When it comes to finding the right web host and hosting package, there’s a mind-boggling choice on offer. And while choice is always a good thing, the sheer number of options available can make it incredibly difficult to pick what’s right for you. The key to finding the right solution is making sure that the host and the package meet your requirements and, in this post, we’ll look at the things you’ll need to consider.
Putting security at the heart of your hosting
There are many sound reasons to make security central to your choice of hosting. Firstly, is the fact that most hacked businesses go under within six months due to the costs of downtime and getting the business back online. Even if you don’t go under, a data breach can have a huge impact on your company’s reputation and scare customers away. There are also massive fines for companies that suffer data breaches: British Airways has recently been fined £183 million. Whether you get hacked or not, a site not seen as secure by search engines will be labelled as such on browsers and will not perform as well as secure sites in search results.
While not all security issues are related to hosting, a good host can provide many of the resources you need to keep your site and your data safe. These include firewalls, intrusion prevention and detection, malware scanning, email scanning, transaction encryption (in the form of SSL certificates), strong password enforcement and the all-important remote backups which are needed to restore your site quickly if all your data is lost.
Having enough storage space
One of the key features of any web hosting package is that you will purchase storage space for the files you need to run your online enterprise. This can range from a few gigabytes on shared hosting, to potentially unlimited storage on cloud hosting plans. The amount of storage space you will need will depend upon several factors, such as the number and types of applications you want to run on your server and the amount of data your online operations will collect, process and store.
If you are simply running a small website, you won’t need much storage at all. However, if you want to run a large eCommerce site with thousands of products, tens of thousands of product images and store all the data on your customers (user logins, contact and delivery details, purchase histories, browsing histories, etc.), then you will need significantly more storage space.
There are plenty more applications you may also need space for, such as for downloading files or streaming media, online courses, forums and email.
Before making your choice, make sure you have enough space for all the applications, files and data that you will expect to use. And remember to give yourself enough growing space for the business as it develops over time.
Speed, performance and availability
While space is important to store all your files and data, you also want a hosting package that can deliver speed, performance and reliability. Speed is crucial for modern websites, as poor loading times cause customers to abandon the site and lead to lower search engine rankings.
If your site is dealing with lots of traffic, you also need the performance capacity to cope with all the requests it needs to process. If not, it can act sluggishly when visitors carry out product searches, add items to basket or go to checkouts, etc. If performance is very poor, these actions can even fail half-way through.
There are a number of factors that contribute to increased speed and performance, such as the type and number of CPU cores, port speed and the use of superior SSD hard drives.
Finally, you will want to consider availability – the amount of time your site is guaranteed to be online. Different hosting solutions provide different levels of availability. Shared hosting, for example, offers 99.95% uptime which is fine for most websites. However, if you are running critical applications from your server and you need these to be online 100% of the time, you will need to opt for cloud hosting or dedicated servers.
Live technical support whenever you need it
All webmasters run into technical problems from time to time. These can be issues caused by human error or a software conflict; or needing expert help when upgrading from shared hosting to VPS or when installing a new application. If you are unable to deal with these issues in-house, you will need technical assistance in order to swiftly put things right.
For this reason, any hosting provider you choose should offer 24/7, live technical support as an inclusive part of the package you select. Unlike standard customer support, technical support means there is always an expert available with the necessary skills and authorisation to fix or help you fix the problem. This live support should be accessible via a number of channels, such as live chat, telephone, ticket, etc.
In addition, there should be plenty of online support in the form of a knowledge base and a customer forum where helpful information on less urgent issues can be easily obtained.
In order to choose the right host and hosting solution, it is key that you understand everything your website needs to function effectively. This means ensuring you have enough disk space to store your files and data, that the package provides the capacity to load quickly, cope with high traffic and remain available, that your site has robust security and that you have live technical support on tap.
If you are considering hosting for your business, visit our homepage to discover the wide range of solutions and packages here at eUKhost.