Having a successful website can make or break a business. And every successful website needs to be built on a solid foundation. When it comes to websites, the foundations are your domain name, hosting service and layout or design of your website. Below we explore five essential elements that are likely to impact your decision as to how much you want to spend when setting up your website.
How Much Does A Website Cost?
Choosing an appropriate domain name that fits well with your business is of high importance however you can generally go with whatever domain registrar service suits you best. Some services will be more expensive than others, but it’s not going to make a big difference to the future performance of your website. However, when it comes to hosting there a vast number of services out there. Some good, some, not so good. But hosting is an area where you want to do your research because if you sign up with a poor service to start with it can take a long time to get back to where you started.
Here are five essential factors that you should consider before signing up for web hosting for your business website:
Speed is all about the experience a visitor receives when they visit your website. Similar to when a customer goes into a brick and mortar store, you don’t want to keep your customer waiting for long. When a visitor comes to your business website you don’t want to keep them waiting a long time for the pages of your site to load. If this happens, chances are they won’t be around long. Siteground hosting technology is at the forefront of industry standards. If there is new technology available that can improve the load time speed for your website Siteground can always be relied on for early adoption.
At times even the most experienced web designer needs help from support. Having a responsive support service is paramount when it comes to business web hosting. With a world-class support service and vast array of step-by-step tutorials to assist you with any issue, you might run into Siteground is fast becoming the industry leader in this field.
3. Secure – Uptime vs Downtime
Website uptime refers to the percentage of time that your website was available to a visitor/customer out of the total available time over a given period. If we take a given period to be 3o days and work out that there are 720 hours in 30 days. If your site was down for 20 hours of this 30 day period, meaning it was up for 700 hours then your uptime percentage would be 97.22% (700/720). Siteground boasts an impressive 99.9% uptime. Rather than rely on the available mass web hosting security solutions as most hosting companies do, Siteground has paved their own way and been able to achieve outstanding uptime results using their own handcrafted solutions. 99.9% uptime simply wouldn’t be possible if they relied on the typical security solutions available to the masses.
4. SEO Rankings
Google admits that site speed is a ranking factor. It’s one of the considerations that Google has programmed into its algorithm to determine which sites rank in the Google SERP (search engine results page). I was pleased to see my rankings improve in the local search results when I switched my website over to Siteground hosting. It’s not surprising considering how much emphasis Siteground place on the technology they use to run their hosting network.
5. Is https included?
What is https and why is it important?
Originally all websites came in the form of http which is the standard way of transmitting data online. Http means any data you send or receive through your browser is un-encrypted and is at risk of being intercepted by a potential attacker. These days, websites can either be secure or not secure according to Google’s terms. What makes a site safe is a protocol that a site must go through. For any business who collects data via a form on their website the standard protocol of http is no longer acceptable. The secure way to collect data online is by installing a certificate to encrypt any data you receive which is known as https. As you may have guessed the additional ‘s’ at the end of the http stands for secure and allows Google to display the image of a lock when a visitor comes to your website as shown here.
Most web designers are well aware of this issue and cater for the fact https is now the norm required for businesses, but if you have an older website, you may need to get a https certificate installed. If you fail to do this, the risk to your business is that where someone visiting your site uses the Chrome browser, Google will automatically apply a not secure alert to the web browser. It may be the difference between acquiring a new business lead or not. Here is an example:
When considering a hosting service for your business, it’s important to find whether https is included in the standard hosting package of whether this is a feature you need to pay for on top of your standard hosting. Siteground hosting offers this service as part of their standard hosting package. It’s a simple process and clear instructions can be found on Siteground’s website by visiting https installation instructions.
Depending on your business requirements Siteground offers a three-tiered hosting package starting with the StartUp package that offers the following benefits:
• Free Website Builder
• Unmetered Traffic
• 24/7 Support
• Free Cloudflare CDN
• Free SSL and HTTPS
• Unlimited MySQL
• 30 Days Money Back
• Free Daily Backup
• Free Email Accounts
• cPanel & SSH
How To Budget For Your New Website?
As a business owner, I completely understand the importance of budgeting. It’s important to consider how long you are likely to need hosting for. If the purpose of your site is for a startup business and it’s not certain whether you will need the website in two or three years, then signing up for a yearly service would make sense. Alternatively, if you know you’re going to need hosting for the next three years Siteground offers a 60% discount on web hosting where you sign up for a period of three years. £2.95 per month compared to the regular price of £8.95 per month. Over three years this works out to be a cost saving of £216 (excl. VAT). A screenshot from Sitegrounds website is shown below.