The competitive world of business has taken the online stage since the dawn of the digital age. It is no longer enough to have a strong physical presence for businesses to grow and expand. Having an online presence allows not only large, medium or small-scale businesses, but also individual start up businesses, to gain a wider audience and reach out to more potential customers than just solely relying on physical market presence. A good website is key to achieving good online presence, and to efficiently manage your website, you need a good web hosting provider (or simply a web host). Before proceeding with creating your business website, it is wise to know a few facts about web hosting.
1. Your Website Takes Up Space…It Needs to Be Stored
A good and efficient website features helpful links, vibrant images, user-friendly interface and a well-organized design. Doing so can take up a lot of data space (from MB to GB range). You need a reliable web host to store and maintain your website. Websites are hosted on servers – very powerful computers dedicated to one or two specific services. The servers in web host stores websites and access to the websites through the internet.
2. You’ll Be Needing A Domain Name and IP Address
A domain can be considered as a name for your website. An IP address can be considered as a unique designation that gives “coordinates” or directions to your site. Simply put, domains can be considered as business names or signboards, while IP addresses are the physical mailing addresses. Both of these are useful for starting a website and getting a web host. You’ll need a domain to be registered and recognized through a domain registrar. Also, you don’t have to buy and register your domain name at the same place where you got your hosting account.
3. There’s More Than One Type of Web Hosting
There are four general types of web hosting you can choose from, according to the needs of your website. There can be different types of web hosts available in your locality, and it’s best to get an idea of the best ones to choose from. Mangomatters’ detailed reviews of the best web hosts in Singapore, can give you an idea of the features you might find useful if you were based in Singapore. For a brief description of the types of web hosting, see below:
- Shared hosting – with this method, your website shares server space with other websites. This is ideal for beginners and entry-level websites because it is the most cost-effective method and doesn’t require much technical knowledge.
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting – this is the next level of shared hosting. In this option, one server is split into multiple virtual servers. The main server is shared with other websites, but each site is given its own virtual server. With fewer websites sharing the main server, page load times are faster with VPS hosting. It can be useful if a website is gaining more traffic that could not be handled by shared hosting. Small businesses and websites with images and videos could make use of this faster load time.
- Dedicated server hosting – this option reserves (dedicates) entire machines or server for your site. It is also among the most expensive types of hosting, but it guarantees that all server resources go to your site. With this type of hosting, you are able to configure the server exactly to your specific needs and you are given a secure, reliable and fast performance and load time. This is a good choice for larger or upgrading businesses that have increased site traffic and a large customer base to begin with.
- Cloud hosting – this method connects multiple machines together that share the resources powering your website. It works in almost the opposite way the VPS hosting works. This type uses several machines and uses them to create one or more virtual servers across them. The good thing about is less downtime and security from server crash – if one server should crash, your website can still function because of its setup. It is however very expensive, and is recommended for major websites. Known users of this type of hosting are Amazon, Facebook and Google.
4. Most Web Hosts Have Customer Support
Customer support is a very important factor that many web hosts offer, but website owners tend to overlook. In case of a website problem or emergency, it is great to have someone attend to your request for assistance and questions that need immediate response. It can also make website owners feel that the web host is available and there at your service. A 24/7 customer support is a recommended feature clients have to look for in a web hosting company.
5. Web Hosts Have Server and Site Backup
Backups are generally offered by web hosts, but some clients and website owners tend to overlook this. Backups are essential in cases of website loss, broken website or compromised (hacked) website. These can help you restore your website or account without having to start from scratch. Always check with the web host on what type of backup plan they provide. As an added measure, clients can also back up files and websites on their own.
There are many things you need to know about web hosting before you can decide which type and which provider suits your needs best. The first thing you will need to consider is the need of your business and the features of your website. It is always advisable to find a web host than can provide a fast loading time or uptime and with very minimal to zero downtime. Also customer service is key to having a good web hosting experience. Once you know the facts about web hosting, you can be confident in choosing the best one for your website.