Getting the design right for your website is essential for aesthetics and user experience, but what goes on behind the scenes is just as important if you want your site to be a success.
Putting together a website is child’s play these days. Content management systems such as Joomla, WordPress and Drupal make things simple by removing the vast majority of the coding donkeywork from the process, leaving you to concentrate on the design aspect.
However, many web designers neglect the importance of good hosting and often see the cheapest option as the best, which can lead to disastrous results.
Know your hosting
In order to sidestep these pitfalls, it is important to have some sort of handle on what the business of hosting is all about. Simply looking for the lowest pound or dollar deal isn’t going to get you very far. Therefore we’ve broken down the three main options that are available and given you a brief rundown of each. Let’s get started:
Shared hosting is the cheapest option you will be offered by any hosting company. The reason for this is simple – they can bunch a load of clients together on one webserver and pretty much forget about it. Naturally, this can lead to problems, especially when your site begins to grow.
Sudden spikes in traffic can see your website performance slow and page load times will increase. In extreme cases, you may even find that your site goes down altogether, although this is becoming more infrequent these days.
Shared hosting is ideal for personal blogs or pictures of your cat, but for business you really should opt for something with a little more oomph.
Dedicated hosting is a different beast altogether. As the name suggests, you get a whole shiny webserver dedicated just to your website. Sounds great, and it is, but it does come at a price – and that price is generally huge.
Dedicated hosting will give you a lot more control over things such as the operating system used and any additional hardware needed. However, the price is usually enough for small to medium sized businesses to shy away from it and leave it to the big boys. To be honest, dedicated hosting would probably be overkill for many SMEs anyway, so what should they opt for?
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a hybrid of the two aforementioned options, and the perfect solution for most SMEs. A VPS host allows your business to grow while keeping your costs low. Unlike dedicated hosting, VPS puts a number of different businesses together on one webserver, but not too many, as is often the case with shared hosting.
VPS evenly splits the server between users, giving each a designated amount of space to work with. This means that you will be aware of the limitations of your site and be able to take action on increasing things such as bandwidth before any problems arise. As the server is essentially shared, costs are kept to a minimum.
Choosing the right hosting package can make or break your business so it’s vital to get it right first time. Make the wrong decision and you could be heading for online oblivion.
Featured image credit: ShutterStock