When you start up your very first at-home business, one of the most crucial things to get right is your website. If you’re not focusing on improving your website, then you’re going to have a tough time drawing in customers and the first impression you create will be very unprofessional and messy. You should always invest in great web design as it’s essentially a representation of your store or business. Imagine if you established a retail store, only for it to be a bare building with 4 walls and no decorations or any practical features. Nobody would come to your store and you’d quickly find yourself with a failing business.
As such, it’s a good idea to focus on your website as an important component of your future success. However, just having a good website design isn’t enough. In fact, it’s arguably one of the easier things to achieve because you can simply hire a freelancer or a website designer to help you. What you should think about instead is the foundation of a good website–the server itself. After all, the most functional and well-built website won’t help your business if people can’t access it.
That’s why we’ve dedicated this entire post to help you find the right website host for your needs. We understand that this can be a fairly technical subject that is difficult to understand, hence why we’re going to break it down into easy-to-digest points that will help you choose the right host for your needs.
What exactly is a web host?
To start, let’s give a brief explanation of what a web host does.
Web hosting is the technical side of a website. Every website is hosted on some kind of computer or server. It’s made up of images, texts and other files that are no different from the files that are stored on your computer. As such, the computer it’s hosted on must be reliable and secure.
Thankfully, you don’t need a physical computer yourself to host a website. You can rely on website hosts that utilize cloud hosting services and virtualization which allows you to take command of a portion of their server’s resources. This allows you to host a website using their equipment for a very affordable price.
You need a web host if you want to have a website. Even the free websites offered by companies such as WordPress are hosted on some kind of web host. However, those are usually very underpowered and are just enough to run a website with a few images and a bit of text. If you want to store videos and incorporate custom features, you’re going to need a reliable web host.
What to look for in a web host
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most important things to consider when choosing your first web host.
- A solid reputation. Reputation makes a huge difference in the world of website hosts as it determines the type of hardware they use and how often it stays up.
- High uptime. Uptime refers to how often the website is up and available. This should be at least 99.9% and you can often verify this with outside sources or reviews.
- Variety of plans that can be upgraded. There are many different plans available for website hosts. It’s a good idea to start with a fairly cheap one and only upgrade whenever you need to. Make sure the prices are within your range and that upgrading is possible.
- Excellent customer service. You’re going to need technical help eventually, so signing up to a brand with great customer service is always a good idea.
- Resources to help you get started. Be it free images, an easy website designer or even bespoke design services, there are lots of resources that can help you get started after you’ve subscribed.
- Domain name management. Domain names are the names that you enter after the www. Portion of a website address. Domain names can be handled separately, but it’s often more convenient to rely on your website host to do this for you as part of the whole package.
- Strong security features. Keeping your website protected is difficult, but if the web host handles most of this for you, then it’s less stress on your part.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of what a website host is, what they do, and how you can choose the right one for your needs.