Having a reliable web hosting company is a crucial part of running a business or having a strong web presence for your brand. Your web hosts will keep your website online, manage your email addresses and maintain your website security so choose wisely; a good web hosting company will keep the worst of the Internet bad guys from hacking your website or sending you viruses and malware on your email accounts. This is important, not only for simple business continuity but also search engine optimisation as the main search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo boost websites that display quickly, stay online and are free from malware and viruses.
There are a number of different for choosing your web hosting company:
- Use one of the big hosting providers like 1&1 Internet, Go Daddy, Fasthosts or Heart Internet.
- Use a medium sized web host who may be operating their own servers co-located in data centre operated by one of the above.
- Use a small web hosting company with their own server and connection
- Use your web design company who understand your business, future plans and budget but use a reseller account through one of the specialist big companies like Heart Internet.
Whatever you choose it is important that you make an informed choice. From our experience, we would not recommend using a small web hosting company with their own web server as they often haven’t got the resources or breadth of technical knowledge to cope with the continuous demands of maintaining web security such as updating operating systems, monitoring security issues, keeping backups etc.
Good web hosting company features
Keeping your websites online is key not only for business continuity but search engines hate websites that have errors or are frequently offline. No web hosting company can offer 100% uptime but a good one will maximise the uptime to at least 99%. Duplication of the web server is the key feature here so if a problem occurs in one your website can be displayed using the duplicate web server either at the same or different data centre.
The speed at which your website loads and functions, is a critical factor online as slow sites lose leads and customers. Faster is better and good Web hosting companies continually strive to increase the speed of the sites they host. We host our client sites using a provider supplying a Solid State Drive web server which is the fastest and most reliable type of hard disk currently available. Also a good web hosting company will limit the number of websites using shared hosting.
This is a big issue that needs continuous attention and proactive actions:
Automated malware scans – Malware can knock your site offline, or malware can commandeer your site and use it to send SPAM or launch attacks on other sites, running the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.
Firewall management – having a Firewall up to date and running to protect the sites a hosting company houses is routine and a key part of your web security.
Continuous updating and server management – a good web hosting company will continuously update and patch the operating system and software running on your server.
Advice on security – a good web hosting company will advise on keeping your website up to date and free from security issues. For example if you use WordPress then it is advisable to keep the version of WordPress and plugins up to date as you could be vulnerable to malware or hacking.
There will always be problems but it’s a question of the responsiveness of a web hosting company preferably through an email or support ticket system. We aim to respond to and resolve support issues within 4 hours.
Good web hosting companies will backup your website and provide a roll-back to previous versions of your websites if things go wrong.
A good web hosting company will provide SSL certificates at different levels so you can provide secure pages on your websites for the transfer of sensitive information. This is important for e-commerce websites – our prices start at £60 per annum.
Control Panel and one-click script installs
You need to be able to take control over your email accounts and be able to install useful scripts easily.
Like any business service it’s important that the company you choose responds to your questions within a reasonable time and allows you to concentrate on promoting your business. Our hosting can grow and adapt to your requires