Best Web Hosting for Small Businesses of 2021 – Forbes Advisor

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When looking for the best small business web hosting, you may come across some terms and phrases that are unfamiliar to you. Knowing what you need and what is just nice to have is important.

What does caching do for a website?

A cache holds data temporarily, which uses less processing power on a server. Caching can occur on hardware or through software. If you’ve visited a website once, the data on that page is cached, so the next time you visit it, everything loads faster. This is a beneficial feature that can improve the performance of your site, especially for returning visitors.

What is a CDN and do you need it?

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 in one location.

Some web hosts allow you to choose the server that best suits your audience. If your audience is global, you might need to use a CDN. It allows for 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 web hosts include WHOIS privacy in their hosting plans, but not all. You can use a business address and phone number, rather than your personal information. This may be worth the additional cost of obtaining WHOIS privacy masking, which will display information that is not personally identifiable.

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 lock icon at the top left of the URL in a browser (this is also indicated by the “s” in “https”). Thus, it protects your site and your site visitors.

It is important to have an SSL certificate, especially if you have an e-commerce website, as 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 additional cost, although some still charge additional fees. Additionally, 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 want to purchase an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate, which gives your site more validity.

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