What is web hosting?
Every website needs web hosting. Web hosting is the home of your files, information, and content that create your website. These files are stored on a remote computer or server which is known as a host. Now it makes sense, hence the term web hosting.
When you visit a website the files that create it are shown within your web browser. So, its vitally important that you choose a reliable and efficient web host that suits the needs of your website.
Web hosting is rented space and it is normally charged on a monthly subscription or annually.
The different types of hosting
The majority of websites are on shared hosts or servers this means that other people’s websites files are also kept at this location.
Dedicated web hosting
Dedicated web hosting means you are renting the entire server on which your website lives. No one else’s files are on that server. This gives you more flexible as you have complete control over the setup of the server. This option can be faster and more secure!
This is a virtual server that is made up of many physical web servers. If one fails, there is another to take its place which means it is more reliable than standalone servers and should have no downtime. They also scale automatically to handle increased traffic.
Read More on Cloud Computing here.
Things to ask when looking for the right web host
What’s the downtime like?
Downtime is a period of time when your website is not online or up. Downtime can be scheduled or unscheduled and can be for a number of reasons. When your site is down visitors to your website will not be able to see it, every minute your website is down could mean the potential loss of a customer, you want to avoid this as much as possible and choose a host that can guarantee you 99.9% uptime.
Is email included?
Having an email address associated with your domain name looks more professional than having a yahoo or other email address. Proactive web site hosting packages include email.
What’s the support like?
It’s good to know what is covered by support and when it is available. A good hosting company will offer support at least during normal working hours if not 24 hours a day. It’s also worth looking at how this support is provided, is it just through email or tickets or can you actually give someone a call or send them a WhatsApp.
Are backups taken? how far back do they go?
If you have an issue with your website and need to roll it back, you will need to have been taking backups. Does the hosting company offer this service and if so, how often do they take them? It’s also worth investigating if there is an additional charge for this service or if it is included. Most good web hosting companies include this in their hosting plans.
Ability to scale
If your website grows and you need more space or are experiencing more traffic you need to know if your web host can accommodate you. Your web host should be able to upgrade and scale to suit your needs.
How easy is it to switch suppliers in the future?
You may find a better deal further down the line or move to a specialist web host, is it going to be easy to move? does the new provider offer moving service? does the old provider have any get out charges?
Find a web host that has a good review. Take a look at reviews on independent sites, can the web host provide you with testimonials, who are their clients and how long have they been in business?
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