Build a High Quality Website on a Budget – Part Two – Hosting
When making a choice about hosting you may want to consider various selection criteria:
There are numerous green options that are often sung about, danced over and sacrificed for. Unfortunately technology in itself drives forward at an alarming rate, generating all sorts of environmental and social problems! One thing worth considering is that the IT sector is quickly becoming a significant consumer of electricity, the generation of which may be from more or less sustainable sources. So we would always ask people to try and go as green as they can. Another area of greening up your hosting decision is in the computing power used. Developers are continuously dreaming up ingenious new technology as there is growing interest from many perspectives in creating less power-hungry devices, so please try and choose a company that employs greener technology! In the future we expect that this will become a much easier and clearer choice, while at the moment there can be a number of trade-offs, especially when you consider the some of following points.
Some consideration may want to be given to the website design that you have in mind. Please note that our next blog article will be considering the use of CMS software solutions, the use of which can be free, and their use can simplify updating and modification of site content, especially for those with little time to learn HTML or CSS for web programming. You may have already decided that you will be getting a site developed for you, or you may want a CMS that you’re familiar with that works on a particular operating system. As part of this, these decisions can influence your selection criteria. Without any such limitation, you may want to go with a hosting provider that has received good reviews, and would generally prefer to go with a company such as ecowebhosting or similar (if we were not hosting ourselves), as their hosting provides a simple interface with one-click installation of numerous CMS software installations, as well as educational software like Moodle. This makes the process of installation much, much easier from the outset.
Not all servers are created equal, and search engines such as Google may penalise your site if your site takes time to display. Some of this performance may be in poor website design, but if the machine that your site is hosted on takes a long time to send information, due to a number of hardware decisions made by the hosting company; old servers, slow Internet connection, lots of customers on a single machine, and other internal infrastructure decisions. Much of this will not be visible at the outset, and it is worth scanning some reviews on Google before tying into a contract, or going with recommendations from educated friends.
This can make or break the hosting company that you go with. We like having a company that has 24/7 online chat, as sometimes this can be useful, especially in answering some of the easy-to-fix hosting cases. The level of support will vary, and some will offer a very comprehensive service, while others scant amounts. Our recommendation is that you will probably face a range of issues with hosting and it is better to have a reasonable turnaround on your questions, and a much higher level of response if your business is to have a very significant web presence, such as an ecommerce site. Again, speaking with people or using a range of review sites would be a good starting point if you are considering the support offered.
While not to be considered top of the list as many websites are viewed globally, many things may be affected by the geographic location of the hosting company. This can affect peak performance times of the hardware, the contact times of your support, the delay in response for website requests. It is often best to work with companies in your national area as they will usually be on the same time-zone as yourself. It may be that peak use of a company situated halfway around the world may be at a very different time to your client base and therefore improve the performance of your website during your peak hours, but the data will have to travel a lot further and this will reduce the advantage of quicker server response time.
So having purchased your domain, and having read the article we would recommend speaking with some of the people that you know, and then having a look around the Internet at what your options are. If you are still drawing a blank (friends can be useless if it is not an area of their speciality, or they are simply idiots, and information on the Internet can remain elusive if you are not sure how to construct the right question), or you just want to ease your mind a little, please feel free to contact us, or leave a comment at the end of this article expressing your concerns. We’ll happily give you any information that we can to help you make the best decision for you.
We hope that the details above help and that you have a great and beautiful day.