Web Hosting Companies
Whether you’re creating a new website for your business or looking for a new web hosting provider, choosing from the broad list of web hosting companies can be a daunting task. Before you can even consider what company will suit the needs of your business and website best, you need to have a general idea of just what you need. First, you should familiarize yourself with the varying types of web hosting. From here, you’ll need to consider what your prospective web hosting companies offer, among a range of other factors. Though it can be difficult, StatCounter can help simplify the process.
At StatCounter, we focus on providing our members with detailed and valuable analytics so they can closely monitor the traffic to their websites and how those users are interacting on their sites. Additionally, we work to provide insightful information to members so they can make educated decisions as to how to improve their sites. However, before you begin optimizing your website, you first need to choose from the extensive list of web hosting companies. Let’s take a look at what you should consider in your search.
To gain more insight into the types of web hosting available and how each will suit your business and website, take a look at the articles below:
What Web Hosting Companies Provide
In order to build an online reputation, businesses require a website that can properly present their products and services. Web hosting companies provide a number of services designed to host and distribute information through their servers. In turn, businesses have a range of customization options that allow them to easily scale their plans to support their growth as website traffic increases. Here are some of the services businesses can utilize through a web hosting company:
The main product web hosting companies offer is the web hosting itself. This service provides servers that can be used to host the data that builds a business website and make it accessible to everybody over the Internet. Web hosting allows businesses to get information about their products and services to virtually anybody with an internet connection. Businesses have complete control over their data and the options to scaling their website.
To own a website, it’s critical to own a domain name. A domain name serves as the URL used to access your website. This is what links potential clients and customers to information about your business and what it offers. Many web hosting companies offer domain name registration so businesses can claim their URL. The key to choosing a domain name is to find a name that properly captures your business. Typically, the business name is the best option but it’s also important to avoid using hyphens, numbers, or other difficult-to-remember punctuation's.
Web hosting companies provide a lot of options for the servers hosting a businesses website. For most businesses just starting a website, a shared hosting plan is cost-efficient and provides sufficient power for a young website. As traffic begins to increase and the webspace needs to grow, VPS servers and dedicated servers give businesses dedicated resources to handle bigger projects. Businesses have processing power, RAM, and storage that is reserved for their use instead of drawing from a shared pool of resources.
VPS stands for virtual private server. A VPS partitions a server into equal parts and gives each user dedicated server resources. It is a hybrid of shared and dedicated servers because the server is shared but resources are dedicated.
Many web hosting companies also provide email services to give businesses specialized emails dedicated to their professional identity. These are email addresses that look like this: YourName@BusinessName.com. This will personalize employee emails and tie their communications with the business. Some web hosts even offer email marketing capabilities. These are optional services that could be used by businesses if they find the need to do so.
It is crucial for businesses offering products and services online to implement e-commerce platforms to handle their webstore. Some web hosting providers offer their own e-commerce platforms but many others allow businesses to implement their own platforms. It’s important to find a web hosting company that supports your business’s choice of e-commerce software. Businesses need to be able to process transactions for their products and services and provide a secure portal for their customers.
Security is incredibly important for websites, especially when dealing with sensitive data such as payment information, like the e-commerce websites mentioned above. Most web hosting providers offer extensive security options to protect from hackers, malware, and general threats to websites. It is also important to utilize a web hosting provider that can easily implement SSL Certificates to create secure portals to collect information. SSL can encrypt data and make it impossible to read as it’s passed between each party. A large website needs to take security seriously and take advantage of the options offered by their web host.
Choosing the Right Web Hosting Company
As mentioned, you should at least have a general idea of the needs of your website as you begin to search for a web hosting provider. As you begin your search, consider what your hosting needs are, the reliability of each host, their upgrading options, features, and prices. Of course, much of this will depend on not only your experience, but how new the website is and how large it will be. For instance, most beginners can utilize shared hosting, whereas larger businesses with a high amount of web traffic will need a dedicated server.
Regardless of the type of hosting needed, there’s a series of steps you should follow in choosing between web hosting companies. Consider the following as you seek one for your website:
- View the allotted web space of each company. Will it provide enough space for your website’s needs? Remember, you’ll probably expand your website at some point down the road, so ensure there’s room for that—or the option for more.
- Is there FTP access? This is the most common way for transferring pages from your computer to the server, which then allows access for web users.
- How reliable is the hosting site? If it’s constantly down due to server issues, which is common on shared servers, you’ll want to avoid web hosting companies with such problems.
- Look into the upgrading options for all the web hosting companies you consider. Similar to the allotted web space, you may need certain upgrades as your business grows and the website expands.
- Of course, the pricing is an extremely important factor. Take a look at the sign-up costs and ensure the renewal costs aren’t much higher, which can be quite common.
- If you’re creating an e-commerce site, or plan on selling products on your site, be sure the hosting company offers e-commerce features. SSL certificates and a dedicated IP are a must.
While the list of tips above will help you as you consider varying web hosting companies, there’s plenty more to keep in mind. If you’d like more information in regards to web hosting, view some of the pages provided below:
- VPS Hosting
Monitor Your Website with StatCounter
Clearly, you’ll need to consider a range of factors as you select the right web hosting provider for your specific site and business. Once you’ve selected one and begin to build your site, however, you should begin to track your website’s traffic to monitor specific metrics and how users navigate through your site. This way, you can find areas on your site to improve, which will ultimately bring in more traffic and improve the user’s experience. You can use the free web tracker from StatCounter to get started.
If you ever have any questions or need assistance in utilizing our tools, be sure to contact support by filling out the form below.
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