If you don’t know who is providing your web hosting service, you need to change that. If I had a bitcoin for every time one of our clients suffered unnecessarily because they did not know who was hosting their website…well, I’d be insanely rich. It’s so important to understand your website hosting situation, and it’s so simple! That’s why it’s our second Best Practice.

If you’re the owner of business, and not particularly tech-savvy, it can feel a little overwhelming to have to think about your webhost. But it need not be. This post will bring you through the basics and will help clear things up.

Website hosting refers to the process and services dedicated to providing you with a website.  It’s where your website lives and allows you to access services related to your website – email clients, web builders, wordpress hosting, and others. There are three major types of website hosting:

  1. Shared Hosting: Provides basic website features, however usage surges and web traffic of other sites can affect access to your site. Think Apt. Building.
  2. VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting: More control, space, more features, more flexible and less compromised. Think Townhouse
  3. Dedicated Servers: Even more space, more personal control, and more resource options for your website so you can host more features. Think Home-ownership

You should know which of the above handles your website. With a few exceptions, it’s most likely a shared hosting setup.

Often, and unless you specifically set up your website otherwise, the organization you purchased your domain name from will also host your website. While this is generally a workable situation, the best practice is to have domain name management and website hosting separate. Diversify your assets! This way, if something happens, they won’t both go down at the same time. Although it’s completely understandable, don’t mix up your domain name and website hosting. If you’re unsure what’s going on with your domain name(s), we covered the importance of domain name management in our previous blog. Head over there and check it out in case you missed it.

But perhaps the most important reason to ensure your website host is one you’re happy with, is that your business directly depends on your webhost’s ability to operate without outages. If your webhost is down, your business’ online presence is compromised. For every second you website is not online to greet visitors, your business is missing leads, sales, and opportunities to grow.

Squaring away your website host is one of the many best practices we recommend you take as a small business owner. To see them all, download our top ten free best practices here.