Domains and website hosting platforms are indispensable and form the crux of every business. Every organization - be it of any size - needs the strongest online presence.
Domain names serve as primary business location of your company. People search for your products and solutions by visiting your website. Have you ever wondered why some of the most successful companies in the world have greatest domain presence apart from having swanky offices.
This is everything you need to know about domain hosting, its features, uses and extreme importance to businesses.
- How web hosting affects security
- What are the different types of web hosting?
- How web hosting affects SEO
What is web and domain hosting?
Web and domain hosting can be confusing for the netizens and general internet users. Both of them seem to deliver different business functions. Though, this is not the case. Domain hosting combines the concept of domain registration as well as its hosting. Web hosting on the other hand does not involve the registration process. It is the process after domain registration. Hosting providers deliver both the registration as well as hosting resources to get your online presence in front of potential customers looking for your products and solutions. Where as domain registrars may not necessarily provide both domain registration and web hosting together.
Web hosting includes technologies and resources required to get your business online. Hosting providers have physical storage space in one of their data centers and they provide that space on primarily three pricing models such as free, shared and dedicated hosting. You can further add more languages and scripts to your servers and give your business the kind of online presence it needs.
In domain hosting, the service provider lets you purchase a domain name along with web hosting technologies. Websites can not be accessed if you do not have a domain name. Your domain name is the address where your business is hosted online. Every website then functions in the way you integrated it on your hosting plan.
Why a great domain name makes a difference?
Easy to memorize
Domains are initially hosted on IP addresses. These are then assigned to your domain names. Let’s assume your initial IP address was 192.168.22.3. Until you redirect the domain name to the allotted IP address, your website will not function on your domain name. So when people visit “www.yourcompany.com” they will not be able to access the website functions of your company. Assigning domain names to the allotted IP addresses makes it easy to remember and that is primarily why it is important to have a domain name.
Domain names also provide a great number of options when it comes to branding and marketing of your services and products. Visitors have better connection to your brand when you are using your domain name.
Domain name will provide an online identity to your business. People will search using your brand name on search engines like Google, Bing, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest. Your brand name should be a reflection of your values, goals, mission, products and services and the overall industry domain your brand delivers solutions for. Your branding and online presence takes a hit if your domain name is not search engine optimized.
Have you ever asked yourself why people search for you on various platforms? Did you wonder why people search for your website? Websites with proper branding and a great domain name bring a sense of reliability about your business. A great domain name is a must for startups and business owners of all kinds. A branded website address boosts confidence of your existing and potential customers apart from those of your organizational business partners.
This is where different hosting plans come into the picture. A free website hosting plan gives you a non-brandable url like “www.yournonbradabledomain.com”. We suggest avoiding these kind of non-specific urls for your website address. Please keep in mind that potential customers will have a really hard time trusting your brand if they think you are least bothered about your online branding. Get a great brand name and increase the interest level around your products and solutions.
Domain Name and website address of your brand is what gets them attracted to your business initially. Let’s say someone accidentally jumps on your search url. If your brand and domain address is great and catchy, visitors are more likely to click and visit your webpage. That page could also be an inbound lead generation page for one of your products. Though accidental, you might have a best quality lead because your domain name and address is highly relevant and attractive to create a strong first impression in front of your website visitors. This will further play a great role and could well turn out to be a deciding factor in letting the users buy your products and solutions.
Brand Image Stability
Alright, you may have started as a business owner and signed up for a free hosting plan to save some money on the hosting. We strongly advise against doing that because your business will continue to grow and since more visitors are logging onto your website, your hosting needs will keep changing. You might start feeling the need to get dedicated hosting if you have thousands of customers. The switch as it seems is not at all easy to make if you do not own the brand name. Let’s say, your domain came along with a hosting plan with the hosting provider. This usually means your domain name is tied to that hosting plan and you may lose your brand domain address when you make the switch. Having a separate domain name ensures a better brand security and provider highest stability.
The right domain name increases customer engagement, daily traffic and helps acquire more customers. Let’s say, you own a website that reviews hosting platforms, the domain name “hosting.review” will help you attract more visitors who are interested in finding out reviews by real hosting experts. Google and Bing will also start showing your results in better ways than in the past if your pages are search engine and content optimised for your target audience.
Professional Email addresses
Professional email addresses help you close the deal faster as compared to public email addresses. Having a professional email address for yourself as well as your employees helps build a better relationship with your customers and organizational partners. The message around your branding gets more visibility.
Customers are more likely to work with companies that have a professional email address of your are in the service and solutions industry.
Look for these features in your hosting plan
Depending upon the plan signed, your business may be eligible for another free domain address. Let’s assume your signed up for a business plan on Wordpress – Wordpress, offers free domain name, mapping and transfer in addition to unlimited bandwidth and various other features. Free domains like these can be very tempting. We suggest getting that free domain but hosting your site still on the primary domain name you have already registered by now. You can use the redirect feature and use the secondary domain to route additional traffic to your website. Your brand might have additional visitors and some of them could convert into buying customers.Please look for those hosting plans which offer free domains. You can find some of those hosting providers in the “Reviews Written by Tech Radar and Hosting Review”
Your hosting plan should have email address setup or forwarding features on your domain. If you want outlook integration, look for providers that have easy and DIY setup options. Email services usually start at $5 per user per month. Brands like Zoho provide even lifetime free professional email addresses for up to 5 users. Please provide email support services to your customers and visitors on your website as well.
Justified Renewal Fees
Certain website hosting platforms charge unrealistic renewal fees. And thankfully most of them had to shut down because they were too late to realize, hefty renewal fees were taking customers away from them. Do not be caught in a situation where you are forced to change your hosting provider because of drastic renewal charges. It’s mayday for your brand if the domain name came free with your hosting plan and if that’s the only and primary domain name for your brand.
Customer friendly domain and website hosting providers charge a justified renewal fee from customers. They want to help businesses like yours grow further and that is why they are more successful. TechRadar and Hosting Review have some great articles on website hosting providers and you can look at them here.
Moving from one web host to another can be quite challenging. Even if you don’t have a website you have to migrate from, you might have to move away from the current one in the future. All the good web hosts will offer both import and export migration service, and it wouldn’t be worth locking yourself in with one if it doesn’t.
Comprehensive Security features
You don’t have to run a high-traffic, professional website to care about security. Firewalls, intrusion detection, spam and malware blocking are an essential requirement these days even if all you want to do is host a personal blog. Thanks to the Let’s Encrypt project [https://letsencrypt.org] nullifying the cost of procuring SSL certificates, you should look for hosts that facilitate adding one to your website. Of course if you plan to facilitate monetary transactions, the security requirements are much more stringent, and so should your demands from the web host.
One of the most important factors to choosing a web host is its ability to help you scale as per your needs and requirements. Stay clear of web hosts that think in terms of static packages and don’t offer an easy switch between them. Keep your eyes peeled for web hosts that offer a pay-as-you-go plan that charge for resources as per your website’s demands.
Hosting comparison charts
You can go through detailed comparison charts to know more about such domain hosting companies. Picking the right domain hosting provider is extremely important since the online identity and reputation of your business will depend on them. A proper domain name can bring more clients and ensure better sales.
Give a great deal of thought in deciding which hosting plan is the best.
Ekalavya Hansaj, Chief Marketing Officer at Bouncegate
- We've also highlighted the best web hosting
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!