functionality.
To make sure that your site enjoys maximum online time, we use a dedicated hosting company. Their servers are both extremely reliable and secure and they guarantee 99.9% up-time.
We have a variety of web hosting packages available, depending on the type of site and amount of traffic to the site. All our packages include
- anti-virus scanning,
- spam filtering,
- 24/7/365 monitoring,
- 99.9% uptime,
- daily backups and
- web-based mail retrieval. (This means that, should you be travelling or be away from the pc you usually receive mail on, you can access your mail via the web.)
Hosting plays an integral role in a website's success. Contact us about your hosting requirements today and make sure your website is reliably and professionally hosted, first time, every time.