It should come as no surprise that every company needs a website these days. In the digital age, having a website is just as important to a business as having a brick and mortar location was 100 years ago. However, before your business can ever benefit from having an online address, you need your web hosting and servers squared away.
Imagine that when you went to build a home, you didn’t actually buy the ground it was built on. Instead, you just rented it from the owner. While you could build just about any kind of house you wanted on the land, some rules applied in terms of how many people you could have over at one time and, because the owner also helped with utilities, how much energy you used at once. This essentially explains the relationship between a webhost and people who own websites.
When you want to build a website, you need someone who can give it a space on the Internet. This means a server/computer that will run 24/7 and host the site. Depending on the type of web hosting you pay for, though, some rules may apply about the number of unique visitors who can log on at once and how many resources you consume. To put it simply, you can’t hope to pay blog prices if you want to build a site like YouTube.
While a simple computer could probably host most sites, the majority of people don’t want to keep their computer on 24/7. They also don’t want to have to worry about something like a blackout shutting down their computer and taking their site offline.
With most web hosting companies, servers are designed to stay on no matter what. They’re kept in climate controlled areas; the rooms they’re in are fire and even earthquake proof. Most companies also actually have several servers throughout the world so if the unforeseen were to happen in one place, servers elsewhere would pick up the slack.
If your company wants a website—and it does—then it also wants web hosting and servers. Again, there really isn’t going to be a website without someone to host it and servers to house it.
That being said, you may have the resources to handle hosting and servers on your own. This isn’t ideal for most companies, but larger ones may have the resources for this and could reap a lot of benefits for doing so.
However, even if you don’t want to house your own servers (and there are a number of risks involved with doing this), having a dedicated server may make a lot of sense. It will also cost more, but it means you get your own machine for your company’s needs. At no time do you have to worry about another company you’re sharing your server with taking up resources and becoming your problem.
There have never been so many web hosting companies available as there are today. As such, unless you plan on handling hosting on your own, you’ll want to be careful about the type you choose.
Few things are as important in a web host as customer support. Imagine the worst case scenario: you realize that your website has gone down. Each minute it’s not working, you know customers are leaving your site and heading to competitors’. This is not the time for a recorded message when you call a number.
Look for hosting companies that guarantee an “uptime” of at least 99% and the customer support issue shouldn’t come up as often. Confirm they also use multiple server locations like we discussed earlier. Nonetheless, your research should still find that the hosting companies you’re considering have a strong reputation for customer support.
If you can’t access your server at will, you won’t be able to change your website when you’d like to either. You might bring on a new employee who needs their email featured, but can’t do anything about it because your own web host is getting in the way. Another issue that could arise if access is a problem is trying to get your email through the site, instead of just using Outlook. Without full access, you’re not in full control of your site.
Your company website may not include a blog at the moment, but there’s a pretty good chance it will in the near future. Make sure you pick a web host that supports WordPress, as this is by far the preferred platforms for blogs. In fact, many people actually use it for their entire site.
Web hosting and servers are an essential part of your online presence. Make sure you take the time to pick the right option or your entire business will suffer.
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