Website Hosting

A Beginner’s Guide to Great Website Hosting: What you should look for

Website Hosting – What type of website do we have?

Once you have a business website built you will need a place to run it;  this is called website hosting or hosting for short. There are many companies out there that host websites, but all these companies are not equal. Some hosting companies are built to run large multi-national company websites, this could be hosting companies like AWS (Amazon Web Services) while others are built to host your personal blog like wordpress.com.

Before we can even think about where to host our new website there are several questions that we need to answer before we can pick a place.  The first and most important question is, what is the impact to your business if something happens and the site becomes unavailable?  This just happened to Franklin Templeton Investments this week.  Sadly, there are even free services that could have kept their site up under load. If your website is an informational one pager that provides hours of operation, a phone number, and a brief description of what your physical business does then it will not likely impact your physical very much, if at all, because it is not available for a brief period. However, the more services the website provides for your business the more important it becomes that your website is available all the time.

Eventually you get to the point where a business solely relies on online sales to operate. This is know as an eCommerce site, the one most of us know is Amazon. If Amazon’s website goes down then they are not making any money and are in fact losing money. We must realize that the more time we want our website up the greater the cost is going to be for us.  For example if we want our website up 90% of the time that will be very inexpensive, but wanting our website up 100% of the time would be too expensive for even Amazon. This is where answering the impact to our business helps us in making a choice.

Where are your customers located?

Next we need to ask ourselves where our customers are.  For example, if all our customers are located in the same town or city as our business we need to find a website hosting location closet to us. Why does this matter? Because website performance is a determining factor in how Google will rank your business in search engines and weather or not a potential customer will even wait around for your website to load if it is slow.

The farther your server is from your customers the slower it will appear when they use it. We all have been impatient if a site we are looking for something on is taking to long to give us what we are looking for.  If however we do business in only the United States it would be important to centrally located to everyone.  If we have a more complex need for hosting that would be beyond the scope of this article.

How busy do you think your website will be?

Finally, we need to make an educated guess on how busy our website will be.  If our website is an eCommerce site then we should be looking at bigger sized servers that handle more users that are on for a longer period versus if our website is just an informational single page site used for potential customers looking for what we sell. One nice thing is it is pretty straight forward to change the size of the server you use at anytime. You can increase or decrease the servers capacity based upon your need. A great example of this is an eCommerce site running between Thanksgiving and the New Year when many businesses make 50% or more of their annual profit.

So, where do I host my website at?

If you have a simple blog site that is not a business or a side hustle, it is probably best to host at a company like wordpress.com. If you are hosting a small to medium sized business website look to Dreamhost.com, Kinsta.com, or DigitalOcean.com.  You can feel comfortable selecting one of the prior website hosting providers even for larger sites, but I would highly recommend that you at least reach out to a professional at this point.  There are just too  many variables that can make a huge impact on your decision. Website hosting is a culmination of several things coming together to server your website. Things do not always fit into a nice neat box and it can important to at least speak with a hosting professional. 

There are also other things to consider like website backups, security, site performance impacts and several other key features that a website needs in order to make an informed decision regarding hosting your website. If all this seems too much we can help you make the right decision for your website hosting. We will even manage your hosting and all that entails for you, so you can be free to focus on your business.

Disclaimer – We are NOT affiliated with any of the hosting businesses above and make no money by recommending them to you. When reading other articles on hosting be sure to look to see if they are part of an affiliate program and take what the article says with a grain of salt if they are.

Alane Matthews offers extensive hosting options not found elsewhere with the capacity to run a local website for your downtown business or scale to host a multi-language website with servers across multiple contents. Contact us today to see how we can help you transform your business. You do not have to have had your website built by us to host with us. We can also assist you regarding any performance issues that you may be having with your current website.

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