Web hosting is one of the most important parts of running an online business. Not only does the host determine how smoothly your site functions, but if you choose the wrong host, then your entire infrastructure could be down more often than it’s live. This, of course, deters customers, so it’s important to ask some questions before you make a decision.
What are my hosting needs?
It almost goes without saying, but no two websites (and no two businesses) are the same. For example, somebody running a simple blog will require a radically different kind of hosting to a major high street retailer. Much depends on how media intensive (images, videos, etc.) your website will be and how much traffic you expect to visit. For example, something like a streaming site or online pokies Australia will put huge demands on its hosting service with high volumes of traffic and media rich applications. Somebody who just wants to upload text based how-to guides won’t need anywhere near the same level of support. This is where different hosting types come into play and choosing the right one is an important decision. Do your search on VPS, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and unlimited hosting reseller to find what will work for you the best.
Understanding your needs can be difficult when you’re starting, however. Begin with an estimate of how much traffic you expect. This can be gauged by looking at your social media platforms and calculating levels of engagement. While overestimating can be costly, you should always leave room to grow. Don’t opt for the bare minimum early on, and give yourself some headroom as your company expands.
How secure is the host?
A question that seems to grow more relevant by the day, cybersecurity is rarely out of the spotlight. Every site owner should have security at the forefront of their mind, even more so if they plan to accept payments and handle sensitive data like addresses and credit cards. Web hosts should be open and honest about their security arrangements, so look for protocols including (but not limited to) SSH and RSA keys to restrict access, network monitoring, SSL, and firewall protection. DDoS prevention and malware detection/removal facilities are also important.
Research is key in this area. If you’re unsure, look at comparable websites and see which hosting platform they’re using. Much of the onus also falls on you to keep your website secure, but if you choose a vulnerable hosting platform, then you’re already fighting a losing battle.
What else do I get (and what do I need?)
Web hosting is just that; it allows you to upload and host your website online, but many services offer much more besides. Some of the bigger hosts will offer discounted domain names when you sign up; others will include specialist blogging platforms. These can all be useful if you’re at the absolute beginning of your online journey but might equate to unnecessary expense if you’re a little more advanced.
Email servers and domains are also useful, especially if you don’t yet have a dedicated company email. Many hosting platforms also offer quite extensive file-sharing options via cloud storage, which can also benefit a growing company. It pays to research and compare. Choosing your host carefully now saves a lot of time and trouble further along the line.