How to Choose the Right Hosting Solution

Whether you’re a marketing director or business owner at some point you’ll consider website hosting.

For most, web hosting is set up and then forgotten. You probably know you need a host for your website to work online, several companies offer the service, and the fee is minimal.

All of that is true – but often business owners just want to get started so they sign up for something basic. Later they later discover some limitations and want to customize their plan, giving them more to consider.

We’re going to take a deeper look at why choosing the right website hosting matters and answer questions like:

  • When do I go with the DIY hosting solutions like GoDaddy or Blue Host?
  • When do I choose a web hosting company with in-house technicians?

Let’s start by considering your needs.

What are my web hosting needs?

Before you can decide if a DIY web host or a full-service hosting solution is best, you need to think about what you need on a daily basis.

Depending on the type of industry you’re in, you might require special treatment for sensitive information. Think HIPPA or PCI compliance. If you plan on accepting credit card payments, you payment solution may require you to be hosted on a PCI compliant server. That might be more difficult to ensure using a DIY service.

Does your website get spikes during certain times of the year? Think Black Friday or Cyber Monday. DIY web host solutions aren’t always clear on how you can manage your resources.

Will you get more resources allocated to your site when you need it? During a heavy traffic spike, when you should be making money, your website could freeze – cases like this are why some businesses prefer hiring a professional hosting solutions team.

Some other important questions:

  • Do you have international users?
  • Do you need the ability to set up subdomains or development sites?
  • Will you want to deploy a mobile app?
  • Do you want email addresses with your domain name?
  • Do you send newsletter blasts from your domain?

I don’t get a lot of traffic on my website

If you’re starting out or serve a niche market, your website may not be getting a lot of daily traffic.

If your site is basic or you make some small changes periodically using WordPress or Joomla, you may not need many configurations, and a DIY solution like GoDaddy, Bluehost or FlyWheel may be a great solution for you.

With that said, it’s a good idea to be aware of the basic minimum best practices for today’s web. For example, all websites should have an SSL. An SSL is a tool that encrypts information to make it difficult to steal. Most browsers tell site visitors if an SSL is present. For example, next to the URL in your browser you’ll see either lock icons or shields to tell users that this site has an SSL and is secure:

If a site is not secure, you would see these icons:

You don’t want your users to feel like their security is at risk when they visit your site. For more on SSL’s, see our blog post, Does Your Website Need an SSL Certificate?

In addition, it’s a good idea to set up a spam filter when you’re setting up your email hosting.

If you’re planning for the future and expect to grow, include periodic upgrades as needed in your growth plan. Or you can avoid needing to migrate your site once it has matured and is more difficult to manage, by starting with local web hosting professionals.

My website gets a lot of traffic

If you know your website is getting a lot of traffic or experiences traffic spikes, you may require more advanced configurations. There are a number of hosting solutions that can ensure that your site stays fast when it’s under load.

Ensuring you’re on a dedicated server eliminates the conflict with other websites experiencing high volumes and gives you access to your server’s full resources at all times.

If you have a high-volume site, consider setting up an efficient caching plan. Caching is a technique that allows your server to store a snapshot of your site instead. When your site experiences high volume, caching can greatly reduce the workload of your server and help your site load faster for your users. Here are some tips on how to make your site fast.

Often server-level caching is executed using a CDN (content delivery network). A CDN is a network of servers that are distributed worldwide that store snapshots of your website. This way, your website is geographically close to any worldwide user so that during peak traffic hours your international users will experience the fastest site you can serve them.

A CDN has the added benefit of providing email obfuscation, hiding email addresses from page crawlers, like email harvesters and spambots, looking for email addresses on your pages that they can add to spam email lists.

Should I use a dedicated server?

Like most things, the answer is – it depends. By now, you have a sense of some of the considerations to make when determining if a DIY host solution or a full-service host solution is right for you. Let’s recap the important takeaways to this point.

  • Most out of the box DIY hosting solutions are on a server that’s shared by many other domains. This means you’re all sharing resources that are engineered to the needs of multiple sites, not customized to your needs.
  • When you’re on a dedicated server, you get 100% of the server resources at all times.
  • If your payment processor requires PCI compliance, you’ll likely need your own dedicated server.
  • If your industry requires special treatment of information, such as HIPPA compliance, you may require additional customizations that need to be done on a dedicated server.

Can I do it myself?

Again, it depends. Basic websites with a small traffic volume can probably be managed by a curious person and a lot of YouTube videos using a solution like GoDaddy.

But as your website grows in traffic volume and the complexity of your needs grow, you may want to consider reaching out to a local web hosting professional for guidance and support. There are some important questions to consider before you commit to the DIY approach.

  • Do you want a local (human) expert to help you in real-time when you need it?
  • Do you want expert support to help when making upgrades and adjustments?
  • Do you know how to configure the solutions that are right for you?
  • Do you have the time to learn hosting technology so you can solve problems when they arise?
  • How much of your time can you put into hosting management every week?

 

As you can see, choosing the right hosting solution for your website takes some thought. Do your prep work upfront so as you grow you can position yourself to provide for your needs as they arise.

In general, if your website doesn’t get a lot of traffic, and doesn’t handle sensitive information, a DIY solution could be the best choice. If your website is growing, plans to grow, and handles sensitive information, a local web hosting provider is probably going to be the better long-term solution.

Six Reasons to use WordPress

A website is an investment. And to make the most of this investment you want both beautiful and robust. 

WordPress is often our preferred platform. Because of it’s flexibility for design and development and it’s countless plugins, WordPress provides our Omaha web design team with the tools for a customized website at an affordable cost.

WordPress logo

Here are six reasons you, too, should consider using WordPress:

1. Browser-based

WordPress is a browser-based, meaning you can manage your website from any computer, tablet, or phone with an internet connection. They even have an app for easier on-the-go editing. 

2. Endless Plugins

Plugins, Plugins, and more plugins! WordPress currently has over 10,000 plugins for you or your developer to choose from when building your website. These plugins add functionality, extend the life of your website, customize the user’s experience, and are a vital part of any good website. Better yet, most are free or well-priced.

3. SEO Benefits

Having trouble with your website ranking? Well Google is pretty fond of WordPress. Compared to other platforms, WordPress gets the edge in Google Rankings. Updating your website regularly with valuable and authoritative content is a must, but WordPress provides several SEO plugins to assist in optimizing your web pages with appropriate titles, H1’s and Meta Descriptions.

WordPress also released WordPress 5.0 in November 2018 that includes the latest version of Gutenberg – a block editor that allows for simple and functional page editing. The Gutenberg editor, in conjunction with the Yoast SEO Plugin is powerful for search engine success. 

INSTALL YOAST

4. Multi-user

WordPress allows multiple users. As an administrator you can add other developers and even assign access levels for each user. Monitor user updates and add or delete users as your business grows and changes.

It also provides plugins (yes, more plugins) for user groups, user permissions, wholesale eCommerce customers, and user profile and membership management. 

5. Customization

WordPress is 100% customizable to the user. If you have the knowledge, or a great developer, almost everything in WordPress can be updated, customized or changed to fit your needs.

GET WORDPRESS

New Website Launch: Moylan Iceplex

Moylan Iceplex has been a staple in the Omaha metro since 1995. This facility boasts an NHL sized rink and provides camps, classes and open skates for the enjoyment of the entire community. Moylan Iceplex needed a website to serve as a marketing piece and as a informational resource. With a simple design and subtle creative splashes, Moylan Iceplex’s website is both beautiful and informative.

This website is built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS) and provides an affordable and robust platform for Moylan Iceplex. Using some simple plugins, this website has an easy-to-use calendar and class information. And with responsive technology this new website is mobile-friendly.

With websites like Moylan Iceplex, it’s always fun for our Omaha web design team to use subtle creativity to portray a business online. We are grateful for the opportunity to assist Moylan Iceplex in creating a credible online image and look forward to a continued partnership for years to come.

Visit Moylan Iceplex’s New Website

 

New Website Launch: Papillion Creek Watershed Partnership

The Papillion Creek Watershed consists of the land area that conveys water to the Missouri River from rain and snowmelt within the basin. The Watershed covers 402 square miles located in Washington, Douglas and Sarpy Counties and flows in a southeasterly direction to the Missouri River. The Papillion Creek Watershed Partnership (PCWP) is comprised of 9 local governments and addresses water quality and quantity problems, and seeks to server the officials and residences under these 9 jurisdictions.

As a strictly informational website, PCWP’s new website design is simple in design elements but rich in content. The WordPress Content Management System allows for easy updating, where they can easily add events, meeting minutes and resources for the community. The website is also responsive and provides a friendly view for mobile users.

Visit PCWP’s New Website

PCWP new website homepage

New Website Launch: Palleton, Inc.

Palleton, Inc., has a long history in the Pallet Manufacturer field. With unmatched expertise and a desire to better server their customers, Palleton partnered with JM for a new website design that would be beautiful, functional and optimized for the search engines.

Palleton’s new website is built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS) and is mobile-friendly. Among it’s features, this new website includes a locations page, using a simple locations WordPress plugin. This plugin allows for easy updating from the WordPress admin. And in conjunction with this new website design. Palleton partnered with JM to optimize each page. With JM’s one-time Search Engine Optimization (SEO) package, our SEO experts craft web page titles, H1 tags and META descriptions to assist in Google rankings for targeted keywords and increased traffic from the search engines.

Palleton chose to invest in a new website design AND prepare their website for more SEO success through page optimization. Forward thinking when designing and launching a website can not only increase success upon launch but can better setup a company for future marketing efforts. We applaud Palleton for investing in their online presence and look forward to partnering with them in the future.

Visit Palleton’s New Website

Palleton, Inc., new website design screenshot

New Website Launch: Millennium Homes

Our Omaha web design team is excited to announce a new website launch for Millennium Homes out of Omaha. Millennium Homes’ previous website was difficult to navigate and to update. This new website helps to provide a better user experience, and ease of updating by Millennium Homes.

As a new home builder in Omaha, this new website reflects Millennium Homes’ attention to detail, clean design and beautiful finished product. This pre-built WordPress template has been customized to fit the needs of Millennium Homes for an affordable price. This template also provides responsive technology and meets Google’s mobile-friendly standards.

We wish great success to Millennium Homes, and are thrilled to be able to provide them with a beautiful website that will grow with their success.

Visit Millennium Homes’ New Website

millennium homes homepage

New Website Feature: AgriSecure

AgriSecure‘s website just needed a little sprucing up from our web design team. As most small business owners know, finding the time to maintain a website amidst the day-to-day hustle and bustle can be nearly impossible. And with the tools already in place for web maintenance on AgriSecure’s website, JM was able to jump in and assist in updating images and text for a fresh look.

The AgriSecure team has worked with our web design team for other ventures, and we’re glad to provide continued support and services as we’re able. The AgriSecure website is built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS) and our web development team is experienced in designing and developing in WordPress. This makes us a natural fit to support AgriSecure’s website.

Take some time to check out AgriSecure for a sense of what beautiful images, simple text and clean design can do for telling a company’s story.

Visit AgriSecure’s Website

AgriSecure Website Homepage Design

New Website Launch: Your Family Dentist

Your Family Dentist in Papillion needed a new website that would portray its inviting atmosphere, educate customers and serve as a source of credibility for Dr. Jeppesen and his staff. So, partnering with our Omaha web design team, Your Family Dentist launched a beautiful new website that accomplishes all their goals.

Starting with a pre-built WordPress template, this new website is was customized to match Your Family Dentist’s branding. The robust Content Management System (CMS) allows for easy website updates, and allows for easy growth to meet their growing needs and future web marketing or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs. The mobile friendly website is also ideal for users on the go. Featuring a smile gallery, this website showcases their incredible customer transformations along with staff and office information to build credibility and trust before a patient ever even walks in the door.

We have every confidence that this new website will provide and avenue for even more growth for this already successful dental practice.

Visit Your Family Dentist’s New Website

Your Family Dental Website Screenshot

New Website Launch: First Impressions Photography

Our Omaha web design team has launched a new website for First Impressions Photography of Omaha, a long-time client. First Impressions Photography owner, Maureen, decided to redesign her website in order to meet Google’s mobile-friendly standards and increase usability for mobile and tablet visitors.

This website is intended to be informational, used as a sales and marketing tool to sell photography services. With a simple WordPress CMS, First Impressions Photography is able to manage it’s albums and website information. And it’s simple design features Maureen’s work, the primary purpose of this website.

We’re grateful for the many years Maureen has trusted her business to JM, and we look forward to many years of working together for her success!

Visit First Impressions Photography Website

first impressions website screenshot

 

 

New Website Launch: Fun Fitness with Fido

JM is excited to announce a new website for Fun Fitness with Fido. This lighthearted and playful design stands out in our portfolio.

When a website design captures the atmosphere and values of a business, it’s building credibility and rapport. Offering obedience training, dog siting, dog walking and dog boarding in Omaha, it’s Fun Fitness with Fido’s priority to create a welcoming and loving atmosphere. This new website design, built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS), reflects its love of furry friends and dedication to this atmosphere.

This new website design is built on a pre-built WordPress template, customized to Fun Fitness with Fido’s brand. This CMS allows for easy updating of text and images. Additionally, this website uses responsive technology to meet mobile-friendly requirements.

Our Omaha web design team wishes great success to Fitness Fun with Fido as they strive for business and credibility in an online marketplace.

Visit Fun Fitness with Fido’s Website

website screenshot for fun fitness with fido website

 

New Website: Blair Area Community Foundation

Blair Area Community Foundation serves Washington County, Nebraska, distributing gifts, making grants, managing designated funds and scholarships and providing resources that benefit both the local community and donors. As a long-time client of JM, our web design and development team built and managed its previous website for many years before this updated website design.

This new website provides Blair Area Community Foundation with greater flexibility and helps it to better manage its resources. With a WordPress Content Management System, the team can manage website content and website donations. With programs and members always changing, a CMS is ideal for its need. Additionally, with increase mobile users, this new website meets Google’s mobile-friendly requirements with responsive design.

A big thank you from our team to BACF for selecting JM again for a new website. We’re grateful when customers continue to trust us with their websites for many years.

Visit BACF’s Website

new website for blair area ommunity foundation

New Website Launch: Dunkin’ Donuts

Our Omaha web design and development team is privileged to announce a new website for QSR Service’s Dunkin’ Donuts franchises. Because we love donuts and design, this website was great fun to pull together.

While just a simple website, our designers took freedoms to incorporate Dunkin’ Donuts branding throughout. And our favorite part is the website footer – because, sprinkles. Also, be sure to check out the social media icons hover action for a sweet (get it?) surprise.

This new Dunkin’ Donuts website is built on a WordPress Content Management System (CMS), through which QSR can update website content and images. This website also includes a locations map; managed through the CMS.

Providing a new website for such a large franchise is an honor. We’re grateful for the opportunity to use our skills and provide Nebraska Dunkin’ Donuts locations with a means to market online.

Visit QSR Service’s New Website

qsr donuts nebraska new website design