How often do you search for a restaurant, hotel or local business online? Often? According to Smart Insights, a whopping 4.4. billion searches are made on Google every day – and this number is growing every year!

With more and more people looking for service providers, products and information online, it is important to have an online presence, and having a website for your business or organisation is no longer optional. Before you can have a website though, you need to have a web hosting in place.

So, what is web hosting?

Web hosting can be explained as the empty space where you store all of your things online – much like a vacant house. Except, instead of storing household goods, you are storing all of the files necessary for your website to function. The web host provider you choose to use can be seen as the company that sells server space for you to rent out (like us!). So, if you want to have a website that you can call your own, you need to invest in hosting.

Various types of web hosting are available. A basic, small business website will benefit from a shared web hosting package. The bigger business will benefit from:

VPS hosting
Dedicated server hosting
Business VPS hosting

Why web hosting is important

You can’t have a website that is  live permanently on the Internet without your data being stored via web hosting. If you want to build a website for your business, you need to invest in a solid host. There’s just no way around it!

Remember, you also need a domain

Web hosting is only one part of making your website visible online. Your next step is to secure a domain name. Think of your domain name as the address for your new online home. It would be very difficult to find your house without an address people could search for!

The registration of a domain is very simple. You think about your ideal name, search for it to make sure it hasn’t already been used, and then order it to secure it.

How to choose a web hosting service in South Africa

If you’re new to the web hosting space, there are specific features you need to look out for while choosing a web hosting company:

  1. Traffic – Your package needs to allocate enough bandwidth to support the amount of much traffic your website receives every month. If you go over your traffic allocation, you will pay more
  2. Storage – If you store a lot of website data, you will need a package that provides enough storage space. This is important if you will be saving a lot of user data or videos
  3. Email – Choose a provider that includes a domain associated email account in your package
  4. File Manager – This is a useful feature that allows you to upload files to your server directly from your control panel 
  5. Support – Choose a service provider that provides you with expert support via various channels as and when you need it. Whether you’re a novice to managing a website or not, knowing that you have someone to get in touch with when issues arise is vital to your peace of mind, and your website’s success.

Can I transfer my website to another host?

Web hosting transfer is possible, and a relatively simple process. After contacting your new provider, they will walk you through the next steps and plan your migration. A quote will then be sent through to you, with the price dependent on how complex the migration will be. Depending on your current website setup, the move can take up to 72 hours.