Website hosting is essential for every website on the internet. It ensures that people can access your site, is a large factor in website performance and can be one of the biggest causes of heartache. Below are a few thing to consider when looking at your hosting services.

Performance

Contrary to belief, not every website host runs really fast. For example, the website host for a large bank is normally much larger and faster than a standard website hosting service. This is because the banking website needs to service thousands of people every minute, where as smaller business may only need to service 20 people a day.

Common factors affecting website performance are:
– Disk size and speed. Faster is better
– Network (I/O) speed. This is the rate at which data can be sent for website requests
– RAM size. Complex website, especially those with databases can require a lot of RAM

Reliability

Having website hosting that all day, every day is amazing, but not always possible. Different providers will have different amounts of time that the website hosting is running as expected. The industry term for this call “uptime”. Uptime is the amount of time that a website is expected to be available and working without issue. You will find that most website hosting providers will offer 98% uptime or higher which means that the server is available 98% of the time.

98% of the time might sound like a great deal, however, you should consider that that means that the website is expected to be unavailable 2 minutes out of every 100 minutes. Over the course of the year this can add up to over 7 days that your website is unavailable which if horrible if your business is based entirely online.

We suggest that you use a web host which offers 99.9% uptime. This means that you can expect that the website is only unavailable for 1 minute in every 1000 minutes. This is a much better deal as you can expect your website to be unavailable for only a few hours each year.

Backups

Let face it, everyone makes mistakes. On top of this, there are events which are out of your control including automatic updates which don’t go perfectly to plan and malicious acts. If something does go wrong, you would want to make sure that you can get back your website up and running as soon as you can. This is where a backup service is great.

Backups can range from an optional extra on your service, to storing years worth of backups. We suggest that you pick a provider with a months worth of backups, however, consider which backup solution is best for you.

Remember that backups are not a guarantee recovery of your data, but are another level of protection against data loss.

Support

Does your provider offer phone support if you’re having issues? This may sound like a simple thing but is actually starting to become harder to come by with some providers. Ensure that you can contact your provider at a time and in a method that suits you.

Cost

Expensive is not always best. You need to consider if what you’re paying for is what you need. For example, if your paying for extra backups, training sessions and after hours support, but you’re not using it, then you may be paying too much.

Check your options and different packages by each provider to ensure you’re picking one that suits you.

Lengths of service

Check the minimum length of service for each hosting provider. Having a contract free arrangement may work if you want to test out the hosting and see if it’s the right solution for you.

However, can often save a lot of money by using annual or biannual contracts. As they hosting company knows that you’re not going anywhere they can often provide more competitive pricing.

Compatability

Some website have pretty complicated requirements. Commonly you can expect your website to require a database, the ability to send emails and support PHP. Talk to your website developer and ask them what hosting requirements your website will need. Often they will be able to point you in the right direction, and will have hosting options available to suit.

 

The above should help you get on the right track when picking your website. If you have any questions or would like to enquire about Ballarat Web Design’s hosting options, please don’t hesitate us today on 0412 629 338.