What does a web host do?
A web hosting service allows your website to be accessible in the Internet. Without it, you can build a web page but no one will find it and not one will see it.
Think of a business space. Before you rent this space, it is empty. It has no product, no shelves, and no counter. The space is your web host. You rent it. The products, the shelves, the machines, the counter—all of these are the contents of your website, these are your files, your pictures your videos, and your written content.
But how do you choose the best one?
It Must Offer Multiple Hosting Types
Web hosting comes in three main categories: shared, VPS, and dedicated.
A shared web hosting service is great for small and medium businesses. This means that your files are stored in the same server along with other businesses. You share the support and speed of these servers. It is uncomplicated and affordable. The downside is that since it is shared, performance might suffer. Your site may load slowly or not at all, especially so if you have already developed a massive traffic to your site.
VPS hosting is great for fast growing sites. If you are anticipating a huge traffic, then this one is great for you. VPS stands for virtual private server, which is not really a physical server. The server is divided into several virtual compartments and you get your own compartment. The server is still shared, but each of these compartments acts like an individual machine in itself.
A dedicated server is a machine, or a group of them, that is specifically reserved for you. This means that all its power is used for your business needs. You need a dedicated server if you have a massive business like Amazon or eBay. These are also the most expensive.
It Must Have an Impeccable Customer Service
Alright, you may or may not be a geek. Nonetheless, you will definitely need support. Your website can run into a multitude of problems—maybe your site is slow to load or it is completely down. Bad hosting service providers are those who do not have 24/7 support in different channels.
Ideally, the provider must have different avenues for reaching them—chat, email, social media, and phone. Contacting their customer support must be effortless. They should be adequately staffed to answer your needs.
Before you decide which hosting service to subscribe to, try contacting their customer support. Ask questions. If you are not satisfied with the wait time and the service you got, then you need to keep searching until you find the right provider.
It Must Be Secure
We have heard of successful hacking activities. Perhaps the most recent one is Target. Security breaches do happen but it is your responsibility to find a hosting service provider who offers SSL.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a unique certificate issued to every website for security purposes. Think of it as an identification card for your website. Web browsers check this security certificate and verify that the website is safe. If a website is secured, the site visitor sees HTTPS instead of HTTP in the web address field. The browser displays the extra letter “s” which stands for “secure.”
With SSL, you are kicking out hackers who can steal information from your website. This is critical if you are getting personal information from your customers, especially financial ones. It also boosts your page ranking because search engines will recognize the fact that your site is secured. It improves your website’s credibility, too. No customer in his right mind will provide his financial information online in an unsecured website.