A company at some particular point of time may have to decide on whether to host one or more websites in-house or to tap the services of web hosting providers.
While hosting your own can be tempting given the huge savings you may have upfront, taking matters into your own hands neither cut out corporate interests nor cut costs in the long run. It will instead lead to hassles, headaches, and an empty wallet as you would eventually need to update and install security patches constantly. You will also require loads of experience, lots of time and a redundant fast internet connection to deliver the kind of service that does not even match the speed and security that leading web hosting providers can offer.
While we can certainly provide you with quick steps to follow in hosting your own site, a number of experts will concur that it’s a risky undertaking. Instead of wasting time figuring out how to do it on your own, do your research and look for a reliable hosting provider that can deliver excellent service at affordable rates.
Many of the leading web hosting providers even contribute back to open-source communities, such as WordPress, to help internet users across the world find safer and more robust technologies.
While the deciding factors may vary depending on the intended use, there are some web hosting pros and cons that can be taken into account when you’re considering their development infrastructure and website hosting as follows.
Hands-on support from the experts
The availability of customer support agents 24/7 is probably amongst the most reassuring advantages of opting for leading web hosting providers. They almost always come with around-the-clock support through email, chat, and phone. Some even go beyond and above by supplying wide-ranging knowledge-base tutorials and relevant articles, employing knowledgeable experts, and prioritizing fast response times. Others have created several proprietary systems and are capable of responding to email support tickets in less than 10 minutes.
A decent web hosting plan will enable you to do much with it. For competition’s sake, many hosting providers lure their customers with tons of free tools and functions that cover almost everything they would want to accomplish with server space.
The perks may range from free email accounts, top data analytics tools, and graphical control panel interface to several one-click software installations, SSL Certificates and a lot more quick ways to access helpful programs and services.
You can find dedicated hosts for easy WordPress installations and other excellent options for e-commerce, website builders and other fields of interest.
Performance is taken seriously
The performance of a web host can affect your site traffic and customer conversion. A study by Google found that over half of your total visitors will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. The findings are especially vital to the advertising and e-commerce community which rely heavily on image content to drive sales and conversions.
Similar to runners in a race, the website that loads the fastest wins. Hence, rather than optimizing your infrastructure and network painstakingly, it’s far better to tap the services of web hosting providers that leverage the capability of multiple system administrators in large data centers to make sure that the sites of their customers load as fast as possible.
Aside from storing cached pages and files on servers based on the geographic location of visitors to reduce load times by pairing clients with free access to content delivery networks, hosts can opt to integrate more advanced technologies in their servers. One good indication that a host places great value on customer success is a high-quality solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs are able to transfer data up to 20x faster than any traditional hard disk drive.
Website owners can always find surprising deals, especially with shared hosting plans dedicated to beginners, thanks to the widespread competition in the market. In fact, leading hosting services can go lower than $5 per month.
‘Cheap’ is a term that does not necessarily suggest subpar or shoddy in the web hosting industry. Providers clamor to provide their customers with the most user-friendly design tools, faster performance, better security, stronger support, and additional features.
A study by Market Research Future suggests that for leading hosting providers to thrive and sustain their grip on the industry, they need to innovate constantly and grow their portfolio with cost-effective products.
Prices can go up as your website grows
As mentioned above, the cost of a shared hosting plan for first-time site owners can go less than $5 per month. This is, however, an introductory discount that usually lasts only for the first month or year of service. Depending on your chosen host, the cost can go up slightly or exponentially.
Moreover, as your online presence grows, you will eventually need to update resources from a virtual private server (VPS) or a cloud plan. Computing web hosting prices can be difficult and prohibitive as soon as you cross that bridge.
Inadequate security shield
No company is entirely immune from cybersecurity threats that may result in costly data breaches. Storing sensitive financial or personal website data in an inaccessible data center is surely a trust exercise.
On a positive note, top-notch hosting providers employ several of the foremost security experts in the world, who observe for possible threats and promising safeguards and solutions. Hence, unless you regard yourself more skilled and knowledgeable in securing your network, you’re better off finding a reliable hosting provider to keep your data safe.
As pointed out earlier, most first-time users opt for a shared hosting plan which means they’ll be sharing a server with several other clients. In case you have a good share of luck, and your website or content went viral online, you might find your site slightly constrained given the limited resources available. While a lot of the leading hosting companies tout unlimited hosting resources, you may still be penalized for surpassing a particular threshold.
In case this happens, you’re left with no choice but to move into a more scalable online hosting solution such as VPS or cloud hosting. These solutions can offer you more generous resources depending on your needs. Cloud hosting involves leveraging an extensive network of several servers to share the required workload to deliver your website. VPS, on the other hand, provides you with more flexibility and control over a larger slice of available resources.
How should you choose a web host?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to your web hosting needs. Surely, the first step you need to get started is having a realistic evaluation of your site traffic goals, timeline, and tech experience. If you’re a novice, shared hosting is a good option, but this does not mean that you can’t start bigger, especially if you are building a site for a reputable brick-and-mortar business.
Secondly, you need to balance your budget and the kind of features you would like your host to have. Plans with faster SSD are costlier and with minimal storage, for instance, but you are most likely to realize higher conversion rates and greater ROI.
There are limitless options, from live chat support to content delivery network, SSL certificate, domain privacy, free domain registration, and so forth. Choosing the appropriate hosting provider is like going to a shoe shop. Take time to consider the pair of shoes you want to wear and how much you are willing to spend, then go and look for it.