Web hosting buyer's guide
Choosing a web hosting provider can be confusing, especially if you don’t have a solid background in tech. Take a look at our guide to web hosting so you can find yourself the best web hosting provider for your business.
What is web hosting?
Web hosting and domains are often thought to be interchangeable; however, they are actually completely separate things. While a domain name helps visitors find your website, web hosting is where your website is published.
To get a website on the internet, first the files need to be stored somewhere that allows public access. A web host provides a server on which you can store your files. Then, when someone wants to view your website, your computer connects to that server using the domain name and delivers the site to you.
Why does my hosting provider matter?
The server your host provides is likely to be shared by many other websites, which may, in one way or another, have an impact on your site in various ways. Take a look at just some scenarios that may occur if you partner with a poor web host.
Many cheap hosting providers try to host too many websites on a single server. This is primarily to cut costs; however, it can end up causing issues for every website on that server. It rapidly increases load times and, at its worst, can cause prolonged outages. This means that your website won’t just be slow to load, it could be completely unable to load for your visitor if the server is down. A trusted web host will ensure that the bandwidth of the server meets the number of sites hosted.
If one person on a server gets hacked, it leaves other sites on the same server vulnerable. This type of server exploitation can be detrimental to website owners in a number of different ways. If your web provider doesn’t
If your site is on a server that is shared with unreliable sites, your site may be compromised. The server IP may be blacklisted, which means that emails from any website hosted on that server will be restricted and won’t be delivered. Selecting a reputable hosting provider reduces this risk.
If your hosting provider doesn’t keep up to date with patching and doesn’t run the latest operating systems, you may find that the latest versions of some web platforms and applications may not be able to run. This means that your website will need to be built using older software, which leaves you vulnerable to cyber-attack.
What are the benefits of good web hosting?
There’s a lot to lose with a bad web host, so what should you be looking for in a good web host?
You’ll want to employ the services of a web host with a good history of uptime. Uptime is the duration of time that your website is online and accessible to your visitors. The opposite, downtime, is how long a website is offline. You want your website to be up 100% of the time, so that you don’t miss out on making a good impression on anyone who comes across your website. If a web host has a good history of uptime, you’ll generally be able to find out pretty easily. If you can’t find uptime information on their website, you may need to make a call to discuss uptime rates.
Faster loading times
Your load time is also influenced by your web host. The faster your load time, the better. If your website takes too long to load, you’ll likely lose the visitor to a site that loads instantly. When you’ve paid for a professional website and you’re also paying for hosting, you’ll want to be getting the most out of both. A reputable web hosting provider will optimise their servers to ensure your site has the capacity for instant load times.
Improve your Google rank
Load time is also a Google ranking factor and can impact your SEO efforts, as can the location of your server. If you’re a business operating in Australia and you have a .com.au domain extension, your website should be hosted on a server located in Australia. The minute you put your Australian website on an overseas server, you confuse the search engine algorithms. This reduces your website authority and, ultimately, your rank. Ensuring your website is hosted locally will eliminate any SEO penalties you may suffer if your website is hosted offshore.
Daily website backups
Your website is your number one digital asset. You want to keep a serious log of server backups in case you run into any trouble. By selecting a web hosting provider that regularly and systematically backs up your website and its data, you ensure that you will lose the absolute minimum if there ever is a crash.
If you value your online customers, security should be your number one priority, especially if transactions are being made over a web portal on your site. Good hosting providers will ensure that their servers are up-to-date by carrying out the latest security measures.
Live, accessible support
Last, but certainly not least, you want to employ a company that provides great support to their customers. This is particularly important if your technical knowledge isn’t great. Having a team of experts available to you whenever you need them will ensure you have a smooth web hosting experience.
When contemplating your web hosting options, you have a few more factors to consider than just the price. Netregistry provides reliable, local web hosting at an affordable price to ensure small business owners get the most out of their online efforts. Chat to one of our Online Solutions Advisors about your hosting options today.