There’s a lot of competition in the tech space generally, but none more so than for website hosting. Companies will tend to choose a host that is located in their own country – or at least, one they think is located in their own country. Just because it bills in your currency and shows what appears to be a local telephone number does not mean they are physically located in your country.
That doesn’t need to be the case though. You can host a website anywhere on the planet that offers the service. Just choose carefully.
Who you choose to host with is only part of the solution to website uptime however. You then have to consider who is going to look after that site – and who is going to keep the website up to date.
There are 2 levels to this. Most hosting accounts will be managed services. That is, the hosting company look after keeping the web server up and running. They update the operating system and apply security patches and other software updates on that machine. This kind of service also locks things down so the end user cannot accidentally do too much damage.
The other half of the story however is managing the actual website that you put on that hosting account. Who looks after that? Who updates the software, plugins and content? That could be a dedicated software team who know what they are doing. But for small businesses this is more often than not, someone who is responsible for marketing. It’s not that marketing people are necessarily more technically minded than other folks – it’s just that ‘websites’ tend to be for selling things, so it falls on the people responsible for selling.
This gets even more tricky for the very small business. For your typical tradesperson, there is only one person in the business. If their daily workload is beauty treatments or gutter clearing, it’s easy to see why websites get heavily neglected and seriously out of date. It’s not a priority, it’s complicated, and it’s just not their area of expertise. When that website could easily be responsible for most or even all of their new client generation, and therefore critical to their income.
This problem has however been solved. There are website management services for small businesses, which can help keep that website healthy. The biggest threat to such small websites is the lack of security updates being applied to software. Sites often being left years out of date and highly vulnerable. Read some of their posts on Facebook about the real risks of not having your site properly managed and it will open your eyes.
You can also find such services for larger organizations too, such as Genacom who cater to bigger business. The prices are priced to a more corporate market of course.
These management services can help with all those regular updates that need applying to popular site building software such as WordPress, Magento or Joomla. It’s a set and forget option – you pass that work out to an independent contractor and then go back to working on your real business. Typically if you have questions, or want to add something new or make upates they can either handle that for you too – or refer you to someone else who can.
Small businesses need to work on the tasks the bring in revenue. Hours or days spent on trying to apply updates and changes that an expert could manage is not only wasted time, it’s also highly risky. It wouldn’t be the first time that a website has been taken completely offline by a non-technical user who thought they were doing the right thing.