Choosing a web host for your website is a big decision as it is an important foundation to ensure the success of your business. A website is a basic necessity that often serves as the primary storefront for your business. With the help of web hosting services, large and small businesses can project a professional public presence. Web hosting service can provide your business with a domain name and publish a credible, secure website that drives customers to your products and services.
There are many reputable web hosting services available globally but in this article the focus will be on local service providers. Most hosting service providers offer a similar basic set of web hosting services, while some specialize in less crowded, and potentially more lucrative, niche markets. Choosing the right web hosting service for your small business will require research and careful consideration.
What is a domain?
A domain is the end of your email address and website URL that links you to the rest of the world. Our domain is yeihub.co.za and our email address also use the same domain extension (like email@example.com).
Why Have a Domain?
Once you’ve registered your domain, you can also setup multiple email addresses at that domain, to create a professional first impression on your clients with a customised email address that can’t ever be taken away from you. Because you own the domain, it belongs to you and you can keep it for as long as you like (you have to renew it annually though).
Why do I need hosting?
In order to make use of your domain, you need hosting space to host your domain, for your website content and your email (or either one if you’re not interested in both).
know exactly what your business needs from the hosting provider
Most of the web hosting providers will work with you to provide the service and features you request, but only if you can express those needs in a coherent way. The features offered by each provider, as well as the cost of their services, changes over time, so it is important to do your own vetting before deciding which service works best for your business.
There are many criteria to consider when choosing a web hosting service:
The servers provided by web hosting services are generally classified into one of these 3 categories:
Shared Hosting: Probably the most common option for small businesses with minimal levels of traffic, shared hosting means that more than one website is stored on a single server or a single piece of hardware. Shared servers are often the least expensive option, which makes them appealing to startups and other small entrepreneurial businesses.
Dedicated Hosting: When a single server plays host to a single website, it is called a dedicated server. This configuration allows the computer power of that server to be concentrated on just the website it is hosting. The dedicated server is usually more expensive than a shared server but that extra cost can be worth it to businesses where website performance is paramount to success.
Cloud hosting (VPS): Similar to the shared server, virtual private servers (VPS) allows many websites to be hosted by one cloud-based server system. A VPS is essentially the cloud-based version of a shared server; however, because of the scalability, flexibility, and redundancy of cloud computing, the VPS can offer more features. A VPS is often a good choice for businesses with computational and feature requirements that fluctuate over time.
Most web hosting services will offer their basic services at a reasonable price. Based on your business requirements and budget, you will need to consider a hosting package that meet your budget and that caters for at least 85% of your hosting requirements.
Performance capability of a web host is a crucial consideration for the decision-making process. You will also need to consider what type of server you want to use for your website: Shared, dedicated, or cloud-based. Your choice will determine what performance you can expect from your web host.
Web hosting services will offer various levels of storage depending on your needs. A small business with only a landing page has much different storage needs than a business with hundreds of pages of content. Once again, making the correct decision on storage will depend on your business needs.
It is important to consider what email capacity you need for your business. If you are a one-person operation you might need to consider hiring a web hosting service that provides 25 email accounts as a start . On the other hand, if you have 50 employees, you will need to find a web hosting service that offers much more capacity(i.e. a minimum of 75 email accounts).
Choose a web hosting services that offer a set of building tools that make developing a professional-looking website for your small business easy. An example of a website building tool is WordPress.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is used to keep your internet connection safe and secure. With an active SSL certificate in place, all traffic between your Web site and your customer’s browser is secure. Most hosting providers offer a free SSL certificate which has limitation compared to the paid version. Enquire about the different types of SSL certificates available to you to identify the best suitable certificate for your business.
Backups are essential for a website. Even with all the security measures in the world, your website will face some kind of crash, failure, virus, or hack that will take your website down. A good web host provider should be able to restore your full site with very minimal downtime to avoid any significant losses.
How effective and speedy is the company in providing support for technical problems? Try to choose a host that offers live support to their clients, 24/7.There will be times when you’re faced with a server issue that you just can’t solve by yourself. This where a good customer support team will be essential.
When choosing a hosting company, take your time and weigh all the options. Below are some of the hosting companies available in South Africa that you can use and compare their offerings:
Read More: 5 Best Free Website Builders
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