If you plan on making money online, your online presence needs to be professional and up-to-date using the latest technologies. Chances are you have a Facebook account, Twitter, and advertisements all across the web, so your company will need to store all of the graphics and content you have on those webpages in some way. You can do this, or host these websites, either in-house or through a web host.
While doing something on your own may seem simpler initially, a web host is the better choice overall for a variety of reasons including cost, security, and a back-up system that will protect your email and websites in case of failure – all things in-house hosting cannot offer. According to Gary Eisenstein, author of In-House vs. Outsourcing Web Hosting, those who choose web hosting services can expect a 25 to 85 percent cost savings over in-house solutions. Social media is becoming an integral part of the success or failure of a company, so knowing where to store all of your files for these new mediums is crucial.
Choosing the Right Web Host with SEO in Mind
The first thing to understand is that no web host is going to help you rank. A web host isn’t necessarily going to help your SEO, but there are features that can negatively affect it. A few things to look for in a web host that will allow you to improve your SEO efforts include:
- Speed. Website speed is a huge factor when it comes to SEO, and your website host has to have sufficient resources for the amount of different websites they host so that the server isn’t slow. You can learn more about load time and the SEO implications here.
- Bandwidth. The term “bandwidth” simply refers to how much information can be transferred from your site to your site’s visitors. If your company is just starting out and you do not expect too much traffic right at the start, 3 GB of bandwidth per month should do the trick. In many cases, a web host charges you for a certain amount of bandwidth per month. Be sure to ask how much it costs if you go over your allotted number!
- Domain Space. Even if you are a complete beginner, you probably have some idea of what you want to put on your social media outlets in terms of graphics, videos, and content. If you have a lot of files that take up a lot of space (namely videos and detailed graphics), you will need approximately 100mb of space. However, if you are taking the simplistic approach, 50mb should do.
- Control Panel. When searching for the right web host, make sure the control panel is easy to use. Most companies let you try out the control panel before buying, so try adding and deleting accounts, viewing visitor statistics, and making any changes to a website.
- Uptime. If you see the term “uptime” the software is referring to the time when the web host is functional. You should expect an uptime of at least 99% if not better! Be sure to look for this term when shopping for your software.
- Phone Support. Just as with any purchase, check to make sure there is a good customer service center. Web hosts deal with some of your most important marketing and advertising, yet also deal with the unpredictable Internet. If you have a problem, you will want to speak with a person, not simply just an online service.
- Security. This is huge when it comes to SEO. If your website gets hacked it will have devastating effects on your rankings. Always check to make sure the web host you’re using is up to date on the latest security measures and consider using a dedicated server as opposed to a shared server (which means others share your IP address).
In many instances you can download web design software immediately online so that you are ready to go almost instantly. Depending on the different features, web hosts can cost around $4 to $12 dollars each month—a small price to pay for such an important component of your business.
Do you have any tips for choosing the right web host? Let us know in the comment section below.