Webhosting services – as easy as 1, 2, 3
by Keris Lahiff
Services are crucial for those business aspects you may not be a pro at – from accounting to the law. However, when it comes to DIY website work, often it is better to leave it to the professionals. If you want a streamlined, easy-to-access web platform, for instance, it is best to enlist webhosting services.
Like the accountant or lawyer’s invaluable services, employing a web-hosting company – or internet service provider (ISP) – can be a priceless investment towards establishing and maintaining a healthy website, blog or even simply maintaining a high volume of email.
While it is possible to host a website on your personal computer, many small businesses opt for webhosting services. Webhosting means the ISP stores your website and online information on a public server – the company leases the space on their server for their clients. Once your data is uploaded onto their server, anyone around the world will be able to access and download your data (website) again and again.
Webhosting services usually include additional features, including email and domain name registration services, though these vary depending on the provider.
2. How will these services help my business?
Why the need for webhosting services? Some of the advantages of uploading your website onto a server provided by an ISP include:
Webhosting companies will sport a faster connection speed than your average personal computer, which means those accessing your website will be able to upload the page faster.
While most servers host several different companies’ websites and data, ISPs should have immense data capabilities and effective load balancing, giving no preference or weight to any client.
The majority of webhosting companies have 99.9 per cent uptime, which means that the server, and your website, will be accessible all the time (bar 45 minutes or so per month, reserved for server restarts or maintenance).
Also, most professional webhosting companies will have secure back-up servers and anti-virus protection.
When considering which ISP is right for you, weigh up the following factors:
Your product needs will largely depend on the type and amount of what you are posting online. If you expect high traffic volume or want to publish pictures or video, for example, ensure the ISP sports the correct bandwidth and content capabilities.
If you cannot easily talk to a customer service representative – at any time of day – look for a different company. If your website encounters critical problems, you shouldn’t have to wait for the next working day for these to get fixed.
Ask the provider where their server is located – a lot of companies outsource servers to companies in America or India and while your website will still be accessible, it will be limited in speed and search engine rankings (especially if the internet browser limits searches to pages within Australia).
Finally, be realistic in terms of pricing. While it may be tempting to opt for the cheaper ISP, the services or product offering may not be as strong. On that note, do not purchase more expensive packages ‘just in case’.
The key is to do your research – look at what you need and shop around for companies that cater to this, while offering the flexibility should this change in the future.
Regardless of the way you do it, forging your company’s e-space is the way to etch your path and change the Web’s landscape with your own unique imprint. Don’t think of it as a business expense – it is a long-term investment in the efficiency and excellence of your own business’ services.
Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
Published on: Friday, August 27, 2010