Many businesses spend time, money and resources working with a web design agency to create the perfect website. Attractive, easy to navigate and secure – it’s a job well done. But what if the design agency were to offer you their services for $10? Would you think you’re getting a good deal? After all, you get what you pay for, right?
So why, then, do so many businesses jump at the chance for cheap website hosting?
We’re not saying that web hosting needs to cost a fortune, but it is a massive part of web maintenance and not an area you want to be cutting corners in.
Bad-quality website hosting can have an enormous impact on your business and affect the way customers view your company and your potential revenue.
At Elevate Websites, we have a lot of experience in corporate website design and maintenance and the important role hosting plays in this.
There are many things to think about when deciding which type of hosting and provider would work best for your business and why choosing the right one is so important.
Here’s what you need to know…
What Exactly Is Website Hosting?
Every website you’ve ever been on has web hosting. This is where a hosting provider designates space on a server to store all the files of a specific website. Website hosting allows all these files (such as images, videos and code) to be viewed online.
So it’s fair to say – it’s pretty important 🙂
Web host providers offer several different hosting plans to cater for different needs. For example, a small blog about dogs won’t take up the same space as a large e-commerce store. You pay for the services you need based on the type of website you have, how you expect to use it and how many visitors you expect to have.
Nowadays, many companies generate their income online or through some form of online presence. For these companies, paying for a premium hosting provider makes much more sense than someone selling goods at a market who has a basic, informative website. It’s important to have secure web hosting to reduce the risk of downtime and improve user experience when they land on your site.
Of course, many businesses like to save money where possible. But going for the cheapest web hosting can be a costly mistake to make, and you’ll find out why shortly.
What Are The Different Types of Web Hosting?
There are several different options when it comes to website hosting. By working with an experienced website maintenance agency, they’ll be able to advise you on which would work best for you and your business.
Here are some of the different types of hosting available.
Shared hosting is a cost-effecting and more basic type of web hosting. Different websites share the resources of a single server which, naturally, drives down the cost of hosting.
For many businesses just starting out, shared hosting can work well as it’s unlikely you’ll need an entire server to yourself.
Depending on the hosting plan, the resources will be split between you and the other websites on that server.
When it comes to shared hosting, there are several factors out of your control. If another website on your server has a traffic spike, this could have a knock-on effect on how quickly your site loads and other factors affecting your business.
Likewise, if your website grows quickly, you might find you outgrow your allocated server space. You may need to change servers – which can get a little complicated.
So, is shared hosting a bad idea?
We’re not saying you should avoid shared hosting. But you should go with a reliable website design and maintenance agency who chooses quality hosting services that are less likely to be shared with spammy or unregulated sites. Your agency should be honest and transparent about what your package will get you.
Also, it’s a good idea to check out the finer details when looking at cheaper plans. If you’re paying $5 per month for shared hosting, you’ll likely be crammed on a server with many other websites and this will affect your website’s performance. If you’re paying more, you’ll not only be getting more processing power (this usually means your site will load faster) but you should be getting a better service with more space and you’ll be sharing with reliable websites.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) is similar to shared hosting except for the number of websites you share the server with is a lot lower. The main server is divided up into ‘virtual’ servers which can be customised by the websites using them.
It’s common for companies to change from a shared hosting provider to a VPS as they grow and need more resources. This is also a good option for medium-sized companies that can’t afford a dedicated server (all to themselves) but need more from a server than shared hosting can offer.
At Elevate Websites, we offer WordPress website maintenance packages which include WordPress hosting. This means that the hosting is optimised for WordPress as your content management system (CMS).
Most providers offer both shared and managed WordPress hosting. ‘Shared’ works similarly to regular shared hosting, and ‘managed’ has a couple of extra benefits such as security (which is important for all websites)!
Of course, this option is only available if you have a WordPress website but it’s a great option for those that do.
There are several different cloud hosting options available. A cloud computing provider has multiple virtual and physical cloud servers which host the website. If there’s a problem with one cloud server, the others can manage the responsibilities of that one, ensuring your website has higher uptime rates.
Scalability is also a major benefit of cloud hosting. With non-cloud hosting options, prices and resources can be a problem. When you, or a website you’re sharing with, experiences a surge in site traffic, it can affect the other websites too. Cloud hosting plans mean you can scale resources whenever you need them and it’s much easier to adjust them than with traditional hosting.
The best web hosting for you really depends on your business, budget, how quickly your company is growing and your CMS. At Elevate Websites, we offer both cloud and web hosting and would be happy to talk through your options with you.
What To Think About When Choosing Web Hosting
There are some essential things you need to consider when it comes to web hosting.
Consideration #1 – Security
This is the main reason why website maintenance is so important. Different hosting providers offer different levels of security. If your budget allows, you want to go for one that’s not likely to be hacked and that has the resources to get your website up and running again quickly if it is.
Consideration #2 – Availability/Reliability
If your website does get hacked, you want to be able to get in touch with live IT support 24/7. Every minute your website is down could be costing you customers and money.
Consideration #3 – Cost
As we said at the beginning, you get what you pay for. But some hosting providers are better value for money. Cloud hosting is a great option for many companies looking for quality but that don’t want to pay for more traditional hosting.
Consideration #4 – Scalability
When considering hosting it’s important to look ahead. Which isn’t always easy. If you expect your website to grow quickly you’ll need more resources in the future. Some hostings can accommodate this easily and with others, it’s more difficult.
Why Is Hosting Quality So Important?
We understand how tempting it can be to see a low-price web hosting service – but it’s really not going to be worth it. There are many issues your website will face if you go for a poor-quality hosting service. Here’s just a couple:
You’ll Be A Hacker’s Paradise
In all likelihood, if you go for a cheap server you’ll be squashed on there with many other websites. You may have a secure site, but you’re only as strong as the weakest one you’re sharing with.
Hacking can cause your website to be taken down and, if it hasn’t recently been backed up (which a cheap hosting provider is unlikely to do), you might lose it entirely.
A secure server and regular web maintenance are crucial.
Downtime Means You’re Missing Out on $
According to Gartner, the average cost to a company of downtime is US $5,600. Really. Whilst that might not exactly be the case for your business, not being online can have a big impact on your customers and your revenue.
You might have a good SEO strategy, be on top of your content management and be posting in all the right places. But if customers can’t access your website, they won’t be able to buy or transact with you.
The same goes for existing customers. If they specifically search for your website but can’t find it, they’ll buy the product or service from someone else who is online and more accessible.
Why Partner With Elevate Websites for your Website Hosting
Our team of highly skilled website maintenance professionals can recommend the best web hosting for your business.
As an agency that actually cares about your company, we not only ensure your website is hosted on quality high performance servers, but also that they’re secure. This means you know they’re just as secure as yours and that your website is protected.
We also carry out regular web maintenance, including backups, so you can be sure that your downtime will be minimal if your website should have a problem.
If you have questions about web hosting or what the best option for your business is, get in touch with the team at Elevate Websites. We’ll be happy to go through your options and host your website so that your online presence can be as strong as possible.
Calem Koek is a web designer and owner of leading Melbourne-based digital marketing agency Elevate Websites. He has been helping businesses in Melbourne and across Australia scale their business online through quality website design and world class SEO services.