How To Choose Web Hosting For Dentists
It’s no surprise that dental practices need a website, so that they can continue to survive in this digital era. It’s arguable though that your web host is even more important, and there are certain things you should know about web hosting for dentists and large dental practices.
The world is currently hurtling down the information age, with the internet sitting at the center of every successful establishment. Many experts have spent the past decade trying to convince traditional business of all shapes and sizes of their need for information technology, and the necessity to adapt their business to modern advancements.
These days most dental practices cannot get by without making their presence known on the internet; not with a majority of the world consistently relying on the internet as a resource for locating the best services in any given area.
In fact, with most practices now turning to the web for increased business, it’s important to understand the role of web hosting for dental practices.
Web host– is basically a home for your website. Just because you have crafted the most beautiful website in the world doesn’t mean you are going to actually achieve a bit of success, not if you cannot get your website to the internet where people can access its content.
And this is what dental practices need to learn, the role a web host plays in providing a home for your website on its servers.
Web hosts have hardware (computers) called servers that have a powerful connection to the internet. These servers are responsible for containing your dental websites, and allow internet users to find, and browse your website. Many people will argue that your web host is much more important than your website itself. These basic concepts are the most important pieces of information you need to know about web hosting for dental practices. Next, there are some details that will help you chose the best path for your web host.
Web host providers–
What dental practices need to understand isn’t the intricacies of web hosting per say, but that there are web host providers available to bring their beautifully constructed websites to the masses. It is important to select the right web host provider because it will determine the success or failure of your website.
Web hosting services–
When choosing dental marketing resources like web hosting for dental practices it is necessary to take into account the different types of hosting available. Understanding the different options available is more likely to enable one to make the most accurate decisions regarding the service that will best meet their needs, by taking into account the pros and cons each service offers.
Types of hosting available:
Internet service providers– ISPs are the companies that provide you access to the internet via their servers. A few ISPs though do provide website development and hosting services, these are limited to tiny personal web pages restricted to tiny amounts of traffic, easy to develop and quite cheap in fact.
ISP hosting isn’t a recommended service for larger businesses, though not outside the realm of testing and developing the given site. It is worth mentioning that not all ISP’s make hosting services available.
Free hosting– Most people tend to deride free hosting services for their restrictions; however for no fees whatsoever, alongside a variety of service such as PHP, CGI and shell access, free web hosting might prove a more efficient hosting service than internet service provider hosting.
However just like with ISPs, you will be restricted to fairly small websites with very low levels of traffic, and you can expect your pages to be bombarded with ads from the host provider as a means of meeting administrative costs. Again this is not really a service for a large business outside of preparing, testing and simulating the operations of your site.
Free web hosting services exist in the myriads on the internet, making them quite popular among those cash strapped internet users seeking to develop low level sites, especially blogs.
Standard hosting– this is the most common form of hosting, sought after by the majority of internet users. One will typically seek out a host provider who will charge a specified amount of money each month, not only to provide host servers for your website but to make available a myriad of other specified features and services.
The type of standard hosting service chosen will usually depend on the requirements of a given website. There will be fees charged based on:
Bandwidth– the amount of bandwidth purchased from a given server is important as it will affect the efficacy of your site’s operation with regards to the amount of traffic you receive. Most people tend to seek out unlimited packages that allow for future considerations and expansion, disk space similarly considered.
Software– large websites and blogs consist of very complex operations whose efficacy will be determined by the presence of certain programs and applications whose role it will be to manage the website. Most dental establishments of considerable size, will need to take into account the presence of software such as PHP and CGI to ensure that all processes run smoothly. There are few other factors that can hurt the success of a business as badly as a web site that is constantly bombarding its users with errors, because the code doesn’t have the right software to work with.
Control– it matters how much control a dental practice has over the management of hosting servers and related services. For some it is crucial that they are provided with full access to all systems via the necessary consoles to ensure that a website runs according to certain specifications. Others however, those less knowledgeable about the technical side of things, might seek a hosting service that deals with the administrative elements, saving them from the prospect of dealing with the intricacies of the web site.
Operating system– most host providers will make available either Linux or windows operating systems on their servers. Deciding which operating system to use will be determined by the software you wish to run, seeing as certain applications are only compatible one operating system or the other.
Basically in choosing a host provider one will have to take into account these factors of Bandwidth, disc space, server software, administrative control and operating systems. It’s important to determine which provider meets your requirements best in any one of these categories, before choosing which firm will best meet your needs.
There are actually three specific types of standard hosting packages that one can choose from when selecting a host provider, namely:
Shared hosting– this is the most common type of standard hosting provided. In fact, just like most hosts will provide you with Linux as a default operating system-unless given the option to choose otherwise- most host provider will make available shared hosting services unless you the user states otherwise.
With shared hosting you have a web site sharing space on a given server with several other websites. In other words you have multiple websites hosted on the same server at the same time. This is a good option for web hosting for dental practices. This sharing of resources, may however create problems of overloading, if too many sites begin to struggle for a server’s resources. If that happens you will find the operations of your web site slowing down, especially the duration required by users to access your content.
Nonetheless shared hosting is cheap for the very effective services it makes available to its users, especially since it allows those sharing the server to share in the costs of maintenance. You should also expect limited access to administrative control, with the host retaining most of powers regarding management, such as the option to install new software on the server.
Dedicated hosting– this is the very opposite of shared hosting, in that your dental practice website will have access to an entire server all on its own, to manage its hosting requirements. This means the most powerful features available, allowing your website to perform at optimal levels.
While shared services are effective with most websites no matter the size, many large corporations will opt for dedicated servers to manage their hosting requirements. This is a more expensive option when considering web hosting for dental practices. This is because one is monopolizing an entire server for themselves, you can expect to pay larger amounts of money each month, as opposed to shared hosting and its cheap monthly charges.
Virtual private hosting– VPS hosting straddles shared and dedicated services. Basically your website is still sharing the server with several other websites. However the server has been partitioned into virtual machines, each of which is dedicated to providing hosting services to one specific website.
That means that, because the website for your dental practice is catered for by this virtual server, it will seem like you are receiving dedicated hosting services, never realizing that your site is still sharing a server with other sites.
Where shared hosting fails, VPS is always the next best option for individuals working on a smaller budget. Why? Because VPS hosting will actually allow you to access a level of hosting services akin to that of dedicated hosting. It is not quite as powerful, but is more cost effective. This is an excellent middle of the road option when considering web hosting for dental practices.
While hosting can be further broken down into a few other categories, most will agree that only those mentioned above will matter in most cases, unless your dental practice’s website partakes in online financial transactions. If that is the case, you might consider investing in Ecommerce web hosting, which provides additional services and features such as shopping cart programs.
How To Choose Web Hosting For Dentists
Now that you understand the basics of web hosting for dental practices, you will come upon the drastically more difficult task of trying to figure out which web host provider can best suite your needs as a dental practice.
This is a question even large corporations will struggle to answer, especially because it will determine the future of your website. The truth is your website is almost always only as good as the firm that hosts it, because any failings and victories that the host has, will affect how your website perform.
Most professionals will advise a dental practice new to the business of web hosting to simply take its chances with the best, those hosts that have proven themselves superior over an extended period of time.
Some of the best providers of web hosting for dental practices are:
Bluehost has been in business since 1996, making it one of the oldest hosts around. It isn’t with luck that Bluehost has survived for so long where countless others have fallen, providing a myriad of services within the confines of a few plans, not only saving clients the time wasted on comparing different packages, but widely renowned for its unlimited offerings, such as unlimited disk space, bandwidth, domain names and more.
Beyond these offerings though, Bluehost is also reliable. Its quad core Intel Xeon E5320 servers, alongside bullet speed internet connections ensuring 99% uptime, dazzling access speeds and a control panel designed to provide the most efficient mechanisms for management, while surprisingly easy to master and understand.
Bluehost is also home to a professional team of staff providing 24/7 technical support in a timely manner through a ticket system that ensures the resolution of the biggest problems at dazzling speeds. It’s important to realize that this provider does not specialize in web hosting for dental practices alone, it hosts all type of websites, which makes it large enough to be proven in the marketplace to meet your needs.
Overall it is difficult to challenge the superiority of Bluehost, unless you were talking about hosts such as HostGator.
HostGator– is quite old as well, allowing it to bring more than a decade of experience to the table in hosting your dental practice’s website. HostGator provides several categories of plans, designed to tackle each facet of your business in a varied manner. HostGator is best known for one of the most effective support systems in the hosting world.
Your dental practice is looking at technical support systems that are available for your use at any point in time, be it day or night, weekday or weekend. The support systems are augmented by a rich database online making available a myriad of solutions for any problem that your might encounter. There are also tutorials that are so intricate that they almost always render the support staff unnecessary. This provider is an excellent choice if you are considering web hosting for dental practices.
Of course HostGator wouldn’t be what it was today without the high rates of reliability it had cultivated by running first class hardware and software, constantly monitored by mechanisms designed to combat any faults and errors that might occur. They take action quickly, preventing down time at all costs, or limiting it where possible.
That is an overview of what you need to know about web hosting for dental practices. As we said before, the choice of web hosting is just as important as the website itself, or choosing a dental website maintenance company. Overall, the information age is here to stay and it is now important for dental practices to have an excellent web presence, if they are to tap into the vast markets available online. That presence and success begins with web hosting.