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Developing a web presence is not just about creating a website. In fact, building a website is just the first step. Another key element in any web deployment plan is web hosting. Unfortunately, this very important topic does not often get the attention it deserves.
A website is a combination of files, text, pictures and videos, all of which need to be stored somewhere. People also need to be able to access these files from anywhere in the world. Web hosting is the service that addresses these challenges. Web hosts provide server space for their clients to store their web page content. In addition, they provide a high speed connection between their servers to the larger internet so that viewers may access and review the hosted websites quickly.
Evaluating Your Web Hosting Needs
The perfect web hosting solution is customized to the needs of every website. Therefore, you need to consider what sort of demands are going to be placed on your website now and in the future. Here are two things to consider:
- How many people are going to be viewing your site daily? Investing too much in web hosting can keep your website from being profitable, but investing too little means poor website performance and too few people can see your site.
- How unique is your website? If you are just doing something simple, such as hosting a blog, odds are the services you will need will be minimal. But if you are hosting a site that uses multiple coding languages and has numerous functions, you might need more services.
What to Look for in a Web Host
Once you have an idea of what your needs are, the next step is to shop for a web hosting service. Here are the three most important traits to consider when picking a host.
- Support: When something goes wrong with your site, you want it fixed immediately and cheaply. Things don’t always go wrong during business hours. Look for a service that provides free, 24/7 support as a part of their offering.
- Uptime Guarantee: When the servers are up, people can see your site; when the servers are down, they can’t. Look for a host that has redundant servers and a good reputation for uptime. The goal is to find a provider that can guarantee 99 percent uptime.
- Scalability: Right now you might not have a lot of viewers, but hopefully that will change in time. Look for a host that will allow you to upgrade your service as you increase your viewer base. This will ensure that your expenses are tied to how much your site is viewed.