Does your business have an online presence? In today's day and age, every business needs one. Your website can be one of your business's most important assets.
Today, most of your customers are online. Businesses are getting the large majority of their traffic from Google searches and social media ads.
All of this traffic gets driven to a business's website. This is why having an effective website for your business is so important. But, to build a great business website, you'll need to learn how to find a website host as well.
The platform you choose to host your website on is going to play a huge part in how effective it is. Your hosting will affect everything from how easy it is to use your site to how easy it is for people to find you online.
Smart business owners don't leave something as important as website hosting for their business to chance.
Consider this article your guide for finding the perfect website host for your business. We'll talk about what makes a hosting platform great and what you need to look for in your hosting provider. There are a lot of options to choose from and we're here to help you pick the best one.
Let's get started!
What Is Web Hosting?
We understand that business owners are required to wear a lot of hats. You're in charge of sales, marketing, accounting, and IT all at the same time. As a result, you may be starting from "square 1" when it comes to your business website.
There are two main components to your business website: your hosting and your domain. Your domain is the address everyone types in to visit your website. An example would be "www.google.com".
Your hosting platform is the service that allows that domain, and your website, to exist out on the internet for everyone to access. They do this by providing servers for your website data. These servers can either be cloud-based or physical servers at the company's facility.
Why Do I Need Web Hosting?
You might be wondering why you need a web hosting platform. Well, the most obvious reason is that your website won't work without it. But, if that were the only reason, any old hosting platform would be good enough for your site.
That's not the case. You need to find a web hosting platform that's good at its job. This is because a hosting platform does much more for you than just placing your website on the world wide web.
One of the important aspects of your hosting platform is speed. Choosing the right, or wrong, hosting platform can greatly affect your website's loading speed. This is more than just a minor inconvenience.
Think about your own browsing experience. When you go to the web for answers, don't you want them quickly? Of course, you do.
You're no different than anybody else. More importantly, you're no different from your customers. They want answers just as quickly as you do when they search the web.
Google knows this. That's why they put a huge emphasis on user experience in their search algorithm. Things like how long it takes for your website pages to load can greatly affect your ranking in Google Search.
If people go to visit your site for answers, and it takes forever to load, Google starts to take notice. You'll start to get a lot of "bounces" from your page. Bounces are people that visit your site for a few seconds and then leave.
If Google starts to see high bounce rates on your site, their algorithm will have no choice but to think that people aren't finding your site helpful. As a result, Google will push you further down its search rankings.
This makes it harder for Google users to find your business. The result is that you end up losing sales and revenue. No one wants that.
How To Find A Website Host
Hopefully, now, we've convinced you of the importance of finding a good website host. That means it's time to get into the steps of how to find a website host. There are a lot of options available, so it pays to take a little time and effort in finding the one that's best for your business.
You'll want to consider some of the additional services that your hosting provider will offer. They should help you with other web services like firewall protection, technical support, and email services.
It's important that you factor in more than just price, as well. Providers all come in at different price points. You don't want to spend $200 when you only need a $20 provider.
You also don't want to only spend $20 when you need all the services of the $200 provider, as well. Here are some questions to ask yourself to make sure you end up selecting the right provider for your business.
What's My Website's Purpose?
You'll want to examine the purpose of the website you're building. You'll also want to take a step back and think about the type of website you're building. Websites for blogs, e-commerce stores, and digital marketing agencies all have different technical requirements.
Websites hosted on different CMS platforms also have different technical requirements. Your CMS is your content management system.
You've seen these in the marketplace. You just may not be familiar with the official name. Examples would be WordPress and Wix. Your website can also be built on a static HTML platform.
Each of these has its own requirements when it comes to server space, coding languages, and databases. That's why it's important to consider how your website is going to be built before selecting your hosting platform.
What your website is going to be used for will also impact these hosting requirements. If you're hosting a blog for recipes, for example, you may need less server space and site speed than some other sites. This is because most of your website will be made of static pages.
There are no fancy features or multimedia that need to be displayed. Now, if you choose to incorporate video or start to run ads, you may want to consider changing your hosting.
How Much Traffic Do I Expect?
This is a big one. Traffic is one of the most important aspects of your website and your business. Like we mentioned earlier, we're reaching a point in society where your website is your business.
Think of site traffic the same way you would think of foot traffic in a store. You'll want to make sure your site can handle a decent amount of traffic. Not every website or business needs millions of visitors to be successful, though.
It's important to figure out what your business model is and what amount of traffic that requires. Think of it this way: Walmart couldn't fit their store into a small, boutique shop. And you won't be able to fit lots of traffic onto a hosting platform that has a traffic quota.
Start with the end in mind and consider the amount of traffic you need before you get started.
What Is My Budget?
Much like any other business expense, it's important to consider your budget when you're looking at hosting platforms. Take inventory of all of your other business expenses and come up with a ballpark figure of what you can afford to spend on hosting.
There are hosting providers out there to fit every budget. You'll still be able to get the barebones services you need. Even if you don't have a lot of money to spend.
Your hosting platform may not have all the bells and whistles. But, it will be able to do enough to get the job done.
One feature you'll want to pay attention to is SSL. You may have to pay a little bit extra to get this feature included but it's worth it. Think of SSL as your hosting platform's security.
Google puts a premium on website security. Their goal is to provide the best search engine experience to their users. As a result, they want their search results to bring people to secure websites.
If you don't have SSL installed on your site, Google will give users a big, red security warning when they visit your page. This could significantly hurt your business. It'll hurt your traffic, your sales conversions, and your search engine results.
If your hosting platform offers it, spring for the SSL. You won't regret it!
How Tech-Savvy Am I?
When you're searching for website hosting services, you'll want to assess your level of tech-savvy. Be honest with yourself. You don't want to get in over your head managing a hosting platform that's beyond a level you're comfortable with.
If you don't have any experience managing servers or doing other website management tasks, you may want to leave it to the professionals. If this describes you, you may want to consider a fully-managed CMS service like WordPress or E-sited.
The Host With the Most
There you have it! The key things you need to know about how to find a website host.
Your hosting platform can be one of the most important business decisions you make. We hope you use these questions wisely to find the business solution that's right for you.
If you have any questions, contact E-sited today. We're here to put our expertise to work for you.