(Ping! Zine) – With hundreds of web hosting companies available to you, it seems simple enough to pick one and go with it. However, it’s smart to take a step back before making any decisions. While many sites boast “Hosting starting at $2.95,” it’s critical to consider what you’re getting for that price, versus what you may be getting with a host that charges a higher annual rate. While budget is important, your site needs to run properly, too. Unfortunately, sometimes that comes at a higher price.
The amount of hosting space, others wise known as bandwidth, you have is critical to how your site will run. You want your visitors to have a seamless experience from the moment they step onto your site until the second they bounce back off.
According to Networksolutions.com, “Bandwidth is the amount of data exchanged or transferred in and out of your Web server, usually measured by a monthly allotment. Bandwidth increases when large files are requested and when your visitor traffic increases.” Some hosting sites will offer minimal bandwidth for basic packages or claim to offer unlimited though isn’t actually.
- Cost vs. feature: This is a very important aspect of your website, and one worth paying for. SearchEngineJournal.com suggests that 5GB should be enough for a medium-sized site receiving moderate amounts of traffic. If the site offers an unlimited option, be sure to read the fine print before.
The server is where your site information is stored. When signing up with a web host they will likely have a server type that comes with the sale price or basic plan. However, there are advantages to looking at your other options, as well.
While shared servers may be inexpensive, they are also just what they seem: shared. This means that you are splitting space with millions of other websites, potentially worldwide, trying to load information and handle traffic at the same time that you are. This can affect your up time and customer experience.
On the other hand, a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is the middle ground between springing for an expensive dedicated server and risking down time with a shared one. Get access root access while still sharing some resources.
- Cost vs. feature: For an ecommerce site, you can get away with paying for the middle of the road option, a VPS. If you are maintaining a small site, however, you can squeak by with a shared server.
What is more important than a well-designed website? Your SEO capabilities. If Google can’t find you, your site risks losing traffic and authority. Though the bulk of your SEO will come from what you do with the site, there are aspects of the backend that can affect your efforts down the line.
Your IP address is said to be tied to how Google ranks your website. Considered a controversial topic in the SEO world, some believe that a shared IP address will negatively affect your SEO performance. However, SEORoundTable.com quotes Google’s Director of Technology as saying, “Google handles virtually hosted domains and their links just the same as domains on unique IP addresses. If your ISP does virtual hosting correctly, you’ll never see a difference between the two cases.”
- Cost vs. feature: Don’t bother spending more on a dedicated IP address. There is no conclusive evidence that a unique IP address bodes better for SEO than shared.
When choosing a web hosting provider, don’t be fooled by low prices and “basic” plans. Be sure to know what your website will need to run properly before jumping on what seems like a good deal.
Bio: Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics that range from social media to business management. She is a professional blogger and web content writer for ResourceNation.com.