Importance of hosting
Hosting is the bedrock of a website. Without it, you wouldn’t have a website that’s accessible on the internet. However, just having hosting isn’t sufficient. Having hosting that’s suitable for your website needs is critical. Every website is different in; functionality, traffic, site load, and all of these play a part into what hosting you would need.
The different types of hosting
- Shared hosting
Shared hosting is a service through which a provider will host a number of different websites on the same web server. Whilst each website will have its own individual domain, they will each be placed on a single server, which is often unsuitable for websites with a large amount of traffic.
- Dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting provides an individual hosting platform for a single domain. This is best suited for websites with a lot of traffic, as load times and reliability will be significantly improved over that of Shared Hosting.
- Cloud hosting
Cloud hosting platforms itself on a digital server made up of an extensive network of physical servers. Hosting your site on the Cloud can make for a significant amount of benefits. For starters, as the overall disk space will be spread across a number of physical underlying servers, you need not be worried if one of those servers goes offline, as your data will continue to run.
Have you outgrown your current hosting?
You may be on the wrong hosting plan without knowing it. But, how can you decipher if you are?
- Your site is slow
No one likes using a slow website, yet, as a business you may not realise that your website is slow for your customers. There are many testing tools out there to check the speed of your site and this is a good place to start. You will need to bear in mind a user’s internet connection speed as this will play a big part and there’s not a lot you can do if they’re still on a dial-up connection (do they still exist?)
- Your site is often offline or unresponsive
If your website is often down then that could be a sign you’re on the wrong hosting. Reasons for your site being down could be that you are regularly reaching your limits (size capacity and bandwidth). If you reach your limits then your site may become unresponsive. Ideally though, your provider should be talking to you if this is happening to put your site on a more appropriate hosting plan. Another reason could be your provider not managing the hosting environment and servers very well. Yes, there on occasions may be some downtime for maintenance, but if it’s regular, contact your hosting provider and find out why this keeps happening?
- You’ve been on the same hosting plan since your site went live
Websites grow over time as new functionality is added or your business grows and your site has more traffic. This is a great problem to have but if your hosting is the same as when you first setup your site then you could be experiencing a slow site or sometimes a site that is offline. Your hosting should grow at the same rate that your website does otherwise you could find your website grinding to a halt pretty quickly.
- Your provider can’t be reached via the telephone
Many hosting providers treat you as a commodity. They want to provide you with the bare minimum hosting that you need and not consider that they also need to provide a service. This usually isn’t a problem until your hosting is no longer working as it should be and then it becomes a serious problem. Many hosting providers make it difficult to talk with them on the phone, or they may even be international (e.g. based in the US or Asia) and this can make it very difficult if you’re based in the UK. If you take your website seriously then you need your hosting to be taken seriously as well and we find that most businesses are looking for a service, rather than just the cheapest hosting plan they can get away with.