Get your website live on the internet
For people to be able to see your website on the internet, you need to ‘host’ it on a web server. This might sound a bit technical, but that’s where web hosting providers come in.
What is a web hosting provider?
They’re companies that have very powerful computer servers connected to the internet 24/7. They rent out space on them to people and companies who want a "website presence" on the internet.
Each company offers different services, but as a minimum they will usually include:
- storing your site on a shared server
- email services
- domain name registration.
5 important questions to ask them
As an eCommerce business, there are five things you need to find out from potential web hosting providers:
1. How much storage space do I get?
All your files – images, banners, pages, videos - take up your allocated space on the server. Going with a cheap plan could mean you have very limited space.
2. How much data can I transfer per month?
Similarly, when people look at your website, or when you send and receive information through your website, it uses up your monthly data transfer limit. Make sure you have enough or you may get charged at a premium rate for excess.
3. Are the servers reliable?
With some services if there’s a lot of web traffic on one or many of the hosted sites at one time, it can make your site work slowly. Are their servers down much (which means your website is too), and do they have emergency generators?
4. Do they offer 24/7 customer service?
Problems do happen with websites - and not always between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Make sure you can call for help whenever you need it.
5. Can I get reports on my visitors?
To know how popular your website, marketing and different pages are you need know how many people visited your website, when, from where, and what they looked at. A good web host offers this.
Optus web hosting packages
Optus have web hosting plans to suit everything from simple brochure style sites through to full eCommerce shopping stores, and more. They start at $16.50 per month and some of the benefits include:
- bigger servers - less downtime or slow loading pages
- 24/7 technical support
- packages with unlimited email addresses
- as much storage as you need – and easy to upgrade
- as much data transfer as you need – and easy to upgrade
- detailed reports on visits to your website.
Learn more about Optus web hosting plans.
Cloud computing – more control
As some businesses grow, they decide to buy their own server so they’re not subject to data transfer and storage limits, or their website being slow or down more often than it should.
A cheaper option these days - for the same benefits - is cloud computing where, unlike going through a web host, you get the benefits of renting space on many servers working together at once.
Optus also have a product called Expan Express Shared Hosting that does this.
Web hosting included with your website
Sometimes, web hosting is already included when you sign up for a new website package. This takes away the need to source a web hosting package, making it easier to get online. Some options include:
Find out more things to consider when choosing a web hosting provider.