You should carefully consider where to host your new web or software application. After developing a brand-new system, you want to make sure it is well supported and secure. Like other services, you have cheap options or more reliable options. It is about finding the best value that suits you.
Wherever you decide to host your application, you should find out as much as possible about the company and server first. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – How long has the company been in business? How many websites do they host per server? How much downtime have they experienced in the past year?
But how important is this decision?
Importance of a well-maintained server
You naturally want your websites and software to be kept up and running as much as possible. This means you are dependent on your server being reliable. Websites are likely to be your primary web-presence and software is often business-critical. Therefore, any downtime can be detrimental to your business. A reliable hosting company keep servers well-monitored, maintained and up to date. Constant monitoring ensures any issues are identified early and can be solved quickly and prevented from re-occurring.
- detect intrusion
- identify malicious files
- check email blacklists
- highlight site issues and much more.
Cheaper alternative hosting providers cannot guarantee all the safe practice that might be available elsewhere.
Why Backups are so useful
When things go wrong, data stored on servers can be lost. It may be malicious or accidental, but lost files can be irritating and cause expensive problems to resolve. For peace of mind, it is always best for your hosting provider to back up your software or web application, however not all offer this service. You want your system backed up as much as possible – particularly if it is large and handles a lot of data.
Although this may have added cost, it will ensure in the long-term, your website will be safe as it can be restored to its correct state.
SSL certificates are now common practice on the web, ensuring websites stay secure. They also help with your Google search ranking. They are not offered as standard by all hosting companies and are often found as an add on. If they are standard in packages, this is usually a good indicator of a company wanting the best for your website.
There are many other ways hosting servers can improve on security. It depends how much money, time and effort the hosting provider put into making them secure. But do ask questions, if they don’t give specifications in their sales and marketing literature.
SEO benefits of good hosting
The server your website is hosted on affects your SEO. Search engines will rank websites poorly if they are slow to load or are hosted on servers that have been blacklisted. Often this is because dated, spam-like and budget websites are also hosted on these servers.
The loading speed of your software or web application can be affected by a server’s performance too. Slow response times can also be frustrating for users.
As a British-based company, it is important to keep your server within the EU. With GDPR in place, it is more important than ever to make sure data is handled and stored correctly. Overseas-based servers cannot guarantee to comply with laws that aim to keep data safe in the UK.
Some hosting providers provide quantity over quality. It may be appealing because it is cheap, so they have lots of small sites on their servers. You can’t control what others are doing which may affect the reputation of the server. These websites and software applications won’t be looked after as they should be either.
You want your website to be closely monitored and protected by a dedicated team. For peace of mind, you want your website managed by people who you know are only a phone call away. If the company who built your application also have hosting servers, you will likely have an established relationship with them, and they will know it well.
You want a communication process in place which informs you about scheduled maintenance and troubleshooting. Most of all you want to be kept in the loop by down-to-earth support staff who will look after one of your most important sales and marketing tools.