Just two years ago, nearly 20% of Irish SMEs weren’t generating leads or revenue through a business website. Why? They didn’t have a business website.
Thankfully, the number of businesses without a website had fallen from almost 25% just 9 months previously. It continues to fall as more businesses realize the value of getting online.
Today, many Irish businesses couldn’t imagine operating without a website. And yet, many still struggle to draw an ROI from their business websites.
There are several reasons for this. Web design and optimization requires education and experience, for example. Not every business has access to these skills.
But a lack of knowledge about web hosting is also a common cause of problems.
Without the right knowledge, Irish businesses risk settling for web hosting contracts that give them slow service, a lack of data, and lacklustre technical support.
If you’re still asking yourself, “What is web hosting and how does it work?”, you’ll find the answers here.
There were 237,412 .ie domains in the IE Domain Registry database in 2017. In 2018, the IE Domain Registry said 68% of Irish consumers believed their local main street was not equipped for the digital age.
Why? 40% said it was because those stores weren’t online.
A business website grants Irish businesses more opportunities to engage their customers. They can provide customers with descriptions of products and services, facilitate appointment scheduling, and even take sales orders.
The key to building a successful website begins with website hosting.
What we commonly refer to as “the internet” is actually a vast network of computers. The internet is connected by a sequence of cables, satellites, and wireless networks. There are even large cables on the floor of our ocean connecting counties.
Much of what you see online comes from large computer devices called servers. These pieces of hardware are in data centres and at other facilities throughout the world. They are typically where data “lives”.
Web hosting is when you rent space on a server owned by another company to act as a host for your website. You could potentially host a website on your own computer, but your computer isn’t designed for it.
Servers are built to handle vast amounts of communications between websites and the computers of the people visiting those websites. This is called “traffic.” Your home computer couldn’t handle a fraction of the website traffic that some websites get.
When choosing a web host in Ireland, you first need to understand the types of web hosting that are available. Some are better suited to large businesses. Others work fine for main street shops and small businesses.
Here are some of the most common types of web hosting for Irish businesses:
In this environment, your website is hosted on a server that is shared by other websites. This is the best option for small businesses that are just starting out. Your site can’t handle too much traffic, but you don’t have to pay that much, either.
If you don’t expect many people to use your website on a given day, shared hosting may be all you need.
In this environment, hundreds of servers work in tandem to support your website. This setup is best for businesses that need to be able to handle large spikes in traffic.
This may not be the best option for small businesses in Ireland, but it provides an opportunity to scale. This is a relatively new technology. It’s important for businesses that need optimal uptime.
In a VPS environment, your website has its own sectioned-off part of a server. Technically, your website shares the same machine with others. But with VPS, you get your own dedicated resources.
VPS is often used as a step between a shared hosting environment and obtaining a dedicated server. It’s a good option for growing businesses or small businesses that need extra power.
In this environment, your business rents an entire server to host your website. This is often regarded as the pinnacle of website hosting. It is best suited to larger businesses.
Some of these types of web hosting, such as VPS hosting, require some technical knowledge. Your business is responsible for setting up the environment, even if you are renting the space.
The type of web hosting you choose should depend on your business and your needs.
For example, hosting your website on a dedicated server will give you a great deal of power. But it may not be cost-effective if your business is small and this is your very first website.
You can get online fast with shared hosting and you don’t need much technical knowledge. But it may not be the best choice if you expect your website to get a great deal of traffic.
So, what is web hosting and how does it work in Ireland? It works much the same as it does elsewhere.
The key difference is you. If you’re an Irish business, it makes sense for you to host your website on Irish servers.
There will be less distance between your customers and the data centre that houses your website. This can contribute to faster load times and better service. Of course, EU businesses that wish to serve Irish customers may wish to host their website in Ireland as well.
If you’re just getting started with a business website, contact a web hosting service provider to get started. The process is simple. Your provider will help you choose a plan that suits your business’s needs, then provide you with other services, like data loss protection, to keep your business secure.
Host.ie has been a web host in Ireland since 2000. We offer a range of hosting options for Irish businesses of all sizes.
Contact us online with any questions or call us at 021 202 8058 to get started.