Hosting is just a server connected to the web, isn’t it? Yes, it is, but all hosting services are not equal.
You can pay peanuts for hosting and never have a problem, but when you do you’ll get major stress. Cheap and cheerful hosting companies are often unresponsive when you contact them. If the server goes down, they don’t have a plan B, they just have to fix it – and that can take time. That means your site is not accessible – and that can mean losing money.
It’s not just about ecommerce sales, but, if someone can’t access your website, that plants a seed in their mind about whether you’re a ‘real’ company. If they get a message telling the site doesn’t exist, the first thing that springs to mind isn’t ‘I wonder if their hosting server has gone down?’ It’s more likely to be ‘a website that can’t be accessed means a company that’s a bit dodgy’. Especially, if they try again later and discover it’s not a temporary blip.
Hosting directly affects people’s perception of your professionalism. It’s like handing over a business card that has ‘free from BumperBusinessCards’ on the back. It says you’re an amateur if you don’t get it right.
How do you choose a hosting company?
Most web designers and developers offer hosting packages. They may be a bit (but not much) more than the cheap as chips versions, but you can be sure no decent web company would choose a web hosting company that isn’t pretty good – their own reputation depends on it.
The other advantage is that, if anything goes wrong, you won’t have to go into battle to get it sorted. The company who manages your hosting will do that for you, which means you can get on with your business while someone who understands the technical language can get things back on track quickly.
Decent web hosting – that you will pay a little more for – have back up servers or Cloud locations so that if one doesn’t work everything seamlessly operates from one that is working.
Someone who talks the techie language will know about security, backup systems and all the things that are the essentials of a good web hosting service – and that gives you the peace of mind you need. Cheap is not always the best value.
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