Hosting Your Website
It’s a tricky one. The effort, love, time and money that goes into a website can get undermined by choosing the wrong hosting. It’s understandable – hosting can be an afterthought.
Our aim here is to give you some useful tips and show why they matter to help you pick the a hosting package that’s right for your business.
What’s Website Hosting?
Worth knowing before we continue (if you already know, feel free to skip ahead).
Website hosting allows you to make your website accessible to people online. So when you create a website you want everyone to be able to see, you need web hosting. Website hosting also tends to come with a range of additional packages (options) which impact the cost to you. So our aim is to cut out all the fuzziness and confusion and give some basic advice that’ll make sure you get what’s best for you.
It’s easily done. You’re in the process of creating a new website and thinking of all the things that can help make it great for your potential users. Getting caught up in the excitement means many people forget that the website needs to be hosted. It becomes a last minute thought. Hosting plays a surprisingly big part in how successful your website is and will be in the future.
Why Your Hosting Matters
Ever bought shoes? Just like that, getting hosting isn’t a “one size fits all” kinda deal.
Depending on your website (foot), you’ll need a hosting package (shoe) that is well suited and accommodates your needs. Just like when you’re buying shoes, there are some basic requirements (they have a sole) and some key factors (size, type, colour, material) you should consider. Your specific needs will vary and that’s what dictates the type of hosting (shoe) you should be looking for.
By knowing what these factors are and how they might change, you’ll be able to go out and get the hosting that best fits your situation.
This article is about keeping it simple so the main aim is to bring a core requirement to your attention because many suppliers will exclude it from prices shown then charge you extra. Your not in Kansas anymore Dorothy!
An SSL certificate is a common requirement that’s often a necessary add-on. You need one because without it, your website will show up as insecure on many common browsers (e.g. chorme) search engine results (e.g. Google). This also impacts your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – essentially how easy your users will find you on search engines like Google.
Don’t worry, we’re dropping the shoe metaphour now!
It has to be said. These explanations are useful helping understand the basics but where do you go from here? We’d love to give you a silver bullet but it doesn’t exist – so here’s the next best thing:
For best results your hosting should be suited to what you’re doing. If you get in touch with us, we’ll provide complimentary advice on our recommendation for the hosting that’s best suited to your needs. This includes a recommended supplier and specifications so you have the option of shopping around as well.
Other Website Hosting Considerations
Options can make things difficult. Especially if the subject isn’t something you’re used to dealing with. Hosting is the same. Many suppliers will try and offer you unnecessary things. Often you wont be sure if you really need them or if they’re worth the price they are asking for. Here’s a few things you might come across and guidance on when they are worth paying for.
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) – Important if you’re building a website where your immediate market (and marketing efforts) are going to be global.
Server side static caching/dynamic caching – If SEO is particularly critical for your website, these are important to achieve the best results.
PCI Compliant Servers – These are a must when you’re looking to sell things from your website.
These terms aren’t essential to understand fully but it’s always worth knowing more about them if you’re looking to run a successful website as it will always require good, strong hosting.
Our aim here has been to cover some of the the essentials of hosting so you walk away with a better idea of what it’s all about and what you’ll need to think about based on your aims and needs.
You Get What You Pay For
That should be your prime goal with hosting. You know the benefits you’re paying for and you get them.
Developing websites and web-based applications, we do see two common tendencies. To over pay or look for the cheapest possible deal.
It might be that the cheapest possible hosting is perfect for you. Perhaps if you’re website is more of a hobby or you’re toying with an idea. Likewise, sometimes you have to go for a big brand name. If you’re an organisation looking to present a certain message. As long as it’s a conscious decision it’s worth going with your gut. Our main message is to know what you want your website to achieve. From there, understand what you need from your hosting to do it. Hosting plays a much bigger role in website success than many people realise.
A Final Thought
We love website development, so we keep a keen eye on the different options, offerings and trends out there to stay ahead. It’s also about bringing our own style to the work be do and ensure we can give the best advice possible. We don’t have any ties to any of the parties mentioned. Our advice is based on experience, research and personal preference. We’re confident it will help you make a decision on what’s best for you. Naturally, we’re also keen to hear feedback and answer any questions you may have.
The aim of our blog is to share our experience and advice in the hope it saves you time, hassle and money. We’re keen to hear your ideas for future posts so if you have any questions or requests please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thank you!
At Ngage, we’ve had the pleasure of developing websites for amazing organisations and entrepreneurs from around the world. From clean landing pages for aspiring start-ups to a ‘first of its kind’ tourism data platform for one of the most respected tourism data research organisations in Europe. So what have we learnt so far? More importantly, how can we use it to help you?
Different websites and people have different hosting needs. We hope this article gives you the pointers you need but if you’d like a tailored recommendation on what’s best for you don’t hesitate to get in touch.
*We do provide hosting to our clients but it’s fairly niche so we do recommend external suppliers as well. This article isn’t aimed at trying to sell our hosting.