Building a website can seem like a daunting prospect for most people, after purchasing a domain the very next step can be a tough roadblock – what is web hosting and which host should I choose?

What is web hosting?

Put simply web hosting is where your website is stored and loaded from. Any website is simply a collection of files stored on a computer that’s always connected to the internet, and always on. When you go to look at your website on the internet, your internet browser accesses that computer, and displays the files as the website you see.

When you’re looking for a web host many people look at price alone – that’s a huge mistake. The cheapest web hosts, especially deals offering free web hosting, more often than not are really sub-standard hosting plans. Crappy web hosting means a slow website, a website that fails to load often, lost data, the list goes on.

There are so many things to pay attention to when looking for good web hosting. Things like the specification of the server (which remember is basically just a computer), the physical location of the server – if your site and customers are UK based then you don’t want a server in America – data has to travel too. Also whether your site will be sharing a server with other sites, and if so what the guaranteed resources (if any) your site has when that server gets busy.

What type of hosting do I need?

The type of hosting plan that you need for your site depends on many different factors, but there are a few simple rules and questions to ask yourself, and your potential hosting provider to make sure it’s right for you and your business:

• You ALWAYS want a server as close to your customers as possible, UK companies with a UK audience should use a UK based server.

• How much traffic do you expect to get? If your site is mostly to show your services and share news / articles – that’s most small to medium sized business websites – you won’t need a super powerful server. If you’re going to be selling thousands of items, and driving traffic to the site through advertising and social media – you’re going to need a server that can handle that.

• Will you be taking payments on the site? If so you need to make sure that your server is PCI compliant – that basically means that it meets certain security requirements, and a lot of cheaper hosting plans are not PCI compliant.

• What platform will the site be built on? Some hosting providers offer better technical assistance for certain types of sites – Siteground offer amazing assistance for WordPress sites – we use them for all of our WordPress sites, UKFast have an amazing Magento team.

Need help with setting up hosting?

There’s lots to consider when looking at hosting, we offer hosting for all sites we design. If you need help changing to a better host, simply want to have a chat about a recommendation, or just don’t want to worry about your hosting anymore, get in touch with us, everyday we’re helping businesses get and stay online – stress free.