If you run a business then you probably already know that digital marketing is crucial to attracting new customers and promoting your products or services. You may have dabbled with email campaigns and maybe set up a Facebook page but now you know you really need a website for your business.
There has been a steady increase in the number of people doing their shopping online, with 51% of shopping now being done online. Even if people do not make the purchase online, they are going to do online research so having an online presence is a must for any business. So having a website that sells your services is becoming critical in any business’ marketing strategy.
If you are new to setting up websites then one of the biggest stumbling blocks that people come across is web hosting. It is a concept that many people haven’t really heard much about until they actually come to get a website up and running. Some services are set up so you probably wouldn’t even need to understand much about the role of a web host, for example a free WordPress or Wix (or similar) website will offer everything that you need to get online without a monthly fee or extended set of services from a web host.
However, these free sites are limited in a number of ways so are not always the right choice, particularly for a business website. For example, you are not able to use your own domain name, your website can have ads placed on it and you have no control over planned maintenance leaving your website offline. Furthermore, you get restrictions on the amount of storage and bandwidth you are allowed and you get no technical support from the host.
For these reasons, most businesses opt to go down the paid hosting route for a more professional website solution that is fully within their control. So for those who need to understand a bit more about the whole process of setting up a website, a web host is the key enabler in putting your website online so that people can find it and view it. In simplistic terms, a web host rents out server space to provide internet connectivity for websites and there are various types of hosting options available.
A popular option for smaller businesses is shared hosting, where a number of different websites share the same server space. For larger businesses that will expect high levels of traffic and need enhanced levels of security, a dedicated hosting solution is often selected. This costs significantly more – you can generally get a fairly good shared hosting package for under £5 per month, whilst dedicated hosting would cost upwards of £150 per month for a reasonable quality of host.
Another confusing aspect of deciding on a web hosting solution is the high number of hosts that are available. You will see from some of the reviews and rankings of web hosts that there absolutely loads of them. The hosts that generally always make the top ten rankings include Host Gator, Blue host, Go Daddy, 1&1, Fast hosts, Dream Host and In Motion.
The best way to select a host is to match it up to your own website plans, so if you are looking to use Word Press for example, select a host that enables easy Word Press set up and compatibility. If you are a total beginner and need a fair bit of support, look for a host that offers high rates of customer service. Most of these listed hosts are great options; you just need to find the right one for your business.