Taking your hosting solution into your own hands with a dedicated server is good business sense.
We live in the internet age where more and more of us need an online presence; many of us have become more flexible with our working arrangements, and one side effect is having the liberty to start our own business. Large or small, we can bring a business to life from the comfort of our own home via a website. We can set up our very own online shop, selling our products and services to the world from our sofa. So if our website is our gateway to success we need to ask ourselves: what is the best way to host it?
There are many large companies in the UK offering to host your website for free, and they often offer a free or cheap domain name on top of that. All you have to do to cash in on this UK website hosting with a free website is to sign up, choose a template, and you‘re ready to go. But is this the best way? The answer depends on what kind of a website you are creating. If you are serious about building a business, whether it‘s an ecommerce website or more of a blog, it comes down to this basic principle: you must have ownership of your data.
Should you be hosting your site with a dedicated server? Let’s find out…
Take control of your data.
If you go for independent website hosting you are the full owner of everything you place online, and provided you carry out regular backups – and download them – your content and data will never be lost. You can choose which platform you would like to build your website with and customise it as much as you wish.
If you are not a developer yourself, you will probably need to recruit one to create a customised website with a great backend. Alternatively you can choose a platform such as WordPress which offers many professional templates which you can purchase for a one-off fee. However, it is worth noting that to make any changes to the layout and features of a template, a developer is needed.
Consider the costs of powerful hosting, and budget according to how powerful you want your site to be.
In your budget plan you will have to include the monthly hosting fees, the domain name registration and any costs of a template and/or developer as required. You will also need to consider how “heavy” your website will be and think about the type of hosting you require to maintain fast page loading times; high bandwidth hosting is needed to ensure your website loads lightning fast. Speedy loading is vital, especially for an online shop, as products need to load almost instantly. Some of the very cheap and cheerful web hosting companies might seem appealing from an initial budget point of view, but in the long term they might be a hindrance rather than an advantage. Be sure to balance cost with infrastructure requirements.
If you are creating a blog, dedicated website hosting is essential, especially if you are planning to turn your blog into a business. The reason for this is simple: a blog is basically a database in which all of your images and blog posts are stored. When you self host, you have access to those databases and can download them or even move them to another service provider should you so wish. If you didn‘t have these databases, and you ever wanted to move your blog elsewhere, you would have to manually go back into each and every blog post. You would also lose all of the links (urls) of your website and blog posts which would basically erase you from Google and other search engines. You would be starting from scratch.
If you have your own databases, and you decide to move hosting company, then you simply point your domain name to the new host and all of your urls remain in tact.
A note about templates and SEO (search engine optimisation).
Whether or not you’re using a dedicated server, not all templates are search engine optimised. Internal links are not usually best structured from a usability point of view, according to search engines. As a novice you will not be able to change that, and may once again require a developer. If you sign up for a hosted website, making any SEO changes in particular will be very difficult. In contrast, building a dedicated website which is already optimised can help you avoid many potential pitfalls and problems. Don‘t forget that editing and making changes to existing templates can sometimes cause even more technical issues if you lack the technical know-how.
Find out more about dedicated web hosting from UK2 here.