Reliable web hosting is a crucial part of any successful website. When you are thinking about building a new website, your choice of host is probably one of the last things on your mind, but neglecting to choose the right host can have disastrous effects on your website and business.
With so many choices it’s easy to simply opt for the cheapest option. But reliable web hosting should be seen as an investment in your business. Your host is the foundation of your website, you wouldn’t build a home on a shaky foundation, and neither should you build a website with a low-quality host behind you.
What Is Web Hosting?
If this is your first website, then you might not know what reliable web hosting is. When you create a website, you essentially create a bunch of different files. These files need to be stored somewhere in order to be accessible on the internet. You pay a hosting provider to host these files for you on one of their servers. This is the monthly fee you pay your host. When you host your files on a hosting company’s server, they are available 24/7, so your website will always be accessible on the web.
What To Look For In A Web Host
There are virtually hundreds of hosting companies there and a variety of hosting types, and you do not want to choose one at random.
- High Reliability and Uptime: This refers to how often your website will be available online. Most hosts stick to the rule of 99.9% uptime, this leaves room for any necessary server maintenance that might temporarily bring your site offline. Before you choose a reliable web hosting service, make sure to verify their uptime policy and if they offer any sort of uptime guarantee. There is no point in building a website if it’s going to be offline when you need it most.
- Bandwidth and Storage: This translates to the amount of traffic and number of page views your website can handle every month. It is becoming common practice to offer unlimited bandwidth, however, there is a chance this could get throttled down and your site can do offline if you are experiencing a surge of traffic such as during a sale or one of your posts go viral.
- Solid Customer Support: Customer support is something you don’t think about until it is too late. For some reason your website is offline and no matter what you do, you can’t get it back online. You have tried contacting your hosting company’s support team and they are non-responsive, plus you have a big launch day planned, this is not a fun scenario. For this reason, you will want to test the support yourself before selecting your hosting provider. Submit a question or two, and ensure their methods of support work for you. For example, some companies offer email support with a ticketing system, while others include live chat and phone support.
- Domain Management Tools: When you start, you most likely only needed one website. But as your site grows, you may need to register more domains and set up subdomains for your existing domain. Your host should be equipped with these tools, such as cPanel, which allows for easy domain management.
- Clear Pricing: Hosting price increases are pretty common practice unless you end up purchasing hosting for multiple years at a time. Price variances will happen but they shouldn’t come as a shock. Make sure you select a hosting company that has clear pricing terms so you know if and when a price increase is going to happen.
- Ability to Scale: Finally, you’ll want to look for a host that can grow with you. Your site won’t stay the same size for its entire life. And if you are starting a site, then you probably want it to be a success, usually, this means more traffic. When choosing a host make sure they offer scalable packages, or the ability to upgrade to a different hosting plan In time. You always have the option of migrating hosting providers, but it’s often much easier to find a host you can stick with for the long term.
Why Choosing The Right Web Host Is Important
Your choice of a website host will influence the overall success of your website. It may not seem like a big deal, but choosing a low-quality host can harm your site in a variety of ways.
- Your Security Is On The Line: Website security is easy to overlook, and usually something we only think about once it is too late. Just like you buy alarm systems for your home or insurance in case of an accident, you’ll want to invest in proper security measures before anything bad happens. There isn’t a fail-safe solution for keeping your website secure, however, there are steps you can take to build a wall around your website, like firewalls, security plug-ins, keeping your site software up to date, and more. But none of this matters if your host doesn’t prioritize security. It’s like having the world’s best security system for your home, but you leave the front and back doors open. A high-quality host will have things in place, like regular website backups, firewalls, and other methods to not only protect the webserver but the datacenter as a whole.
- You’ll Want Support For When Thinks Break: Having your site goes offline, or stop working altogether is no fun. Sometimes this is due to an error of your own, such as editing your site’s code and taking it offline. But on occasion, this can be due to your host as well. Whenever an issue like this arises you’ll want to have a dedicated support team behind you. Trying to resolve site issues yourself can be a hassle. Especially if you do not have any technical skills to rely upon.
- You’ll Minimize The Loss Of Sales: If you rely on your website to generate leads, or you are selling products, then every minute your site is offline, costs you money. Your host does have an impact on this with something called uptime. If you constantly find your site offline, due to no error on your own, then it might be time to upgrade to a better hosting package, or even switch hosts entirely.
- You’ll Boost Site Performance and SEO: Your site’s loading speeds and overall performance have a correlation to your search engine ranking. If your site takes too long to load, then you will have a high bounce rate, and deliver a poor user experience to your visitors. Sometimes this is due to your own site, for example, you might be using a poorly coded theme, or have too many plugins installed. However, a lot of times it van be the fault of your host as well. If you have taken the time to optimize your own website, and still find it running slow, then it is probably time to switch hosts. Your site could simply be getting too much traffic for the current hosting package, but if this is consistent you’ll usually get an email from your host talking about an upgrade.
- Your Site Content Will Be Secured: File loss does happen. Maybe you decided to host your site with a brand new host who ends up going out of business? Or maybe your host’s backup protocols failed and all of your site’s backups are list. This is one of the big advantages of choosing an established host, as you know that this will never happen. You might be able to save money by going with a new host, or one with a less established track record, but you might be hurting yourself in the long run.
As you can see, investing in hosting matters more than you might think. Instead of jumping at the cheapest deal, or the first host, you come across, spend some time researching all of the reliable web hosting options you have available. You can always upgrade to a new host in time, but it’s always easier to make the best decision the first time around. It’s easier to find a host that can scale with you over the long term instead of having to switch providers and migrate your entire site every time your site grows.