How to Choose the Right Kind of Web Hosting for Your Business (Shared, Dedicated, Cloud, VPS)
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If you’ve got a business, you’ve got a website. It’s the digital face that you present to customers and clients and the first point of contact for many people. You most likely already know that the design and flow of your website are important for a great user experience. But did you know that web hosting is almost as important?
Learning how to choose the right kind of web hosting for your business is essential. Whether you’re just starting out or your website has been running for years, web hosting is something you should be doing research on.
The industry is constantly evolving, so even if you’ve been with a web host for ages, they may no longer be the right choice for your business. Here’s how to choose the right kind of web hosting for your business to maximize your chances of success.
Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Web Host?
The right web host will support your goals, your growth, and your plans as a business. This differs for everyone, so naturally, not every web host will be right for every business. But once you’re partnered up with the right web hosting provider, you can expect your website to be secure, fast, and user-friendly.
These factors make a big difference to business. One, if users have a pleasant experience on your website, they’re much more likely to take it a step further. Two, your site is less likely to be hacked or attacked. These may sound like small things, but they’re bigger than you think.
How Choosing the Wrong Host Can Impact Your Website
Choose a web host that doesn’t work for you, and it can have negative effects on your website and business. You might not notice it immediately, but as time goes, there may be signs that your web host is impacting your company. These could include:
- A slow webpage loading speed, leading to an increased bounce rate
- Increased downtime, which means your website is unavailable more often
- An inability to handle larger volumes of traffic to your site
- An increase in security breaches or attacks on your website
The first step to lowering the chance of these things occurring is to choose the right kind of web hosting. From there, you can find the right provider.
Types of Hosting
Here’s a quick overview of the types of hosting you’ll have to choose from. Each has its pros and cons, but this is the first step to finding the right thing for you.
- Shared Hosting: Multiple sites hosted on one server, sharing resources. Works for small, local businesses that don’t get a lot of traffic and are light on resources.
- Dedicated Hosting: Your site is hosted on its own server with its own resources. A little pricey but more stable and reliable than shared hosting.
- VPS Hosting: Your site is held on a cordoned-off piece of a bigger server, which has its own resources. A good middle-ground between shared and dedicated.
- Cloud Hosting: The latest and greatest. Also the most expensive, but it’s way above the rest in terms of reliability, scalability, and versatility.
What to Look for When Choosing a Web Host
Here’s what to consider when you’re shopping around for a web host. Pay attention and ask questions if necessary, but make sure you understand what they’re offering in terms of these things.
Reliability and Uptime
If your site is down, it’s useless to you and your customers/clients. A great web host offers an uptime of 99.9% or more. The gold standard is 99.999%! Don’t think that going for a lower uptime won’t make much difference; 99% uptime means your site will be offline for 14 ½ minutes every day!
Hackers get smarter by the day. Your web host needs to be able to keep up. When comparing web hosts, find the ones that offer things like secure access (SSH, SFTP), malware detection and elimination, DDoS protection, 2-factor authentication, SSL certificates, automatic updates, extra security software, and regular backups of your site content.
Choosing a server that’s close to your intended audience will serve you greatly, as download speed and website performance will be increased. If your target market is global, choosing a host with a CDN (content delivery network) will help you to reach everyone.
It’s a good idea to do a bit of research on the kind of server resources a business such as yours may need. Then, find web hosts that match up to that, so you don’t waste your time with hosts that can’t provide for your needs.
Is your web host able to grow as your business grows? Make sure the host you choose can expand your storage, bandwidth, and other resources if your business grows to the point where it needs more.
Customer support is important. Nobody wants to have a problem they need to troubleshoot, but if you do, you want to know that your web host is knowledgeable, supportive, and available when you need help.
Benefits of Choosing the Right Web Host
Don’t neglect these factors when choosing a web host. A bit of time, thought, and research can save you not only money but stress. Here are the benefits you’ll gain when you take a bit more time to choose the right web host for your site.
- Easy App Installation: No stress, no fuss! Your web host will handle app installations for you, taking the responsibility off your shoulders.
- A Great Uptime Guarantee: The more time your site is up, the better chance you have of doing business.
- The Ability to Scale: You can grow your business without fear of running out of resources on your website’s server.
- Reliable Customer Service: Got a problem? You never need to worry about getting it fixed because customer service is committed to helping.
- Increased Website Performance: The better your site’s performance, the happier your visitors will be. And happy visitors lead to business.
- A Safer Website: Rest assured your website will be safe from threats. A good web host will identify and remove threats before you even know they’re there.
It doesn’t matter if your site is built on WordPress or something else. It doesn’t matter if your market is local or international. What matters is that you have the peace of mind that your website will run smoothly, live up to your visitors’ expectations, and stay secure.
That’s what choosing the right kind of web hosting for your business can do. It might seem like a small element in your bigger business strategy, but trust us—it can make a bigger difference than you think.
About the Author
Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency that helps small businesses optimize their websites for business success. He aims to educate business owners on all things website-related on his own website, Reviews for Website Hosting.