A solid hosting service is the mainstay of your online presence.
It powers your website and applications, getting your brand in front of customers. However, before selecting a web host provider, it is a good idea to take a deep breath.
There are multiple moving parts that have to fall together. You want to aim for a blend of support, security, and speed. This is the holy hosting trinity, or the three S’s you cannot afford to ignore.
Hosting services aren’t created equal and they are available across a wide price range. Your main objective is to assess your needs and separate essentials from nice-to-haves. Then, you can go on a hunt to find a reliable, high-performing solution.
This kind of thoughtful approach minimises the risk of downtimes, slowdowns, and crashes. These are the dire problems that undermine consumer trust and eat away at sales.
So, keep your options open and proceed with caution. Use this article as your roadmap to reaching an educated decision.
A Matter of Support
A certain amount of hand-holding is always recommended, especially for novices unacquainted with the management of a hosted website.
You just need to figure out how much exactly you require. For example, in the case of non-managed services, your provider doesn’t double as a system manager. You have to do the heavy technical lifting yourself and exercise a higher degree of control while at it.
On the other hand, a managed solution spares you the system configuration, server maintenance, and load balancing hassle. In this scenario, the crucial thing is to discover a vender with a trained and friendly customer support team.
Namely, seek providers that offer around-the-clock support and champion quick response times. It’s preferable if they have multiple channels of communication in place as well.
You can scour the web for testimonials and reviews to confirm support works as advertized. Don’t take a provider’s word for it.
With this due diligence, you will be able to resolve any dilemmas or technical hiccups in no time.
Security is our next focal point in the quest for the most suitable hosting provider.
It’s an element many business owners ignore and to their own peril. You don’t want to make the same mistake, so put security front and centre. The robustness of the provider’s infrastructure is the main factor to evaluate.
The bare minimum is a package with firewalls, automatic backups, user access control, email security, and security add-ons. These layers of security shield you from cyberattacks, viruses, and malware.
Notice a managed provider handles network monitoring and security issues, as well as software patches and updates. A dedicated server also has one clear advantage. It gives customers control over doting architecture, meaning they can fine-tune their security framework.
As for e-commerce stores, they have to put an even higher emphasis on security. The emphasis is on safeguarding sensitive data, such as customer and payment information.
The good news is there are various services tailored to e-commerce operations. Do your homework and take your pick.
A Need for Speed
Speed is a game-changer that separates online winners from losers.
Let’s examine low-end shared servers first, which are the cheapest option around. They give you a slice of server space occupied by dozens or hundreds of other sites. You gain limited access to server capabilities and programmes you can run.
If this sounds like a lacklustre solution for you, it probably is. Unless you run small local operation or a personal portfolio site, avoid it at all costs. This brings us to a key point.
Your choice depends on the level of workload and traffic. In case you expect them to surge, the quality of the network becomes paramount. It comes with steep price attaches, but it improves data delivery.
Take the example of a cloud-based server that runs on public cloud platforms (such as Microsoft Azure). It boasts superior performance in all major areas. You don’t have to worry about other people’s sites weighing you down.
An alternative comes in the form of dedicated server providers. They grant you a separate box in a data server. Basically, it’s a “one server, one website” kind of proposition, which guarantees speedy performance.
A virtual private server (VPS) is an option worth noting as well. It represents a virtual machine operating in a box. You could say it’s a middle ground between shared and dedicated servers.
The Ease of Scaling
One last S-word to take into account is scaling.
You don’t want to grow out of a hosting solution quickly as that would incur unnecessary costs. In fact, you’re much better off being able to scale your website.
Otherwise, you would struggle to support multiple servers and a growing target audience. Sudden spikes in traffic could cause crashes and slowdowns.
Moreover, scaling is integral to the success of enabling cross-device functionality for applications. Here, the challenges are how to ensure load balancing and synchronisation of multiple database servers. Well, what you need is a strong baseline: ample storage, RAM, and processing capacities.
Therefore, estimate the amount of traffic you can realistically expect to see. Try to land a flexible deal allowing you to upgrade your subscription on the fly. Changing a provider tends to be a resource-sapping ordeal.
Note that cloud servers facilitate scaling, which is to say you can hardly go wrong with them. Likewise, VPS is associated with more flexibility than shared solutions.
Locking yourself into an unfavourable long-term deal is never an optimal course of action.
Before Selecting a Web Host Provider, It Is a Good Idea to…
We know you’re probably eager to dive in right away and start serving clients.
But, before selecting a web host provider, it is a good idea to test the waters. You need to know exactly what to look for in a hosting provider. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions.
We’ve shown you it all boils down to security, speed, and support. Scalability is an extra ingredient you can throw into the mix for good measure.
So, familiarise yourself with types of hosting solutions. Weigh the pros and cons of managed vs. non-managed services. Brace for the possibility of your needs surging over time.
Once you go over the fundamentals, entertain bells and whistles. Find a dependable vender that delivers on the promises. Accept nothing less than stellar service and impeccable value proposition.
Feel free to contact us if you’re ready to consider our hosting solutions. It’s time to harness the full power of your website and thrive in the crowded digital realm.