The Internet and websites are part of our daily lives. Today, decades after the Internet became available to the public, there are approximately 2 billion websites online. Businesses need websites to thrive and expand their reach. Individuals also use web pages for CVs, entertainment, gathering information, fun and a means of connection.
Because there are so many websites out there, your site must surpass some the basic level before it can thrive in the current online environment. To have that standard, every part of your site matters – design, content and hosting. Web hosting is the foundation of your site.
The Importance of Web Hosting
Choosing the right web hosting option is important, no matter the type of site you want to build. This is because it affects your site’s performance. Site performance has to do with how fast the contents of your site’s page are displayed on the user’s browser, your site’s availability, mobile compatibility and other features. Site performance affects traffic and engagement. For example, if your pages load slowly, visitors will leave before it opens. Let’s look at the different site feature and performance aspects that are affected by hosting.
Web hosting determines the availability of your site. If your site is always up, people can always access it. If it experiences downtime frequently, your site’s traffic and search engine ranking will reduce. Since search engines want to provide a quality user experience, they won’t redirect users to your site. Besides, visitors have the option of visiting many sites that are like yours. If your site is not available day and night, they’ll stop trying to access it. While downtime is not totally unavoidable, it can be kept to a minimum by choosing the right host. A good hosting service has an average uptime of 99%.
Hackers will try to infect your site with malware and use it for cybercrime by adding malicious codes, fake backlinks, spam pages and invisible text. Search engines have zero tolerance for all these things. Once they detect malware, the site gets blacklisted. Whether hackers succeed in infiltrating your website or not depends on how tight its security is. The type of hosting plan you choose and your web hosting services affect the security of your site.
Websites on free hosting are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than others. This is because all the websites on a server are connected. Moreover, sites with malicious content are more likely to use this kind of hosting. Malware is uploaded onto the servers. Since most free hosting companies don’t have a technical team to handle such a problem, all the sites on the server are infiltrated. So, what do you look out for, in terms of security, when picking a hosting service?
- Are there measures put in place to prevent malicious violations? The hosting company should have firewalls and other barriers that will stop your site from getting infected.
- Does the web host regularly scan for malware and other security breaches on the server?
- Is there a team that handles security issues with skill and speed?
- What is the hosting company’s policy against distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks? The web host should be strongly against it. That way, if there’s a security breach the hosting system will still be available to you.
- Does the host offer a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate? Information is sent from the server to the browser before it can be displayed on the user’s computer. SSL encrypts it,preventing it from being seen by hackers. Personal information, credit card numbers, bank details and passwords are blocked from cybercriminals.
- Is SFTP – Secure File Transfer Protocol – offered? SFTP ensures your files are not modified before they get to their destination.
- Does the webhost maintain and upgrade its servers?
Customer and Technical Support
You’ll end up needing customer and technical support one way or the other. This is where the difference between ordinary web hosting and good web hosting such as Openhost in New Zealand becomes obvious. Companies with good hosting services have knowledgeable and skilled teams. Their customer support is available 24/7 and responds to issues speedily. They have different options of contact – chats, calls and emails. With the right web hosting, you can be sure you’ll get support when you need to troubleshoot your site or solve problems.
Site Speed and Page Load Time
Visitors care about site speed and how long it takes the page to open. Page load time affects the customer experience. A page that loads quickly will lead to customer satisfaction while the one that loads slowly won’t be opened by most visitors. When your site is quick and responsive, your search engine rankings will increase, you’ll have happier customers and more conversions. Aside from code and content, your site speed depends on your web host. A hosting company with quality infrastructure and a plan that gives sufficient memory and disk space to your website will lead to greater speed, better performance and high return on investment.
Domain Name System (DNS)
DNS enables a user’s browser to connect to the IP address and server of your website. While this is often overlooked, it’s a very important feature. If the DNS of your web host is down, your site won’t open. So, check the DNS services of your hosting company and make sure it is good.
We want our website to have increased traffic and become popular. While content is king and will help attract long-time users, hosting scalability will keep site performance at above the average level. Your site performance should always be good even if you have a spike in traffic or your visitors per month are growing exponentially. A good hosting service will accommodate spikes in traffic. It will also make sure that your site and hosting plan is upgraded to meet your site’s growth.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN ensures that a visitor accesses the contents of your web page from a server close to them instead of the central server. That way, the central server is not overloaded and the probability of your site having downtime is reduced.
CDN works based on the server and geographical location of the user; the closer the CDN server is to the user, the faster the contents of your site will be delivered to the browser.
This means that you should search for a web host that is in the same location as your target audience and has good CDN hosting.
Backup is an essential feature for every site. With regular backup, you can easily restore all data and re-launch your site after it has been hacked or encountered a problem. Some web hosts backup website data regularly. Find out from the hosting company
- how the data is backed up,
- how often it is backed up,
- if some of the files or all the data is backed up, and
- where the data is stored.