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10 Website Hosting Tips Protect the Business

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Website hosting tips
© 2017 Scott Bateman

Reliable website hosting tips result from years of managing sites, making mistakes and achieving successes.

Businesses will go through the trouble of moving to a new hosting company because of bad experiences with the old one.

Naive business owners may buy cheap hosting because it is cheap. But cheap has another cost that ultimately hurt the marketing of the site.

Bad experiences usually fall into a few categories:

  1. The hosting company has poor customer service.
  2. Server performance is slow (especially on shared servers).
  3. Upgrades done by a poorly skilled technician results in data loss.
  4. Spammers chew up bandwidth and server capacity.
  5. Hackers take down the site.

Quality hosting has a major impact on the marketing, reputation and credibility of the business. It is always worth the increase in cost, which often may be only a few dollars a month more depending on the size of the site and business needs.

Hosting Performance Testing

Quality hosting has a major impact on the marketing, reputation and credibility of the business.

A website speed tool such as the ones from or may offer a useful insight about the quality of a hosting server. Look at the “waterfall” to see how long it takes for the first byte to download, which is the first entry on the chart. It is usually the index.html file of the homepage.

For example, one of our sites takes about 250 milliseconds for that file to download. Another site I know needs 1,220 milliseconds or five times longer to download. The difference is the hosting company. Our site is with a reputable, high-quality hosting service. The other is with a company known for terrible hosting.

A one-second difference doesn’t sound like much, but the seconds add up when other files start to download just as slowly. Google has said that there is a perceptible difference in speed at only 300 milliseconds.

Visitors leave quickly or don’t come back at all. Bad hosting is bad marketing. Bad marketing is bad for the business.

The website hosting tips below define some simple standards when a business is looking for a company to host its website. The host company should have standards on its own website for making comparisons.

1) Capacity

Bandwidth and server space are two basic needs for handling visitors. Consider adding more when either number exceeds 80 percent of the account’s limit each month.

The total bandwidth is the amount of data transfers each month that take place from site visitors downloading articles, graphics and photos. The server space accommodates all files for the site including articles, graphics and photos.

Note that server tools should provide that information. In particular, look for spikes that hit the maximum capacity. That means some visitors aren’t able to reach the site at all.

2) Hardware

The number of CPUs and amount of RAM are closely related to capacity. A shared hosting account for smaller sites will split the capacity among all of the sites.

A dedicated server or virtual private server should have enough CPUs and RAMs to handle regular spikes in traffic with only minor declines in response time.

3) Customer service

For business critical sites, look for 24/7 live support from on-duty (not on-call) staff with immediate or nearly immediate response to emergencies. Ticketing systems should include “urgent” level requests.

An online system that allows you to submit a ticket for routine support and track the progress on that ticket is convenient and a simple standard of good service.

A hosting company that takes minutes to reply has great customer service. Ones that take hours or even days — yes, some of them exist — have customer service that will lead to problems in the future.

4) Reliability

HostingA good hosting company should guarantee 99.9% server uptime, redundancy/data backups and site snapshots.

Even if the host has properly functioning servers, a programming error by the site’s staff can crash the site or damage key files. Data backups and site snapshots can restore files or an entire site.

Reliable site hosting companies offer weekly backups and some offer daily. Sites with daily changes to the content should have a hosting company with daily backups.

5) Security

Hackers and spammers will try their best to gain access to critical parts of the sites. A site management product such as Cpanel, which is standard with many hosting companies, can block some of them.

For bigger security problems, the hosting company should make changes on request at the server level to block malicious visitors even more.

Other services include shared SSL certificates, encryption and complex password generators.

6) CMS Support

Many hosting companies have a one-click server that installs WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and other content management systems.

Sites that buy a CMS or use a free, open-source one like Drupal will find the implementation and maintenance much easier with a host that has experience in such a system.

7) Scripting Functionality

Popular CMS systems like the ones above use PHP in the background. Sites that use other systems may need other scripting support such as Perl, ColdFusion, Python, etc.

Check to see if the host in question has the capacity for the type of scripting that best matches the skills of the site staff. Beware the host that has fallen behind. An upgrade can lead to trouble.

8) Database Support

Likewise, MySQL and other databases are crucial for content management systems and providing classifieds, directories, calendars and other services.

Quality hosting companies will offer many if not an “unlimited” number of MySQL databases with each account. Some have tools such as cPanel and PhpMyAdmin that allow customers to create and manage their own databases.

Others need a support ticket so that customer service creates it. Such strict controls can lead to lag time in making changes.

9) Application Support

The ability to provide mailboxes, subdomains, FTP accounts and other applications is an essential part of website hosting tips.

For sites that don’t use a CMS, support for blogs, ecommerce and message boards is often useful.

10) Reporting

Reporting functions are important for managing costs from bandwidth and disk space.

AWStats is a popular free service with many hosting companies, but it has mostly raw statistics. Google Analytics is free and much more sophisticated.

Sophisticated sites buy even more advanced reporting tools from outside vendors.

2 Responses to “10 Website Hosting Tips Protect the Business”

  1. Hospedagem php 30 dias gratis ativação imediata Says:

    Customer support is very important when adopting a hosting program. You have to make sure that there are answers to inquiries about sales and technical concerns.

  2. Lorinda Brue Says:

    Put your give good results in an on line portfolio. I am sure there would be a CPU there. World wide web model is about way more than decent design. It really is about user friendliness and functionality. If a person is going to hire you, they will want to make use of the world-wide-web web site, not see it.

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