Website hosting isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Read on for answers to some of the most common website hosting FAQs and take control of your digital strategy.
What is website hosting?
Web hosting is an online service that makes your website accessible. It’s like renting space in an office complex, in that you buy the right to build from a provider who stores your files and data on their servers (for a fee, of course).
In short, without a hosting provider, your website won’t be visible to search engines or your target audience. So, where should you start?
The three types of website hosting
The first of our website FAQs is the most important. Choosing a plan that suits your needs is essential if your firm is to enjoy the benefits of a fast and accessible resource that prioritises user experience.
#1 Dedicated hosting – expensive and for large firms
Dedicated hosting isn’t for everyone. If you work from one site and employ a small handful of people this option isn’t cost-effective.
Website hosting FAQs often focus on cost too stringently. But in this case the focus is valid. Sole traders and SMEs should avoid dedicated hosting.
With dedicated hosting:
- You get an entire server – no need to share with other users
- The server can be tailored entirely to your requirements
Overall, performance is better. But you should weigh cost against overall need before investing.
#2 Cloud hosting – middle-of-the road price plans
Although price is an important factor when choosing a hosting provider, you don’t want to compromise client relationships by underinvesting in digital infrastructure.
Imagine the outcome if the server hosting your website malfunctioned. Your industry is built on the importance of trust. What message would a 404 error send?
Fortunately, cloud hosting utilises a physical server split into several virtual ones that activate in the event of a failure – preventing downtime that might otherwise affect your bottom line and reputation.
#3 Shared hosting – the cheapest and most popular option
Arguably the easiest of our website hosting FAQs to answer, shared plans involve renting space on a server used by other businesses. This means you’re also splitting the cost with them.
Although less expensive than other options your files and data won’t enjoy the same level of protection. Are you happy to accept that payoff?
Website hosting vs domain hosting: are they the same thing?
Website hosting and domain hosting are often mistaken for the same thing. But they are entirely different and for the following reasons…
- For website hosting think space. It’s like paying a landlord to use a building for commercial purposes.
- Your domain is your site name. It’s unique to your business. Think of it as a street address customers can use to find you.
How much does website hosting cost?
The most searched for of all website hosting FAQs, cost matters to accounting firms and understandably so. After all, it’s your job to make sure the numbers add up: not just for clients but your business too.
Firms operating on tight budgets can take advantage of bargain basement packages from as little as £2.00 per month. Dedicated hosting, meanwhile, will set you back between £60-£400 per month.
How can I find a website host?
To find out who’s hosting a website visit Who Is.
Otherwise, to compare hosts:
- read reviews on trusted sites like PC world
- visit forums to get unfiltered advice
- read feedback on Google reviews
What do I need to host my website?
This is one of the harder website hosting FAQs to answer. Very few businesses self-host due to the cost involved – not to mention the level of expertise needed.
If you decide to go it alone:
- Turn your computer into a server using WAMP software or something similar
- Once the software is installed add your .php files to the www directory
- Next it’s time to make your website visible to the public
We’d recommend finding specialist website hosting FAQs for this topic if you’re determined to self-host and confident you have the in-house expertise, time, and money to make this work.
What questions should I ask a website hosting provider?
- Is support included and how – via phone or live chat?
- How fast and responsive are their servers?
- What features are included in the price?
- How often do you backup your sites?
- What types of servers do you use?
- Can I upgrade my server later on?
- Is there an initial trial period?
- What is your refund policy?
Have we answered all your website hosting FAQs?
We hope so. If you still need more information – or are interested in becoming a future client – book a free consultation so we can get to know you better.