Website hosting plays a critical role in any website’s performance. How your website is delivered to your customers and how it performs during traffic upticks can be the difference between returning customers and those who leave forever.

A website development or redesign provides the perfect opportunity to review your current hosting services and determine if it’s time to transition to a different provider. Gravity Web Services prefers to host the sites it develops because we can offer competitive pricing and maintain complete control over the environment in which our websites and applications live.

Let’s review some of the hosting options to consider.

Managed hosting
Managed hosting plans offer additional services beyond just hosting which may include regular security and malware scans, malware removal, website performance scans, automated website backups and checks on website uptime.

At Gravity, we can guarantee 99.5% uptime with our managed hosting service. We also conduct 30-day backups of website files with 30 days of retention in case there is a problem with the website that was not caught immediately.

Websites built in a Microsoft technology with ASP.NET are highly secure and backed by the Microsoft environment. Open source platforms such as WordPress are more vulnerable to attack and require frequent updates, so managed hosting is recommended for peace of mind that the site is secure and protected.

Unmanaged hosting
Unmanaged hosting is simply space on the hosting company’s server without any of the additional services outlined above. Businesses who choose an unmanaged hosting service will need to commit to taking on all of the tasks in the managed hosting section above, which requires experience in software and website development.

Without proper server maintenance and updates, you are not only opening your business to attack, but also potentially exposing your customers to malware and phishing scams.

Maintaining a website is a lot like maintaining a car. You can go to an auto mechanic for regularly scheduled maintenance or you can do the maintenance yourself. But if the maintenance doesn’t get done, the car can experience performance issues and potentially experience expensive damage.

Shared hosting
Shared hosting means you’re sharing server space with many, sometimes thousands, of other websites either locally or around the world. Picture a filing cabinet where everyone has their section of storage space. This lowers costs; however, if one website on your shared server uses a lot of storage space, your site may then experience slow load time.

Dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting is when you own the entire server. You take on the entire cost of managing and maintaining the server, but can update memory, hard drive space, and infrastructure anytime you need it.

AWS for website hosting

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure, reliable option for shared cloud-based hosting environment. AWS is supported by Amazon’s infrastructure, meaning your site has the ability to access additional storage resources when needed so you don’t have to worry about downtime during high traffic surges. Even better, you only pay for storage resources you use.

AWS is easy to use and works seamlessly with other vendors so you don’t have to worry about miscommunications or downtime. Gravity uses AWS for our hosting environment because we have the benefits of a dedicated hosting environment for our clients with the scalability and security of the Amazon infrastructure.

Should you change your hosting provider when you develop a new website?
When you’re in the middle of a website development project, it can be a great time to review your current hosting package to determine if it’s time to upgrade or switch hosting providers as well.Review the site speed, security and storage space your current host is providing. Make a note of any unexpected downtime or security risks and how a different hosting provider may handle these issues.A good website host is crucial to giving your customers a positive website experience. Be sure your website host is working for you as you move forward with your website development project.