While you may be aware as to how crucial a website is to an online business, do you really understand how it is projected to the world via the Internet? This is where the concept of web hosting comes in – it is a type of service that enables website owners to use the Internet effectively to showcase their online portals to the world.
Just like a host in the real world, a web host provides space to entities in the virtual world. For their part, entities utilize this space to launch their websites through a modem or a network so as to ensure that they can be viewed in any part of the world. Courtesy of the global acceptance and connectivity that the Internet enjoys, it is imperative for every aspiring entrepreneur to be familiar with the various aspects pertaining to web hosting.
Why Do You Need A Web Hosting Service?
Gone are the days when marketing meant knocking on people’s doors to sell products or putting up hoardings in populated areas to ensure maximum exposure. Seamless connectivity provided by the Internet implies that the entire world could be your playground provided you are able to project your business to the global audience. And what could be a better way of achieving this than by opting for a web hosting service?
Unlike the popular impression, web hosting is not as complicated or lengthy. It simply entails buying sufficient server space from a service provider so that your website can be effectively hosted without any compromise on its functionality or features. For your online venture to succeed, exposure on a global scale is a must and this is what web hosting provides. Hence, it is the make-or-break factor as far as your business is concerned.
Selecting a Web Hosting Provider – Essential Tips
Assuming you have created a website that showcases your products and services, the next step entails identifying a service provider that would provide the requisite space for hosting it. That being said, on one hand, there is no dearth of web hosting service providers and on the other hand, not all of them are born equal.
In such a situation, how do you identify one that is most suitable for your requirements? Discussed as follows are some criteria which you can bear in mind while searching for a suitable web hosting service provider:
Background – A good way of making a start would be to check the number of years that the service provider has been in operation. In case it is a new face in the niche, then you must ensure that it has managed to survive for at least one year if not more. Next, you must check the reviews and testimonials that the service provider might have earned from his previous clients.
Online forums and blog posts can also serve as valuable sources of information as regards the performance and reputation of a particular service provider in the web hosting niche.
Knowledge – Is the service provider knowledgeable enough to find viable solutions for your website? More importantly, the firm should be equipped with sufficient knowledge to provide timely solutions so as not to cost you any potential customers.
Customer support – Your chosen web hosting service provider should provide round-the-clock support and if possible, should also have a ‘live chat’ option. Websites are prone to crash without prior warning and at that moment your service provider should be around to save the day. Mannerisms and interactive skills are some of the other points that you should take note of when you place a call to the support desk.
Uptime – To be on the safe side, you must opt for a service provider that mentions the server uptime and preferably, the figure should be around 99%. This is indicative of the fact that the server is capable of handling high traffic on a consistent basis.
Web Hosting Jargon
Every field has its technical jargon and web hosting is no exception to this rule. Terms that you would come across related to this concept are –
Load balancing – This refers to the technique used by service providers to distribute the load over multiple servers so as to minimize the risk of crashing.
Scalability – A scalable web hosting solution is one that is capable of accommodating the growing needs of a website without causing any functional issues. Commercial websites are bound to grow over the years and this can be easily facilitated if the service provider offers the option of scalability.
Bandwidth – Rate of transfer of data from the website to the users within a specific time-frame is referred to as bandwidth. As a website owner, you should be aware of the bandwidth requirement of your website for smooth and fast uploading.
Even before you begin exploring the web hosting market, you must first determine your requirements as to whether you require a basic package or one that is all-inclusive. Next, you need to ascertain your budget for acquiring web hosting. Having formed an idea as to what you are looking for and the amount that you can spend, finding a web hosting service provider would not seem as overwhelming a task.