Your Guide To Website Hosting For Your Business

By 2027, it’s estimated that the website hosting sector will be worth around $171.4 billion. As more businesses than ever take their operations online, finding the right website host has become a high priority. Indeed, getting the best hosting provider is essential to keeping your site running smoothly and effectively for your customers.  So what exactly is a website host, and how can you find one that’s right for your website?

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What is website hosting? 

Building a website requires lots of files. Whether it’s code, images, eCommerce systems or blogs, your site will need plenty of space to keep everything it needs to run efficiently. In a sense, when you pay for website hosting, you’re paying to rent space on the world wide web on which to build and keep your website. 

What is a website hosting provider? 

Website hosting providers run data centres full of servers. These servers are computers that connect to other web users around the world. Providers run these servers and their surrounding infrastructure for the purpose of hosting websites. Whether you pay annually or monthly for your website hosting, you’re paying to keep your website online via these servers. 

To find the right provider, it’s key that you make sure the servers and infrastructure each host has are large and secure enough to keep your site running. Choosing a host that doesn’t have the experience or technology you require can lead to slow loading times, troubles with website configuration and, in the worse cases, losses in traffic and sales

Different Types of Web Hosting

When you start searching for a provider, it’s key that you understand the type of hosting they provide. This will determine the size and security of their infrastructure and whether it will be appropriate for your website project. The main web hosting types are: 

  1. Shared hosting: if you’ve come across cheap website hosting platforms like WordPress, then this is the type of provider you’re looking at. Although they’re a very cost-effective option, shared hosting websites share resources with other sites on the same server. This is fine for small and simple sites, but if you have a big project in mind, you should look elsewhere. 
  2. VPS hosting: this is a step up from shared hosting, meaning that you’ll be sharing a server with fewer websites. Plus, this single server is split onto multiple ‘virtual private servers’. This opens up the possibility of some custom configurations as well as faster loading times and better uptime. 
  3. Dedicated hosting: this is where you pay to have a single server all to yourself. Although this is considered the best option by many tech-heads, it’s also the most expensive, so really be sure you need the space and peak level of performance it provides before you invest. 
  4. Cloud hosting: this is an alternative to VPS and means your website is hosted across virtual remote servers. This means that even if one server has a problem, your website will transfer to another and won’t be affected. As well as giving better uptime rates, this option allows for scalability, meaning your site can grow with your business. 

Once you’ve chosen the type of hosting you need, shop around for providers. There are plenty of review sites out there that will give you their recommendations, so don’t just go with the first or biggest provider you see. Sometimes, smaller and less well-known means you’ll get a more reliable and personalised service, even with a shared hosting provider. 

How much does it cost to host a website?

When you’re searching for a website hosting provider, keep in mind that cheap website hosting options may not always be the best. Although you can find website providers for less than £10 a month, these are likely to leave you with slow load times and drops in uptime if you’re running a high-quality content or eCommerce site. 

Once you’ve decided on the type of hosting you need, shop around to find the best providers in the market and then compare them on price. If you’re still not sure, ring each of them up directly to talk through your package and see what they can offer you as part of a new package. 

Can I move my website to another host?

If you’re wondering how to transfer your website hosting, then the answer is it depends on the size and complexity of your site. Moving to a new host means migrating your entire site to their servers. This usually involves exporting your site’s files and reuploading them to the new provider’s systems. 

However, if you have a particularly large or complicated site and want to transfer to a new host with minimal disruption, then it’s best to get advice or help from website migration experts. Although you might think that outsourcing this task is a nice-to-have, getting a third party to deal with providers, ensure your files are migrated correctly and manage the switch over will prove an invaluable investment when it all goes smoothly. 

To put this in context, website migrations can take up to six months or more to complete. So to minimise your workload, and that of your IT department, it’s recommended that you use experts to manage your website move. 

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Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.

Your complete business toolkit

Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.