What is a provider?
Getting a website online can be a complex process, and much of the work, functionality, and final design hinge on the type of web hosting you choose, and the technology (servers) used by the hosting provider.
Technically, you don’t need a hosting provider to host a website. Any computer can act as a web server. But, setting up a server is complicated, and there’s a lot to account for. That’s why most businesses work with web hosting providers, who use dedicated machines capable of offering the best performance and highest security.
At a glance, many hosting provider may seem to offer similar service with slight variations in price. But look closer, and you’ll see significant differences. Not all hosting providers offer the same levels of service, storage, features, stability, protection, and scalability.
What to look for
Each of those can have a significant impact on business. For example:
- A 1-second delay in page load time causes a 7% reduction in conversions
- A 4-second delay in page load time results in a loss of 10% or more of site traffic
- 86% of websites have at least one serious security vulnerability
- Migrating to another host can cost thousands of dollars and take weeks, even months, of planning
Choosing the right web host is critical in protecting the scalability and revenue of your business. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make a confident, informed decisions when choosing the web host to use for your next website.
Before you can select a web hosting company, you need to identify what your hosting needs are and the goals of your business in the coming months/years. Consider long-term goals, because while you may not have a high-traffic website as a startup, a significant level of growth could force you into a costly migration to maintain service levels.
Questions, questions, questions
To determine your hosting needs and the type of servers, services, and site architecture you’ll require, ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of website are you building – will it be primarily a source of company information or will it require more interactive elements?
- Which functionality will your site include – will you have a customer database, and will there be a transfer of private and secure information?
- What kind of traffic growth is expected – will it be a blog that sees steadily growing traffic over time, or an eCommerce site that can experience intense traffic spikes?
- Will you need to host multiple websites at multiple subdomains for your site?
- Do you plan to scale up and add new functionality as the business grows?
Take the time to answer these questions while making note of your technical and growth requirements for the future. That makes it far easier to determine the features you need and the ideals hosting plans for your site.