Isn’t all hosting the same? The answer, clearly, is no.
Most marketing managers and business owners are aware of the need to create and share compelling web content, but many overlook the importance of also choosing a reliable web host. With almost all customers in every industry using the internet to find new brands, browse potential products and services to buy, and make purchasing decisions, it’s never been so important to have a strong, reliable online presence.
While website hosting is not our core service offering at MCG, it’s a critical part of the territory of web design and development. That’s why for the past 14 years, we have partnered exclusively with experts who know what they’re doing. We trust Whiteboard, our backend development and hosting team, with all of our website development, digital and mobile applications, and hosting.
We often get many questions about website hosting. It’s usually an overlooked detail and not the most exciting topic to discuss – but because it’s so important to the success of any business, we wanted to review this topic.
What is web hosting and why do I need it?
Web hosting is basically where your website lives. Simply put, you need some form of web hosting in order to make your website available to the public.
Your website’s data and files are stored on a remote server, or a host, where your content is made available to you and your customers through a web browser.
What is domain registration?
Domain registration is the act of registering your domain name with a domain registration company, known as a Registrar. When you register a domain, you are the Registrant. The Registrar protects the Registrant by reserving the domain name for you so that other companies can’t use it. The Registrar also tells the internet where your Name Servers are located, which is known as DNS.
What does DNS mean?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. The DNS tells all web traffic where to go. It directs you to the website you’re looking for and deliver emails to the correct locations.
Here are some of the main reasons why your choice of a web hosting service is so important for your business:
Website Failures Could Interrupt Your Sales
As a business owner, maximizing profits is always one of your biggest concerns. When it comes to selecting a web host, your choice can have a big impact on your profits if your website service isn’t reliable. For example, if you run an eCommerce store and your site goes down, this interrupted profit potential is valuable time that could be spent selling products to both new and existing customers on your site.
Failures under large-scale hosting platforms are only a matter time. Most businesses – and especially our clients – cannot afford to risk having their websites fail. We don’t recommend running any business website without redundancies, full backups, and professionals monitoring the server environments.
At MCG, our enterprise class hosting partners provide:
- Multiple web servers
- Multiple database servers
- Load balanced
- Full redundancies
- Full backups
Additionally, our hosting backups include:
- Nightly web application backups
- File level backups
- Database backups
- Server level (image) backups
- Offsite cloud storage
One of your main priorities in choosing a web hosting partner should be to keep the site secure from malware attacks and hackers. The frequency and severity of attacks against even the smallest websites has increased exponentially over the past few years, and we see no signs of it slowing. Although there is no perfect solution when it comes to keeping your website safe and secure, your choice of web hosting can certainly help. At MCG, we always run all of the sites we build with Sucuri and/or CloudFlare acting as a security layer.
A reputable, trustworthy web hosting company will back up your data to a remote server, making it easier for you to get up and running again in no time should the worst happen. Our dedicated hosting partners, network engineers, and Rackspace team have over 20 years of experience managing server environments. This same level of service is provided for our Fortune 500 companies down to smaller local service providers. Hosting includes a fully managed environment to:
- Apply updates
- Perform upgrades
- Implement changes to the latest security procedures
- Monitor uptime and response times
SEO and Reputation Management
It’s important to understand the effect that choosing the wrong web hosting service could have on your SEO ranking. One of your top goals in SEO should be to rank as high as possible in search engines so your potential customers can find you. Factors such as frequent down time, slow page loading speed, and a high bounce rate all affect your ranking. When you choose an unreliable web host, your website is at risk for all of these.
For business sites, having your website fail or be inaccessible for any amount of time not only affects your SEO ranking – it looks bad. It can make your company seem unreliable, untrustworthy, or even cheap. Additionally, if your site goes down, the amount of time spent trying to get your site back up and running again could mean lost revenue and additional stress.
When choosing a web hosting service, the amount of support available for you to receive should be a top factor to consider. Even when using a reputable web host, things can go wrong. Choosing a host that provides round-the-clock support or email support service to contact with any issues is important for keeping your website running smoothly at all times.
With the websites we build and host, we provide the following support:
- Help to maintain the client’s WordPress environment
- Implementation of basic WordPress updates
- Keeping the site up to date with WordPress core and plugin updates
- Notifications of potential security breaches and our security recommendations
- Assistance with small items at no additional cost
Why should I host my website with MCG?
We’ve seen a lot of situations where businesses will have their website developed by one company, host their website with another company, and then their domain registration and DNS are managed by someone else. Some businesses might do this to find the lowest pricing for each aspect of their website. However, this can end up costing more in the long run by making things more complicated. Instead, it makes things much easier to have everything in one place. Hosting with MCG allows you to do that. We’re familiar with all things related to creating and maintaining your website, and when we host your information in one place, we solve problems and answer questions without having to refer you to someone else.
What if I still want to go with my own web host?
We have seen “cheapie hosts” with thousands of websites lose clients’ websites on numerous occasions over the past 14 years. If you’d still like to use your selected web host, we recommend asking your service provider the following questions:
- What is the current website backup plan?
- When were the latest web application and database backups taken?
- How often are web application and database backups taken?
- What would happen if the website host lost your site?
- Are the backups stored offsite? in the Cloud?
- Recovery: in the event of failure, what is the current recovery plan?
- What is your plan for adding an SSL to the site?
A Final Word
When putting together your business website, your choice of web hosting is more important than you may realize. If you own or operate a business, then you know how important it is to keep your website current to engage with your target audience, keep in contact with your existing clients, and reach potential new customers.
Please connect with us. We’d love the opportunity to share why MCG would be a great web and digital partner for your company!