Anyone that is trying to get their business to the next level will no-doubt appreciate the important role that their website has to play in proceedings. Irrespective of the industry that you operate in, this is a tool that, to put it simply, you cannot do without. First-and-foremost, this is the platform that prospective customers will go-to in order to place orders, be it for products or services. Furthermore, it is a form of advertising that is available each-and-every day. The reason that we want to reinforce this point is because it illustrates the need for you to take good-care of your website. 

During the initial stages of your site-creation, you will be faced with a major quandary; namely, this relates to the way in which you want for your website to be hosted. A quick search on the Internet will likely reveal page-after-page of results associated with free packages. If you want catalyst2’s take on the subject, we would advise you to steer well-clear of these, and instead opt for a UK-based provider that charges a monthly subscription fee. In the long-run, this will pay dividends – if you don’t believe us, take a look at our breakdown of the matter down below.

A Quick Look at Hosting

Before we start to draw your attention towards the main comparisons between free and paid hosting, we feel that it is our duty to walk you through the basics of these types of services. At its most basic, web hosting is designed to make your website accessible to the general public. If you were to remove these from the equation, you would immediately discover that your business’ success would be severely impacted.  

Picture the scene: you are trying to launch a brand-new flagship product, and want to try and maximise the chances that you make a large quantity of sales on the first day. This means that you will be pushing a number of promotional campaigns, each of which advocate that your prospective customers visit your website for additional information. Whilst this is a solid plan of action in theory, it does mean that you can expect a huge influx of traffic within a short space of time. If the hosting package that you are utilising is lacking in terms of quality, this can subsequently lead to prolonged loading times, which is less-than ideal. Should this problem go unchecked, before long you will see customers looking elsewhere for similar products, causing you to lose crucial financial injections. 

At first, we recognise that your initial thoughts will be to spend all-available funding on the creation of an aesthetically pleasing website that is also fantastic from a functional standpoint. Whilst this is all well-and-good, without a high-quality server acting as the foundation, you will struggle to get things off of the ground. As a business owner, the responsibility rests on your shoulders to take into account the various packages that are currently doing the rounds, and ascertaining which is best-suited to your firm. A great place to start would be to educate yourself on the dozens of hosting variants that have been developed over the years – each of these possesses their own unique selling points, some of which might catch your eye.

Hosting Types

Should this be the first time that you have come face-to-face with web hosting, there is a strong possibility that you are unfamiliar with the hosting types that are regarded to be most-popular. Although there is nothing wrong with this, it is important that you try and build up a comprehensive knowledge of these; this increases the likelihood that the outcome will be to your liking. Perhaps the one that is seen to be a cut above the rest is dedicated hosting. With this, you won’t have to concern yourself with the issues associated with sharing resources with other websites. You will have a single server, on which you will find your website’s data. Never-again will you have to concern yourself with having another site’s content causing your search engine rankings to decline. 

If you are attempting to do-things on a budget, it could be worthwhile investigating the shared web hosting options that are out there. As the name suggests, this will be a package within which a server is offered to you, on the condition that you are not the sole business utilising it. The attractiveness of this option stems from the savings that you can make when hosting. However, this is far from being the only benefit that is worth talking about. For example, the control panels that you are provided with can allow you to make quick-and-easy adjustments without too-much in the way of hassle. 

Should you be someone that values innovation, and wants to try and make-use of the technical advancements that have taken-place in the past decade, you needn’t look any further than cloud hosting. The scalability of this is what should immediately get you to sit up straight and pay attention. Some people hold the misconception that cloud hosting is only suitable for smaller businesses to be true – in reality, these are perfect for independent and multinational corporations alike. When you experience a period of growth, you are entitled to make alterations to the amount of power being diverted towards your website; this ensures that your loading times aren’t forced to suffer. If you are worried that this can leave your company exposed to the risks associated with cyber crime, allow us to be the bearers of good news. These packages typically come equipped with the latest in cyber security – both your information, and that of your clients, will remain safe-and-sound. 

A server type that routinely flies under the radar, yet is thought to be exceptional in terms of performance, is VPS hosting. An acronym for virtual private servers, these use specialist software to keep your website separate from the others that are using the same piece of hardware. More often than not, these are managed by professionals, meaning that you have access to support as-and-when you need it. Were you to enlist the help of a UK dedicated VPS provider, it would not take long for the quality of your results to soar.

Free Web Hosting – The Drawbacks

Now that you are starting to appreciate just how many hosting variants are available, we recommend that you should try and stay up-to-date with the ins-and-outs of free hosting. More importantly, you need to get to grips with the major drawbacks that you would have to put up with. Perhaps the one that will irritate you the most is the fact that, unfortunately, you won’t have full control over the content on your site. Ad space is considered to be incredibly valuable, and many firms will be eyeing-up the opportunity to cash-in on this. You should know that you won’t be able to make any money on these – the revenue will be going straight to the companies in question. Whatsmore, they cause your website to look cluttered and disorganised, which can adversely affect your long-term results.

When you enter into an agreement with a dedicated server host, you can expect to be on the receiving end of insightful support day-after-day. The stark reality is that you cannot predict when you may encounter problems that cause your website to go-down. Were you to allow this issue to fester, the losses that could be incurred do not bear worth thinking about. Free hosting, on the whole, is not famed for the behind-the-scenes services that are accessible to you. The lack of customer support will slowly-but-surely drive you mad, as the hours that you spend without a fully-functioning website could see you lose prospective clients to your competitors. 

After making tweaks to your website, you are well within your rights to have the changes saved immediately. Although it might not have occurred to you, a lot of this is down to your hosting provider. They will be responsible for organising regular backups, without which you run the risk of your website being irreparably compromised. Whilst we are not arguing that this is the flaw that completely negates the usefulness of free hosting, when you take them all into account it is impossible for you to continue contemplating this as a viable option.

Summarising the Situation

Should you have never-before spent the time weighing up the pros and cons attributed to the different types of hosting, it is natural that you are feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the wealth of information that you have just perused through. Therefore, we are here to give you a quick rundown of the main points that you must take into consideration. Free hosting is usually aimed specifically at smaller businesses that perhaps do not have much capital to work with. It is these firms that are often trying to cut corners wherever possible, hence why they view free hosting in a positive light. Unfortunately, this is the start of the slippery slope, and one that you don’t want to find yourself on.

If you have heard the horror stories associated with cyber crime, and recognise the damage that a compromise like this could do to your reputation, the solution is simple – reach out to a specialist hosting provider. These professionals charge a fee for a reason; that is, to work in your best interests, and help your company in any way that they can. Routine sweeps will identify suspicious activity from visitors, thereby giving you the opportunity to eliminate any potential issues before they get out of hand. Whilst you might be reluctant to increase the size of your expenses, in the grand scheme of things this type of investment will work in your favour.

In Need of More Information?

When you first come across free hosting packages, the chances are that you will see them as a ray of sunshine; they will give you the opportunity to drastically reduce your financial outgoings, which is always an opportunity that will pique your interest. However, as you can see, there are various pitfalls associated with entering into unpaid agreements. Without the dedicated support teams at your disposal, you will quickly discover yourself struggling at the first sign of trouble. If you would like to take the necessary steps to ensure that you are able to enjoy a first-class experience, now is the optimal time to reach out to catalyst2.

Regardless of if the hosting solution that you desire incorporates a private cloud system, or you are committed to taking-advantage of high-quality dedicated server hosting, you can be sure of one thing. When you put your faith in catalyst2, the possibilities are endless; this should offer you an indication of the time and effort that we are willing to invest in you and your business. The fully managed packages that we provide are routinely considered amongst some of the finest dedicated servers in the UK.

Aside from the server management options that we offer, you should also know that we have a number of high-performance services from which you can choose from. Across the board, the catalyst2 team strives to make sure that you are left entirely-satisfied. Whether this is thanks to our web hosting services, or the data cloud solutions that are on the table, it does not matter. What matters is that, when all is said and done, your business is able to operate in a smooth-and-seamless fashion. To those of you that are curious to learn more about us, be it about the operating systems or web servers that we possess, we recommend that you call our representatives today on 0800 107 7979.