As time progresses, the modern commerce industry is moving away from standard brick-and-mortar storefronts to digital (online) stores. While this has caused millions of businesses to thrive when they otherwise wouldn’t exist, the move to a digital retail front is the cause of concern for many more. The heart and soul of your online business is not within the content or design of your site, but rather in the hosting provider you choose.
A business website can range from a simple eCommerce site dedicated to only a handful of products to a mega-store selling thousands of individual products and services. Although there’s been a major consolidation in the website hosting industry, there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of website hosts to choose from. If you’re not well-versed in this industry, then you could easily become overwhelmed with options and potentially select a hosting company that’s incompatible with your business needs.
There are several tips you can follow to help ensure you make the best decision for your current business platform and future growth.
Tip #1: Website Functionality Demands
Perhaps one of the most important questions to answer when it comes to determining the level of hosting your business requires boils down to its required functionality. The size and scope of your website will determine the level of functionality a website host must support. Does your website require a vast array of databases? Will you require a secure server to process payments? Will you be running multiple user applications? The answers to these questions will ultimately determine the type of hosting you’ll require.
Tip #2: Hosting Based Upon Current and Predicted Traffic
While you may not have a vast array of incoming traffic to your website at the moment, you must always plan for advancement. The size and scope of your website requires a certain amount of bandwidth for each visitor. If you’re currently or are expecting significant traffic to your site it’s imperative to have ample bandwidth to support such activity. Failure to do so can result in expensive charges, or worse, website downtime.
Tip #3: Website Hosting Provider Speeds
The speed of your website is the foundation for your business. In fact, functionality and performance not only determines your site reputation among visitors, but also your ranking among search engines. Therefore, regardless of the size and scope of your business, you must ensure the website host is designed to provide the fastest speeds, as explained here. If possible, choose a website host that features a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which can dramatically increase end-user speed, functionality and overall performance. When analyzing the speed of a web host, consider not only your site’s load time, but the speed at which your web browser can connect to the host’s server. A server lag time can slow the most efficiently coded websites, so be mindful of that statistic.