In 2021, there is no need to highlight the importance of having a website. Internet use in the UK doubled last year and, in January 2021, online sales accounted for a record 35.2% of all retail. A good website is now the difference between success and irrelevance. Choosing your web hosting provider is the most important factor in making your website a reality – after all, your technology partner will be responsible for making your website tick. However, with the recent trend towards enhanced website media, the type of web hosting package you choose is just as vital.
It’s time to start thinking bigger and better
More than ever, we are witnessing live streaming, automated chatbots, interactive websites, personalised email marketing, data visualisation and much more. 2020 was coined: ‘the year that websites came alive’ and 2021 isn’t shaping up to be much different. Incredible websites often appear as magic on the screen (check out https://schweppes.ca/en/ for a sparkling example) but behind closed doors these features are backed up by the same types of web hosting packages as your simple WordPress setups, just with additional horsepower, and more storage. If you’re already feeling out of your depth, the next section will cover the core elements of effective web hosting, to help get you started.
Get the basics right first
If you care about organic traffic and online revenues, then you should have your sights set on a world class customer experience. However, it’s more important that your website works. A well-functioning and efficient website is key. But what fundamental goals should businesses consider when choosing a web hosting package?
Uptime, uptime, uptime
Website downtime can be a major factor in reducing your website traffic and therefore impacting your bottom line. Uptime refers to the amount of time your website stays up and running, and functional. Ideally, this would be 100%, with the best providers offering compensation if the figure falls below 99.9%. Remember, website downtime means lost revenues. Conversely, good uptime keeps customers and visitors happy and helps maintain a good reputation.
Load times are the most important factor when it comes to customer experience. Figures show that 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Many experts believe that web hosting is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to page speed. It’s also worth remembering that google prioritises quicker websites.
Get your storage capacity right. How much data you can have on your hosting account limits the amount of content and files you can have on your website. Different web hosting packages will offer different storage amounts as part of their web hosting packages. Some providers might offer ‘unlimited storage’ but remember you will run other limitations if your site gets too big.
Paying more for your web hosting package doesn’t necessarily mean you get a higher quality service. Reputation is much more important than price and the best providers are able to keep costs low due to the scale of their offering. Look for providers who offer a ‘predictable’ and ‘transparent’ pricing structure.
Content management system
A CMS isn’t a nice to have, it’s the system you’ll use to design and publish your website. A basic web hosting package should include WordPress as part of the offering. Find a web hosting package that includes the option to choose from a selection of CMS modules, so you can get started on your website hassle free.
What options are there if you want the extra wow-factor?
A fully-fledged 2021 website will make you stand out online and potentially increase your traffic and revenues. But heavy-duty graphics, interactive content and mind-blowing customer service (automated chatbots included) do require some extra heft when it comes to your web hosting package. And if you’re expecting a goliath of an online shop – you may also want to think about higher-performance web hosting plans. If you want to cover the basics we have mentioned, but still make an awesome website for your business, OVHcloud offer a Personal Plan – which offers a good amount of power and up to 100GB of storage. If you have grander ambitions, however, you might want to consider a more complete package:
The Professional Plan:
The OVHcloud Professional Plan offers all the power and bandwidth you could ever need for your website. The plan offers a more powerful setup, with 250GB of storage space and up to 10 websites, 50 email accounts for your staff and unlimited traffic. The Performance Plan comes with a choice of one-click CMS modules so you can create your website with ease, as well as presta-shop so you can create an online shop effortlessly.
Getting 2021-ready might mean more than simply getting your website online. With the move towards data-intensive websites and marketing there is now a business incentive to creating websites that are bigger, better and more impressive. However, it’s important that you understand the basic elements of web hosting before you decide to add the extra wow factor. If you do, make sure you choose a web hosting package that offers enough power and storage space to maintain performance no matter what your website throws at it.
Product marketing manager