When searching for the best web hosting for small business, you may come across terms and phrases that are unfamiliar to you. It’s important to know what you need and what’s just nice to have.
What does caching do for a website?
A cache temporarily holds data, which uses less processing power on a server. Caching can occur in hardware or through software. If you’ve visited a website once, that page’s data is cached, so the next time you visit it, everything will load faster. This is a beneficial feature that can improve your site’s performance, especially for returning visitors to the site.
What is a CDN and do you need one?
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a physical form of caching. A CDN typically distributes data across multiple servers located around the world. Usually, your site is hosted on a single server at a single location.
Some hosts allow you to choose the server that best suits your audience. If your audience is global, you may need to use a CDN. It enables faster load times for anyone who accesses your website, regardless of where they live.
How important is WHOIS privacy?
When you register a domain name, you must include contact information, including your address and phone number. Anyone can look up WHOIS information on any website, so if you don’t hide your information, you could open yourself up to spam, telemarketers, and other unwanted contacts.
Some hosts include WHOIS privacy in their hosting plans, but not all. You can use a business address and phone number instead of your personal information. It may be worth the extra cost to get WHOIS privacy masking, which will display information that does not personally identify you.
Why do you need an SSL certificate
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is an encrypted code that stores data transferred to and from different machines. You’ll know a site has this if you see the little padlock icon at the top left of the URL in a browser (it’s also denoted by the ‘s’ in ‘https’). Thus, it protects your site and your site visitors.
It’s important to have an SSL certificate, especially if you have an e-commerce website, because it helps secure credit card information and passwords. Plus, you’ll have an easier time ranking in Google’s search engine results if you protect your site with an SSL certificate.
Most hosts include an SSL certificate at no additional cost, although some still charge an additional fee. Also, most use the Let’s Encrypt version of an SSL certificate, which is Domain Validated (DV) SSL. A single-domain SSL certificate is sufficient for most small businesses, although you may wish to purchase an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate, which provides greater validity for your site.