Today, businesses and their customers are moving to the internet. Online stores and other business websites have mushroomed in recent times, and customers are the convenience of online shopping. Having this in mind, a business having a website has become a necessity.
For your business website to run effectively, you need to use a reliable web hosting company’s services. If you are running an online store, your website must run all the time to avoid inconveniencing the customers. However, due to the high number of web hosting service providers, it’s not easy to settle on one to host your website.
Only a reliable web hosting company can benefit your business. It will ensure your accessibility and online presence all through. This will mean that potential clients and the existing customers will have all their convenience to order for your products or services. Otherwise, you end up losing these customers and incur losses if your website is unavailable.
If you are unfamiliar with web hosting, you must understand a few things before you start looking for such a company. It’s paramount to understand various web hosting types and the factors to consider before hiring a web hosting company.
Types of Web Hosting.
Just like we have various types of websites, we also have a variety of web hosting services. For example, a personal website doesn’t need the same hosting as an e-commerce website. We have four main types of web hosting: virtue (shared), collocation server, dedicated server, and reseller hosting. Most of the hosting companies use dedicated servers’ hosting and virtue hosting. Some other companies offer reseller hosting services, but only a few offer collocation server hosting.
1. Virtue (Shared) Hosting.
This is where multiple websites are hosted on a single web server. It is highly affordable, especially for small businesses with little capital. Remember, it is shared, and therefore the cost is shared.
2. Dedicated Server Hosting.
For this hosting, a business leases the webserver from the web hosting company. Although the server is located in the hosting company, it only hosts a single website. It is among the best web hosting services as it is more secure and efficient. Any factors do not limit your data storage space. Your data is also protected because your website is the only one on that server.
A dedicated server hosting can either be managed or unmanaged. The first case is the hosting company that sets up, updates, and upgrades the webserver. For unmanaged dedicated server hosting, it’s the website owner who does all the work. Although unmanaged hosting is relatively cheaper than managed hosting, it is good to leave the hosting company’s task if you are not a technocrat.
Dedicated server hosting is perfect for sites with many visitors. Businesses that seriously take their online business should use reliable server hosting services.
3. Collocation Server Hosting.
Although this is close to a dedicated server hosting, the website owner buys a server placed in the hosting company. Unlike in dedicated server hosting, the company that owns the server has physical access to it. The web hosting company charges a fee to manage the server and keeping it.
4. Reseller Hosting.
The trend is seen to grow but is offered by a few hosting companies compared to the other hosting types. In reseller hosting, the company with an account gets the host’s services at a given price and sell them to his customers at a profit on behalf of the hosting company. These services are mainly used by companies that want to begin web hosting businesses.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a Web Hosting Company.
Having said earlier that there are millions of web hosting companies in the market, you need to consider factors to decide on the best one to serve you. Below are some of these factors:
The amount of web space you need is dependent on the type of website you have. With a simple website that contains personal information and your work, you probably require 50MB of web space or lesser. On the other hand, you shouldn’t take anything less than 1 GB if you have an e-commerce with thousands of products in the database or with millions of visitors.
Bandwidth refers to data that is transferred from your website. It includes images, graphic details, banners, and files for download. Always analyze your content to determine the bandwidth that fits your website.
Up-time or Visibility.
Up-time is expressed as a percentage to show how much your site is available on the internet. Low site visibility means that you are likely to inconvenience customers or site visitors. Don’t be fooled by the “99.9% up-time guarantee” given the hosting companies. You must ascertain this from a company’s existing customers.
Server Type, Tools and Control Panel.
The type of server determines the program languages, scripts, and databases you are going to use. On a Unix-based platform, it is usual to use the PHP language combined with the MySQL server. The Windows platform uses ASP.NET or ASP language and the SQL server. It would be best if you enquired whether the host offers a database in their package. They must be specific on the number of databases you expect to receive.
Also, ensure you get information on the tools included in your hosting package. Some companies offer applications for web statistics or file managers.
Customer Care Service.
It is among the most important things to factor in when choosing a hosting company. It can be hectic to be hosted by a company with poor technical support while you have no technical skills to run your business website. A reliable company should respond to calls and emails at all times. You never know when your website can develop issues, and hence they should be available even at night.
You must be sure of how long a company takes to respond to customer inquiries. Great companies respond to emails in a few minutes and offer maximum and long-lasting solutions to your problem. A responsive, 24/7 customer care service is what the company you task the hosting job should offer.
Any serious business should have a testimonials section for their happy and dissatisfied customer to review them. Satisfied customers will recommend the hosting company, while unhappy clients will complain and warn potential buyers. Other than the reviews, the hosting company should offer you a chance to see the websites they host.
Contact several webmasters and ask them about what they think about their web hosting provider. You are likely to get a lot of information about the hosting company’s service from the companies they host. Many people recommend Heficed as the best web hosting service provider.
I hope that you have learned and are better off than before. Now that you understand the factors that influence a web hosting package’s choice don’t forget that you get what you pay for!