If you are looking to grow your business, you need to go online and establish a strong digital presence. That means you need to have a website. Unless you want to see your enterprise crash and burn, getting a web hosting solution is essential to the growth and, ultimately, the success of your business.
There are different types of web hosting packages available in the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Popular options include shared web hosting, cloud web hosting, dedicated servers, and VPS. Understanding which web hosting service works for you is paramount in choosing the ideal plan for your business.
1. Ease Your Business Online
If you are running a small business or just an individual professional who seeks to grow your practice online, having your own website will do wonders for you. However, the myriad of web hosting solution providers and the tons of web hosting services they offer can be both confusing and overwhelming.
Unless you have the budget and the technical expertise, the best way to enter the world of web hosting is via the shared hosting package. Most site owners go through this route rather than starting to build their online image and brand with a package. However, the prior option requires lots of resources and vast technical expertise in web management and hosting.
Shared hosting solutions are ideal for starters as they are the most affordable options available. On top of that, providers manage all the technical aspects, from infrastructure management, security updates, and maintenance. All you have to do is concentrate on your brand and focus your efforts on attracting traffic and managing content.
2. Improve Security And Performance Of Your Sites
As your website gains more traction and traffic, hosting your websites on a shared server will become less beneficial to your business. One of the drawbacks of shared hosting is that performance and security are compromised when there are too many sites existing on the same server.
A recent compilation of hosting statistics shows that in some shared hosting environments, there are 3,000 websites hosted on a single server. These sites are constantly competing for resources. Such a setup slows down performance, adversely impacts availability and puts the security of your site, files, and visitors at great risk.
To enhance the performance and security of your sites, you can upgrade your web hosting package to a higher tier solution such as Dedicated Hosting, Cloud Hosting or VPS. The best web hosting solutions providers are more than happy to help you upgrade your account.
Cloud hosting solutions offer an automatic allocation of resources and scale them based on your needs. VPS hosting, on the other hand, gives you dedicated virtual private resources and absolute control over your environment. Dedicated hosting solutions offer you your own single server plus exclusive access to resources.
Online consumers tend to leave a website when it doesn’t load up within 3-5 seconds.
Instead, they move on to the next available site to make their purchase. A collection of case studies on website load speed revealed that 78% of digital shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website’s loading time said they are less likely to purchase from that website again.
Imagine the missed opportunities and the potential profits your business can lose if your website is down and out for even a few minutes during peak season. Prolonged downtime would then be catastrophic for your enterprise.
3. Sell More
People see site availability as one of the standards for the reliability and trustworthiness of companies that sell products and services online.
In the United States, 80% of internet users are expected to make an online purchase.
The same web hosting statistics report projected that approximately 1.92 billion people around the world will buy products or services online. Thus, it pays to pick a web hosting product that is capable of handling your traffic and meeting your performance requirements.
It is also worth noting that 87% of consumers perform product searches prior to making a purchase decision, based on a 2018 research on online shopping by Salesforce and Publicis.Sapient.
That’s a huge leap from 71% back in 2017. Having a website greatly increases your online visibility, helping online customers find your business in the digital realm. Imagine the opportunities you will miss because your target customers can’t search your company anywhere online.
On top of that, your website hosting service provider should have an uptime guarantee in place and a plethora of security measures to ensure that your site keeps on running even in the event of a network issue, malware or DDoS attack, or a breach in the infrastructure.
4. Save On Operational Expenses
You have the option to create your hosting infrastructure right from the ground up and have total control over your web hosting activities. However, that would be a costly option as it involves investing thousands of dollars in network devices, servers, and hardware. Not to mention the real estate, aka the data center, requires housing all your network devices and equipment.
Then, you have to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of your infrastructure, which means hiring network managers and website management professionals to monitor and keep things up and running. Also, you need to invest in on-site security for both your systems and personnel.
A 2018 case study on managed hosting vs. DIY-hosting by Rackspace shows that a particular financial company might spend a total of $5.6 million on managed hosting as opposed to the projected total of $12 million should they chose to host their own servers and build and run their own data center.
While the total costs for small businesses may seem smaller as compared to their corporate counterparts, in-house website hosting can take a huge chunk from their operational budget.
Website development guru Mark Brinker said that the average cost for in-house website development and management ranges from $80,000 to $120,000 a year. The average annual income of small businesses in the United States is $71,900 based on 2017 Payscale data.
Taking all figures into consideration, it’s not hard to determine what common sense dictates in such a particular situation.
5. Know Your Visitors Better
Websites are useful as a tool for building your brand, increasing your online visibility, boosting your marketing strategies, and improving your sales. Any web hosting solution gives you access to useful, high-value business data such as incoming traffic, traffic sources, demographics based on different parameters (geography, devices used, and time of visits), visitor exit paths and exit points, time spent on site, and frequented content or products.
It helps you collect data on your visitors, which you can then manage and analyze to gain crucial business insights and provide you with a crystal clear, 360-degree view of your visitors. Armed with such knowledge and insights, you are able to make the necessary changes to your website, improve your business strategies and practice to attract more traffic and successfully convert those visitors into loyal paying customers.
Switch Web Hosting Plans As You Progress
The numerous advantages of having a website hosting solution for your business are a clear indication that you should get one. Aside from the obvious benefit of having your own website, opting for a website hosting service saves you from all the hassles that come with hosting your own infrastructure. As we discussed, some of the top ways a web hosting solution can transform your business is by helping you build an online presence, improving website security and performance, increase sales, save on operational costs, and understand your customers better.
However, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. What works for one business may not work for you.
Your choice for a website hosting service provider should be aligned with your requirements and budget. As mentioned earlier, all hosting plans have their advantages and disadvantages. Thus, it is crucial that you subscribe to a web hosting package that is suited for your business needs and financial standing. To do this, a comprehensive understanding of your own unique processes and requirements is required.
As your business progresses, your needs will change and expand as well. Hence, you should consider the scalability and flexibility to switch to better plans from your provider to make sure that your changing requirements are addressed.
With a reliable web hosting partner, you are able to reach more people and showcase your goods and services to more potential customers and clients.
Aside from extending your business’ reach, data collected from your visitors will provide you with rich and actionable insights that will fuel your future campaigns, promos, marketing, and other business efforts.
As your business website grows, it is prudent that you upgrade your hosting package as well. Migrating from a shared hosting platform to a more premium solution like dedicated hosting or cloud hosting should be a part of your long term web hosting plan.
If you have any suggestions and observations you want to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.