The web hosting industry and environment are not the same now as they were a decade ago, having experienced rapid and continual advancements in protocol, software, and hardware. This evolution has benefited individuals and businesses of all types, allowing those with limited capital to create and run polished, effective, and secure websites that are at the same level - and in some cases better than - those with big budgets.
Whether it’s a personal page or a professional website, selecting the right web hosting platform is vital in keeping a website consistent, fast, and secure. As such, it’s crucial to select a web hosting provider whose offering is in-line with the latest hosting trends - but what are those trends? And what should those looking to build - or migrate - their websites look for when selecting a provider? Read on to find out.
Superiority of the Cloud
The world is moving away from a reliance on physical data centers towards cloud computing, and now web hosts have joined in on the shift. Why? Through utilizing cloud technology, web hosting providers can make web applications and websites much more accessible through a cloud network than a physical server. This results in a myriad of benefits for the user, including greater flexibility, scalability, and better performance in areas like speed and uptime.
The cloud also means the possibility that a site will slow down, or experience interruptions is negated altogether because if any outages occur, the system will prevent a site from going offline by automatically switching to another server. As such, it’s imperative to select providers who utilize cloud data centers (Amazon Web Services, for example) in 2020 and beyond.
Email Delivery Reliability
Many web hosting platforms also offer associated email services, but rarely guarantee reliable email delivery where emails sent through the server will not be marked as spam. There are myriad reasons why an email server can be blacklisted, and ensuring a server is up to standard can be an arduous task. Throughout the 2020s, select web hosting platforms that are adding reliable email delivery to their offering, where every outgoing message is scanned and sent through managed mail servers to ensure delivery, while also making sure that the users’ server does not get blacklisted.
The actual physical distance of a data center plays a factor in the overall performance of a website, impacting the amount of data lost and loading speeds and how high webpages will rank in search engine results. This is beneficial to certain types of businesses that offer physical services in set geographic locations – a barber, for example – but can have a negative impact on global businesses who get lost in the numerous pages of search results just because they use a server-based in another country.
This barrier can be overcome by selecting a provider who utilizes cloud servers across multiple geographic locations. By doing so, users may see their websites rise in search rankings around the world and reap the increased visibility and traffic to their site as a result.
Comprehensive Migration Capabilities
Whether it's subpar server security or a negative experience with customer service, the decision to change providers is never easy. This makes sense, too, considering the challenges of moving web assets from one provider to another and the potential for lost data and downtime. As such, it's crucial to select a provider who offers comprehensive assisted migration capabilities.
Whether the existing platform uses an industry-standard cPanel/WHM, or a custom control panel, some providers will duplicate a site to ensure that nothing is lost or removed from the existing provider in as little as 24 hours. This means the switchover won’t result in downtime as the existing site will still be functional until the new site is ready to go live.
Offsite Data Backup and Protection
What’s more frustrating than working hard on refreshed content than clicking to go live and realizing that the previous version was more effective at capturing customers, but lacking the ability to revert back to the original website? As such, it’s crucial to select a provider who offers offsite data backup that securely stores website files, emails, and databases without the user having to prompt the backup. Some providers even store two separate backups per day, which ensures that multiple versions of important data can be recovered.
While the 2020s have had a rough start in terms of the economy and personal life thanks to COVID-19, the ability to forge an accessible and efficient web presence is more important now than ever. By identifying these key trends and selecting a provider who ticks the above boxes, individuals and businesses can reap the benefits of a secure, fast, and effective website throughout the next decade and beyond.