Imagine you’ve built a beautiful house with a lovely garden and a dazzling interior. But the land on which you built your home is shaky and unprotected. That house isn’t likely to stand the test of time. In the same way, think of an attractive website with bright design and rich content. But where do you put it? That’s where web hosting plays its part. Think of website hosting as a piece of a virtual land that holds your website. The stronger and more stable your web hosting, the better it is for your business website. So, let’s find out what is web hosting and why it is important for website owners.
4 things to look for in web hosting
The sad truth is most business owners do not pay much heed to web hosting. The result — some end up making a wrong choice. You can avoid pain later by ensuring your web host offers these four elements.
Before we list the critical features to look for, let’s answer the question ‘what is web hosting?’ in greater detail.
Web hosting and its importance
Wikipedia defines web hosting as a type of internet service that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible via the web.
Likewise, a web host is a company that stores these websites on its servers. When a person visits Flipkart’s website by typing in Flipkart.com, they are connected to the company’s web server. The web server then retrieves the web pages and presents them to the visitor.
A good web hosting company can create magic by making your site ‘alive’ and ‘active’ on the internet.
Today, with an increasing number of businesses striving to make their presence felt online, it is small wonder that web hosting services are increasingly gaining precedence.
Understand different hosting options
There are various web hosting options available, each designed for different types of websites. It is important to understand your options and go for the one that’s closest to your business needs.
Classic web hosting
Popular among those who are just starting out, classic or shared hosting is the least expensive way to get your website up and running. Here, your website is stored in a server that also hosts hundreds of other websites.
The drawback is that your website could experience occasional slowdowns because it shares space with other sites. If one or more of them experience a traffic spike, they could consume most of the available storage and bandwidth, diminishing the amount left for your website.
To overcome this, GoDaddy makes it easy to purchase additional CPU, RAM and I/O whenever you need.
Needless to say, as you grow your business, you might need more space to breathe, just as you need greater space and privacy when you have your own big family. But don’t worry — a reputable web host will have a solution for you.
Managed WordPress hosting
Designed especially for WordPress websites, this web hosting is not only faster than shared hosting but offers better uptime and is more secure.
With Managed WordPress, you won’t have to do any of the routine WordPress security patches and updates.
This hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, so you should consider this only if you are looking at heavily customized WordPress pages (or don’t feel up to technical maintenance tasks).
If you’re a web developer or use resource-hungry web applications, it makes greater sense to buy a Dedicated Hosting package.
When you buy a dedicated server for your business, it is exclusively yours so there’s no chance of running out of space or bandwidth. Dedicated servers also offer full root access. It is obvious that it tends to be more expensive than shared hosting.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting combines the best components of shared and dedicated servers, offering more features and flexibility than shared hosting while being much cheaper than the latter. Your site runs on a server that hosts fewer sites than a shared one, yet the cost of running the server is shared by sites hosted there. The result is relatively lower cost.
Editor’s note: Those who want the power of VPS with an easy-to-use control panel that doesn’t require a degree in Computer Science to use should consider Business Hosting.
Choosing the best web hosting provider
So we see that the primary step to your online business success is to choose a reliable web host so that your website remains accessible and secure around the clock.
A website that is often inaccessible to customers is like a shop that is often closed — no business can be conducted.
Here’s what you should know before choosing a good web hosting company.
1. Cutting-edge security
When you look for the perfect web hosting provider, security should be at the top of your mind. With booming cyber attacks and malware threats in India, it is obvious that any site can get hacked — no matter the size.
The advantage of selecting a good web host is that they encrypt your data, protecting it from hackers, while warding off DDoS attacks. They also perform regular network monitoring and keep your site from being blacklisted. In the event of a crisis, a good web host provides a single point of contact.
You should opt for a hosting service that can provide SSL encryption and a security badge on your site for stronger protection. This increases customers’ trust and avoids Google’s “Not Secure” warning.
2. Built-in analytics
Real-time analytics enable you to keep an eye on your website, identifying and fixing slow load times and traffic issues before they become a problem. If you have GoDaddy classic (shared) web hosting, you can add more CPU, memory, entry processes or I/O any time with just one click.
3. Round-the-clock help
In quality web hosting companies, the customer support team is available round the clock. This is especially necessary for businesses having web visitors from across the globe. Your customers will want to access your website even when you’re asleep.
When you select your web host, be sure their customer support team is available to answer your queries at any time, in the language you speak. They should also have state-of-the-art chat and email support capabilities.
4. Superior uptime
The hosting provider you choose should ensure optimum uptime. Uptime refers to the amount of time your website will be up and available to visitors.
In truth, no web hosting company can guarantee a 100 percent uptime, but the closer you get to 99.9 percent uptime, the better it is for your website — and your business.
What is web hosting answered
There is no doubt that web hosting is a vital part of your online business strategy. But with so many web hosting companies out there, each promising to have great uptime, unlimited resources, and quality support, selecting the best web hosting company can be a tough call.
It is important for you to exercise utmost caution in this regard since your business will depend on it.
Therefore, find a web host, that already has a good reputation in the market. For example, while some companies rent servers or outsource their technical support, GoDaddy boasts its own servers, security and on-site hosting experts available 24/7. They offer a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, so you can be sure your website will be accessible to customers 24/7.
So, what are you waiting for? Choose a web hosting plan that will stand your business in good stead for years to come. Good luck!