It’s time for you to build a website. There’s just one problem: You don’t really know what you’re doing. Don’t worry. Plenty of people have gone through the same process, with little or no background in web design or programming. That’s why there are now services that provide all the tools people need in order to successfully create their own website.
Whether you’re doing it for pleasure, business, or any other reason—there’s a web hosting option that will work for you. Here are some things that will help you determine your web hosting needs.
What Is Web Hosting?
Maybe you’re a bit unsure of what is really meant by the term “web hosting.” In the past, it was pretty standard for people to build their own website, and host it on their own private server infrastructure. There are still a lot of people and organizations that do this. However, the idea of web hosting is when you let a third-party company help you run the site. The web hosting company will provide you with server space. When people want to visit your website, they download the content stored on these servers.
Additionally, many web hosting platforms now provide users with tools for building their website as well. Website templates and domain services can more or less be bundled into the overarching umbrella of web hosting. It’s now easier than ever to build and run a website because people can get everything, they need from one place.
What’s the Intent of the Site?
The intended purpose of your website will play a huge role in deciding your web hosting needs. Are you going to be using the site to sell products or services? Then you’ll probably want to build your site with that in mind. Your website hosting provider like Yahoo Small Business should have affordable options for business-oriented sites. If you’re going to sell directly through your site, make sure it’s secure. SSL certificates are one of the preferred methods for keeping user data safe.
You should also think about the design and layout of your site. This is of course important for aesthetic reasons. But design will also play a big part in determining your conversion rate. Your site needs to be easily navigable. Additionally, you have to consider the importance of mobile compatibility. About 60 percent of searches happen on a smartphone or tablet. The relevance of mobile search will only continue to grow as these devices gain popularity among users. It’s critical that your web hosting platform sees the importance of mobile compatibility.
How Many Visitors Are You Expecting?
Your anticipated traffic will determine your bandwidth needs. Not all sites get the same number of visitors. Facebook gets a lot more traffic than your grandma’s tea blog. Of course, you’re going to have to pay more to handle more traffic. But you don’t want to overpay. One idea is to give yourself a 20 percent cushion over your highest estimation of traffic. You’ll also want to think about scalability if you’re a seasonal business. You don’t want to pay full price the entire year if you’re only seeing high volume for a few months. See if your web hosting platform offers flexible scalability on this front.
Are You Going to Have Lots of Photos and Videos?
The content of your site can cause huge variations in hosting needs. High-quality images and videos require a lot more memory than text. If you plan on having lots of photos and videos, you’ll need to accommodate that on your backend. Remember: Site load time plays a huge part in abandonment rates. About 40 percent of people who are shopping online will leave a site that has a load time of over three seconds.
How Good Is Customer Support?
You won’t be able to do everything on your own when you’re building and running your website. That’s why you’re working with a web hosting service. However, not all hosting platforms are going to provide the same level of customer service. Make sure your web host is there for you with solid, 24-hour support. Otherwise, you might be out of luck at a critical time.
It has become a lot easier for people to build professional websites with the help of a web hosting platform. But don’t assume that every source is going to be the same. Think about these points when determining your web hosting needs.