Setting up a New Website Part 2
In the previous session we dealt with the selection of a domain name or website name for your new website (Selecting a Website Name). The next step is to select a good website hosting company to host the website.
Selecting a Good Website Host.
There are a number of things to consider when selecting a website host to host your website. Most of these things boil down to:
- how important is it that your website is visible on the web all the time,
- how secure do you want your website to be,
- and important is it for you to be able to access the server your website is hosted on.
The natural reaction to selecting a website host is to select the cheapest available hosting company. Approaching your hosting needs in this fashion can be a very costly experience. Cheaper is not always cost effective. A general rule when considering cost is to select a website host with a hosting fee which ranges between $4.00 per month and $8.00 per month. Going below the $4.00 per month value the quality and sustainability of the hosting company becomes questionable. The last thing you want is for the hosting company to go bust on you.
Occasionally the larger more sustainable companies will offer special signup offers below the $4.00 per month mark. This is a strategy employed by all the costing companies to lure new customers. Be aware that typically the lower price is only temporary and will revert back at some point to the going rate.
$4.00 to $8.00 per month is not a great deal of money and should not be the major criteria on selecting a suitable host for your website.
Your Websites Visibility
With your website’s visibility I mean the percentage of time the hosting servers will be able to deliver your website to visitors.
This is very much a function of the up time of the servers used by the webhost. As a general rule the larger hosting companies either using their own servers or using large datacentres with complex systems. With these complex systems the hosting company is be able to guarantee up time in excess of 99%. Smaller host may not be able to provide any up time guarantees.
Up time is only important where your website is critical to your business for every minute offline could result in sales being lost. If your business is dependant on the uptime then sticking to one of the larger website hosting companies is recommended.
For websites which deal with social or information topics the server uptime is not that critical and a smaller less expensive host can be used. There are however boundaries to this as a host with significant downtime may cause your website to disappear from the search engine search results or users may get frustrated with the none availability of your website and may choose to find other more reliable sources.
In my experience it does not matter what type of website you run , stick with the larger hosting companies for they are not that more expensive and will ensure that your website is just about all the time up and running.
Security of your website content.
The security of your website content is primarily your responsibility. Always make sure that your data is backed up and that you have installed sufficient firewalls to protect your data.
The selection of a hosting company could have a significant impact on the preservation and your security of your data. Smaller hosting companies may not have all the checks and balances in place which most of the larger hosting companies have. There is a couple questions you should ask yourselves when choosing a hosting company:
- Does the hosting company offer a backup service in the event that my primary data goes corrupt or if my website got hacked?
- Who has access to my webserver?
- Are there protocols in place to prevent the people working in the hosting companies from downloading my personal or my clients details.
Typically you find that the very small hosting companies will not have sufficient policies, procedures, and backup facilities in place to secure your websites data on the server side.
Most larger hosting companies will have an established regime in place to safeguard your website data. A warning, Do not take this for granted. If you will be dealing with sensitive information, like credit card details, then ensure that the selected hosting company have backup facilities in place, limit access to the web servers, and that the servers have sufficient safeguards in place against potential hackers. Your website host will normally boast about their security protocols on their own website if they have the latest safeguards in place.
Again my recommendation is to stick with the larger hosting companies. It is not worth taking the risk.
The location of your website host
For most website owners it does not matter where their websites are hosted (unless they have some devious objective).
As a general rule the larger and more secure datacentres are located either in North America or in the Asia Pacific region. A large number of the large hosting companies will either have their primary hosting facilities in one of the regions and will back up their servers in the other region. The ability for them to do this allows them to provide a reliable service to their customers even in the event of a catastrophic failure in one of their datacentres. Normally they will have systems in place which will allow the backup servers to seamlessly take over the function of the primary server in such a failure without the customers even being aware of the problem.
This ability is only available with at the larger hosting companies. This does not mean that the smaller hosting companies would not be able to provide a similar but less advanced service.
There may be companies out their which may wish to keep control over their website data and would prefer to be able to limit access to the servers which host their website. An example of this would be a company which deals with sensitive research information. For these companies it is doubtful if the global worldwide web is the place to store their data and a local owner managed server may be the best option. For the rest of us the location of the website server does not matter.
How do I select the best website host for my website?
To select your website host stick these following rules:
- The cost of the hosting service is a secondary consideration and should not be your primary selection criteria.
- Select a website hosting company with a high server uptime.
- Ensure that your website hosting company have sufficient backup and security protocols in place.
- Unless you have a reason to maintain full control over your website’s data choose the best possible hosting company doesn’t matter where the website hosting company is located.
In the next session we will be dealing with What is the best platform for your website.
Let the BEST WEBSITE HOST guide you through selection and setup of a new website