What is web hosting, why is it important and how to choose the right one?
In an era where we all primarily inform ourselves online and make extensive use of web browsers like Google (keep in mind that Google generates over 63,000 queries per second), companies need to take care of online visibility and reputation, as well as have a solution that works properly. responded to the challenges of the peak period.
In that sense, a website is an important point of contact that potential customers or clients have with a brand.
The business website speaks on behalf of the company (24/7), and must necessarily contain all the key information that is arranged in an optimal way, to be perfectly designed and tailored to the target consumer group. What is often overlooked when it comes to quality and thoughtful online presence of companies is the technical side, ie. quality web hosting.
Web hosting is a complex topic and is certainly less interesting than choosing the visual identity of the site, but it is extremely important; here’s why.
What is web hosting and why is it important?
Web hosting is crucial for the proper functioning and availability of sites. The importance of web hosting is even more pronounced when it comes to e-commerce sites, where all business and transactions are done online, and any downtime can result in financial losses and a negative customer experience. But what exactly is web hosting?
When you create your website, you are actually creating a bunch of different files. In order for these files to be available on the Internet, there needs to be a place to store them. This is exactly the service offered by web hosting providers: on the servers they maintain and monitor, web hosting providers store websites and make sure they are available online.
Web hosting providers have a number of servers in their possession that are located in highly equipped data centers for secure storage. In addition to servers, the web hosting provider also takes care of all network equipment, security measures, backup power supplies, etc. As a rule, their services are available 24/7, so that the website is available online at any time of the day or night.
With a contract that defines the service and responsibilities of the provider (SLA agreement), the web hosting provider takes care of the servers, takes care of the software and hardware equipment, reacts to any irregularities, solves problems and acts proactively.
This means that the client who chooses to host the website with a provider (so-called managed hosting service) – is completely relieved and does not have to worry about the availability and functionality of his site.
What are the possible consequences of a poor choice of web hosting provider?
As in any industry, in the web hosting world there are differences in the quality of services and responsibilities that the provider assumes. Although most people do not pay much attention to the choice of web hosting, an unreliable provider or a bad solution can do a lot of damage to the company.
Cash losses due to unavailability of the site (especially in the case of e-commerce sites)
Damaged reputation of the company’s brand (eg due to poor page loading speed, frequent unavailability of the site and overall bad experience that visitors have due to technical dysfunctions)
The most common consequences of a poor choice of web hosting provider are:
- Negative impact on SEO (if the site is often unavailable or loads too slowly, web browsers will see this as a bad experience for users, which will negatively affect the visibility of the site on the results page)
- Vulnerability of the site in terms of security (a good provider as part of its services offers effective website protection and a quality backup system in case the site is attacked by hackers)
Choosing the right web hosting provider: what to look for?
Do not hesitate to ask questions if you do not understand the terminology, payment system or what exactly are the responsibilities of the hosting provider.
When choosing a web hosting provider, you should pay attention to a few things to make sure that you really get value for your money, as well as the solution you need:
- High website availability with guaranteed uptime (most web hosting providers have a 99.9% uptime guarantee)
- The size of the storage system and bandwidth (check how much storage is available to you within the web hosting package, especially if your site is multimedia and requires more space; bandwidth refers to the amount of visits that your site can “push” without problems or slowdowns, so make sure you take a package with unlimited bandwidth)
- Customer support (since the web hosting provider takes care of the availability of your site, it is important to know, in black and white, that customer support is available 24/7)
- Prices of services (seek full transparency regarding what you pay and what you get for your money to avoid the possibility of subsequent or hidden costs)
- Check if there is a possibility of scaling (ie if there is a possibility to switch to a larger package in case of website growth)
As you can conclude, choosing a web hosting provider is not a decision that should be made lightly, since the security and functionality of your website depends on the quality of this service.