There’s a lot of wrong information about web hosting floating around, and it’s time to debunk some of them. Whether you’re gearing up for your first website or your hundredth, most website owners don’t delve deep into the nooks and crannies of web hosting to really “get it.” As long as your site seems to be functioning and you’re within your budget, that’s all that matters, right? With so many myths about web hosting, it’s easy to see why the average person steers clear of complex issues.
However, web hosting is actually pretty straightforward. There are three major types of hosting: Shared, dedicated and “buying your own.” The vast majority of website owners go with shared, which splits the resources amongst many clients. Massive companies like eBay might have dedicated servers where they get all of the support from a single server, and very few (very tech laden) businesses buy their own server.
Ready to de-mystify the trifecta? Here are some of the biggest misconceptions about web hosting and the reality behind them.
- Never pay for it
Yes, there are plenty of free web hosting options and in some instances they’re perfectly fine. However, you’re going to be sharing a server with many other people which can cause slow load times and other issues. That’s okay if you just have a personal blog, but not acceptable if you’re running an online business. You certainly should pay for hosting if your audience demands it.
- Having down time is common
Servers do go down, but if you have a quality web host it’s up over 99 percent of the time. Any less than that and you’re either settling for a free service or you need to switch hosts pronto. There’s no excuse for a server being down, and your customers are going to blame you even if it’s out of your control. Can you afford to lose visitors and/or sales?
- Only a dedicated host will do
Having a dedicated server is certainly the cream of the crop, but few businesses actually need them. This is only for the busiest of online companies that have millions of people using it. If the cost of a dedicated host seems burdensome, that’s a sign your business isn’t ready (yet) to make that leap. Once you get to the point where a dedicated server cost doesn’t make you look twice, it’s time to re-consider.
- Web hosts keep regular office hours
There are certainly some web host companies that keep a nine to five schedule. However, the best will be available around the clock because your server is working around the clock. Check the customer service before you commit to a package, and imagine worst case scenarios (like a 1am emergency on a Saturday night). There are all types of web hosts who keep all types of hours.
- All web hosts are the same
Are all coffee shops, restaurants or salons the same? Certainly not and the same is true of web hosts. What works for your friend might not work for you, which is why doing your research is so paramount.
A web host is a service provider just like any other, and going with your first pick will usually lead to disaster. Do your homework, and choose wisely.