As you research the best web hosting for small business, you may run into 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 holds data temporarily, which uses less processing power on a server. Caching can happen on hardware or through software. If you’ve visited a website once, that page’s data is cached, so the next time you access it, everything loads faster. It’s a beneficial feature that can improve the performance of your site—especially for returning site visitors.
What Is a CDN, and Do You Need One?
A content delivery network (CDN) is a physical form of caching. A CDN typically spreads data across several servers located around the world. Usually your site is hosted on a single server in one location.
Some web hosts let you choose the server that best fits your audience. If your audience is global, then you may need to use a CDN. It allows faster loading times for anyone who accesses your website regardless of where they live.
How Important Is WHOIS Privacy?
When you register a domain name, you have to include contact information, including your address and phone number. Anyone can look up WHOIS information on any website, so if you don’t mask your info, you could be opening yourself up to spam, telemarketers and other unwanted contacts.
Some web hosts include WHOIS privacy with their hosting plans, but not all. You can use a business address and phone number, rather than your personal info. It may be worth the added cost to get WHOIS privacy masking, which will display information that isn’t personally identifying.
Why You Need an SSL Certificate
A secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate is an encrypted code that keeps data that transfers to and from different machines. You’ll know a site has this if you see the small lock icon at the top left of the URL in a browser (it’s also indicated by the “s” in “https”). So, it protects your site and your site visitors.
It’s important to have an SSL certificate especially if you have an ecommerce 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 web hosts include an SSL certificate at no added cost, though there are some still that charge extra for it. Also, most use the Let’s Encrypt version of an SSL certificate, which is a domain-validated (DV) SSL. A single-domain SSL certificate is enough for most small businesses, though you may want to purchase an extended-validated (EV) SSL certificate, which provides more validity of your site.