Firstly, let’s talk about what Web hosting actually is!“Web hosting is a service which allocates space for customers to showcase their websites on computer servers that are connected to the Internet 24/7.”
What a Mouthful… Let’s put it down to a basic analogy:
Think of web hosting like a plot of land a house sits on. This plot of land can have hundreds of houses populating its area. Some people live in mansions (Great Website) and build on fantastic plots of land (Great Hosting) and others build their houses on swamps. Having a great website with great hosting is ideal scenario for any business, but all too often we see great websites built on poor platforms.
Hosting: Free, Paid or doing it yourself?
The best option? This would all be dependent on the business size and budget. Free web hosting service providers only hosts your website and nothing else. A web hosting company offers you security, reliability and professionalism. Free website hosting although great, should only be considered an option for small businesses, looking to “inform” rather than sell.
Can I not do the hosting myself? Of course! Although trying to manage your own hosting is extremely expensive and only should be considered an option if your business has both the expertise to maintain the servers and also the financing to back it up.
Choosing a professional web hosting provider will give you the option of round the clock customer care. This means that you can call their customer care system at any time of the day or night to ask a question or to have a problem that needs solving. After all you are paying them to host your website!
These few advantages illustrated above are enough to show you why web hosting is important. Most business looking to expand their online operations to an experienced and established clicks and mortar business, should be opting for a more professional web hosting services, rather than cheap “no frills” options.
Some web hosting providers will cap your bandwidth limit and charge you, should you go over your monthly allowance. While cheap web hosting with very limited bandwidth might be appropriate for a small business, A company that is in worldwide markets and is trying to increase online sales will need all the bandwidth it can get, ( especially with unforeseen spikes in traffic). In the end, these cheap websites are probably more expensive than a pay website, since the limitations and restrictions you face are costing you in sales. Larger Businesses wanting to exploit all sales channels should always opt for unlimited/high bandwidth.
It is important for web hosting companies to be able to adapt their web hosting policies to ensure that their servers and customers are protected against any new security threats that arise. There are many different factors that can affect how secure a web hosting service is and it is the job of web hosting companies to analyse their infrastructures to identify any holes that could be potential security risks.
It is the responsibility of the web developer to make sure that all applications that you develop are done to a high standard. Poor Coding could result in Hackers hijacking a web hosting account (If your site will be dealing with thousands of pounds a week make sure have experts doing the coding!)
Just how essential is it to have “reliable” web hosting? Every web service claims to be reliable, but some stress the promise more than others. Usually only pay services claim to have high uptimes. You may be wondering whether it’s worth investing in higher calibre web hosting services for this added reliability.
Think of it this way: The failure to provide a reliable website that is easy to access throughout the day and night could be the difference whether a potential customer keeps returning to your site or never thinks of your name again.
You might think this is a little melodramatic, but in these situations you have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
Online shoppers are impulsive and demanding and if you’re not there to completely accommodate them, they will find another merchant to do business with. Money is the motivation here and if you cannot sustain the interest of your visitors, you are well on your way to losing out.
Remember that your website could theoretically go down for any number of reasons. In addition to technical problems and severe weather, websites are often made inaccessible because of website modifications. Even if your customers are kind enough to give your business a second chance, frequent downtime will eventually affect your search engine rankings. If a search engine finds an “empty” site (which is actually just giving off an error message due to being offline) it will hardly consider it relevant to the keywords it is currently searching for.
Additionally, problems with loading speed can negatively impact the success of a marketing campaign. No user wants to have to wait for pictures of animation to load. Consider that many of these users pay the top end for high speed Internet access. The idea of a slow website may be insulting to them, and will quickly dissipate any initial interest. The less traffic you keep, the less sales potential you possess.
So is Web Hosting important?
Yes, Very, but remember the level of service is equal to the amount you spend; having someone design an eye-appealing, professional website is useless unless you have the right web hosting platform in place.