You’ve spent months – or maybe even years – fine-tuning your products and services, and possibly even longer putting your website content together. After all, setting up a business is anything but an overnight process.

So, the last thing you want is for your website host or SSL certificate to let you down, seeing your business fall at the final hurdle, as it were.

For the uninitiated, first we’ll look at what hosting – and SSL certificates – actually are. Here goes…

In short, website hosting allows businesses to ensure their site and its content is accessible online.And SSL certificates? The ‘SSL’ part stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s the tech behind establishing an encrypted connection between a website host and your web browser. Working together, the two ensure that any data passed between them is kept private – because that’s the way it should be.

How can hosting and SSL impact your business performance, then? Read on…

Site Speed

It should be no surprise that a website that loads swiftly is a website that enjoys more conversions. You’ll know it yourself; if you’re a regular user of the Internet (and who isn’t these days?!), you won’t hang around long if a site’s slow to load.

So, what you need to be on the lookout for, then, is a hosting service that offers speed as one of its key features. If you already have a hosting provider but you’re concerned your site isn’t running as fast as it could be, consider keeping your eyes peeled for different options.

These can include shared hosting, which simply means one physical server is responsible for hosting several companies sites; or private hosting, which comes with a higher price tag but ensures an even better performance.

Site Security

Choose a hosting company that isn’t up to standard and your site’s security may be under threat. Using the web to gain access to websites, hackers will find it’s much easier to get entry into a website that offers poor security.

For peace of mind, ensure your web hosting provider has all the steps in place to protect your website in case the unthinkable happens. You’ll want to ask a couple of key questions: where your backed-up data is stored, and how often it’s backed up.

Site Uptime

A poorly-hosted site can mean one that’s forever going down. But what you want – since you’ll be ploughing all your own cash into your new venture – is a site which promises fantastic uptime, all the time. As you’ll know, in much the same way site speed can affect your website’s conversions, site uptime (or rather, downtime) can, too.

Ensure your web host offers a continual uptime guarantee, then, and you can rest easy tonight. And every night.

Boosted SEO

A site which makes use of a good quality hosting provider is generally a site that’s easier to find online, too. And because faster pages earn higher SEO rankings than slower ones, you’ll be pleased you invested your funds into partnering with a good web hosting company.

SEO Mark has put together a great piece which suggests that, yes, your choice of web host does play a part in how easily your site is found online.

Mark says: “Choosing the right web hosting company doesn’t guarantee a rankings boost, but it does mean you avoid the consequences, and they can be significant ones, of choosing the wrong host. Therefore, you need to choose carefully and not base your decision on price alone.”

Wise words from SEO Mark – and ones you should certainly think about when choosing your web host.

Web Monitoring

With a good website hosting company comes quality web monitoring, which means more brownie points when it comes to the performance of your site!Giving you the opportunity to monitor the performance of your website from anywhere – and anytime – web monitoring services can come with up-to-the-minute alerts about issues which may have an influence on your site.

So, what about your site’s SSL certificate? A key consideration when it comes to your website’s set-up, an SSL certificate can be provided by your chosen hosting company, or a domain registrar. It’s simpler, though, to opt for the service from your hosting firm, given that everything is then managed by one business.

Protecting your customers’ data, an SSL certificate will give you all the assurance you need that your site is working at its best. You’ll find that reputable UK hosting companies will offer SSL certificates as an additional but vital service to your main package. Some, however, may offer a free SSL certificate for a period of a year, but it’s always best to do your research to ascertain which is the best option for you and your site.

With all these top tips in mind, will you be placing more prominence on website hosting now? It really isn’t worth taking the gamble when your website – and its profits – may be on the line.