How do you make your website visible to everyone?
First you need to have a domain name – this is how your website will be known on the Internet.
Once you have a domain name, it is time to build a website. If you need a very basic website, it is even possible to build it yourself with services such as Wix and Squarespace!
However for any serious business the most appropriate is to create a bespoke website that will be owned by yourself rather than by some Internet company. And it gives freedom of choice of a web hosting provider – the company that makes your website avaialble on the Internet.
Without web hosting, people with laptops, mobiles and personal computers won’t be able to visit your website. Web hosting is the plumbing that connects your website to the Internet.
Web Hosting Types
|Hosting Type||Price||Performance||24x7 Support||Typical Clients|
|Budget Shared||£3+||slow||Maybe||microbusinesses |
|Premium Shared||£40+||reasonable||Yes||medium and large businesses |
|Virtual Private Server (VPS)||£20+||reasonable to very good||Maybe||e-commerce websites |
medium and large businesses
|Dedicated||£80+||good to very good||Maybe||e-commerce websites |
medium and large businesses
|Cloud||PAYG||very good||Maybe||large businesses |
Why performance is so important? Many studies show that users give up on a website, if it takes more than 2-3 seconds to load. If you run a paid advertisement compaign, loosing 20-30% visitors to your website can cost you thousands in lost sales.
When talking about web hosting performance, there are two criteria – website loading time for a single-user and how many visitors can be served concurrently.
Some web hosting companies offer very cheap prices, as low as £12 per year. Naturally for so little money they cannot afford to provide high quality service and assure fast loading times.
Managed Hosting vs Self-managing Hosting
With Managed Hosting you are paying for IT resources needed to provide the service as well as for time required to fix problems.
With Self-managed Hosting you only pay for IT resources. If there are any problems, you are on your own. The best you can get from such a provider is to get your website reset to a blank canvas.
Many hosting providers claim they are managed hosting providers, but dig deeper and you will find out they cannot solve any problems for you but rather just take care of backups and malware protection. When you compare prices of different service providers – consider how much support they are prepared to provide if something happens to your website. Besides actual performance this is the most important criteria in deciding on web hosting service.
|Hosting Provider||Price||Performance||24x7 Support||Recommendations|
|Blue Star Host||£15+||reasonable||No||Recommended for microbusinesses and small business with up to £250K sales per year and hobby e-commerce websites Discounted price plans for non-profits and hobby websites are available. Every client gets access to Plesk management console and powerful WordPress Toolkit.|
|£50+||good to very good||available as an upgrade||Our agency is a reseller of DigitalOcean VPS. Also we can install and support GridPane control panel on you VPS. Such technology stack offers high level of reliability with good or very good performance for any WordPress website.|
|WPEngine||£24+||reasonable to very good||Yes||Recommended for medium and large businesses with sales in excess of £250k; can work well for smaller e-commerce websites|
|£15+||reasonable to good||yes||We only recommend WordPress Pro service by IONOS. It includes a VPS and Plesk management console with powerful WordPress Toolkit.|
Also don’t follow hype – providers such as Cloudways, Siteground and Hostinger live off the hype. This recommendation includes 20i who apparently is struggling to deliver high quality service after period of initial growth.
Web Hosting Upgrades
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN is a technology, that makes your website load faster for visitors from other countries. And if your website has many images and videos, it can even help to make it faster for local visitors.
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
WAF is a technology that puts a protective buble around your website.
Typically it detects three types of threats:
Main risks every website owner should be aware of are:
- getting your website defaced – making it display something else;
- getting your website infected with a virus – threatening computers of your website visitors;
- stealing your content;
- stealing personal data of your website visitors and customers.
Even most trustworthy providers make mistakes and suffer from computer outages. To ensure the best resiliency and business continuity, it is recommended to keep a copy of a website with an alternative hosting provider.
Our choice of offsite backup host is Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.
When deciding where to host a website it is important to consider physical location of the server and how many resources of that server will be available to your website. If most of your clients are in London – go for a hosting provider with servers in London. This way your website will load faster!
Google and other search engines consider physical location of the server when they display location specific search results. If your website is in Texas or Latvia it is less likely to be shown to people in London.
Ask for Help
It is our business to help people like you to decide on the most appropriate web hosting solution. Book a consultation to discuss your needs.
Alternatively we can recommed reading LiteSpeed Hosting as Cloudways Alternative article from WebWhim. It is very detailed and we don’t agree with all of its advice and conclusions. However it is a very good starting point to form an balanced view and indepdenant opinion.