So you’ve always heard the web jargon “website hosting” or “web server” but not too sure how it works and how it can support your online business. No worries. Good that you are here now.
I will help you to understand some basic yet essential information about web hosting & why it’s important for a website. Also, you will learn about some pre-requisites that an ideal web hosting company must have. At the end of this article, I will also list some of the recommended reliable web hosting companies.
Let’s get on it!
What is a web server?
In a technical language, web servers are computers that respond to a browser’s request for a web page and deliver it to the user’s browser through the internet. It is like a hard drive that stores your website files and images.
In other words, a web server is a machine that stores all the files & folders of your website and renders them upon the request of any user through their browsers.
Why do you need web hosting services?
You could buy a web hosting server and set it up yourself at your premises to launch your website however the costs involved in buying & maintaining a hosting server are too high. Therefore, it’s always a good idea for small & medium size companies to subscribe to web hosting companies by paying them a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
When you subscribe to any web hosting company, they provide you with a shared space on their server which you can use to upload your web files and launch your website.
How do downtime and slow-loading websites affect business?
Downtime is the period during which the users are not able to access a website. It could be for a few seconds, minutes, or even a few hours. Best web hosting companies always ensure 99.9% uptime (which means 0.01% downtime). The less downtime of any website, the better for it.
Let’s face it. Nobody has ample time to wait for a website to get downloaded. The users expect websites to load within a couple of seconds. Several studies have also shown that users tend to quit those websites that take more than 6 seconds to load. The loading time of a website is, up to a certain level, dependent on the server quality.
What should you check in a web hosting company?
Before you subscribe to a web hosting package, make sure that you have checked with them about:
- Uptime: Check with the hosting companies about their guaranteed uptime before you host your website there. If your website is down most of the time, your customers may lose their trust in your business.
- Server details: Check out the server configuration and specifications with the hosting company before you finally subscribe to their package.
- Storage: Make sure that your hosting plan has sufficient storage for your website and emails.
- Live chat support: Most web hosting companies offer 24/7 live support. Before you subscribe to any web hosting plan and host your website there, ensure about their live chat assistance.
- Costs: You do not have to pay a few hundred dollars for a reliable web hosting package. You can find many reliable hosting companies that offer affordable hosting plans to their customers.
- Scalability: Check out with the hosting company and make sure that their plans are scalable so that they can upgrade your plan with your growing business needs.