The term web hosting is wide-spread and even those who aren’t up to date with the IT sector know that it’s an activity that provides storage space for websites on big servers in order for these websites to be visible all the time for visitors. But what about social network (social media) hosting? How much is it different from common web hosting?
What Exactly Is Social Network Hosting?
A social network hosting service is essentially a web hosting service or provider with a job to host the user creation (creation of social network platform) of social networking services, and applications related to it, that are accessed over the Internet.
A social network hosting services are also known as vertical social networks because they both connect people with specific but yet joint interests and niches. These networks can be integrated into a content strategy if targeted properly. The role of social network hosting services created specifically for vertical social networks is to cater to these user interests and niches, but it also has the ability to create niche groups of users that have the potential to increase.
What Is the Role of the Social Network Hosting Service?
A social network hosting services make easier for clients to build and operate social networking platforms providing them with a wide range of popular development software solutions (various versions of PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, PERL, Apache, etc.) to create social networking sites similar to most popular ones such as Facebook or Twitter. These hosting providers spark clients to customize their profiles and establish communication channels among subscribers.
One of the most important roles of social network hosting services is to ensure faster page loads which they do thanks to high-speed servers. Clients also have at their disposal hosting packages with SSH access (Secure Shell – a protocol that provides secure command-line access to hosting accounts to which you can be remotely logged in and whose commands can be run as if you were physically located next to the server). A quality social network hosting services offer expert 24/7 support, free and quick automated installation, scalable storage, and bandwidth options for smooth running and continuous availability of clients’ social networking websites. However, the standout feature of social network hosting services is top-notch security that prevents clients’ social networks from getting hacked.
Choosing Quality Hosting Will Make Your Audience Stay
If you are starting a social media website, you must think through on goals: what traffic do you expect, do you plan to monetize the website and which budget you have. Answers to these questions will determine which hosting to choose.
Having a social media networking website, maybe even the one on which you sell social media services, might give the wrong impression to the audience that you’re affiliated with large social networks and can be considered by these social media giants as a violation of their trademark name. This has the potential to put you in a situation to get complaints and legal notices.
That’s when you’ll need offshore and DMCA ignored hosting provider, preferably the one that has been known to have a less rigid policy in terms of content they approve, some of them will be more sympathetic to your cause than others. What happens is that the original holder of the copyright might send you a notice to take their services off because they claim you violate DMCA. In this case, your hosting provider becomes the dam between your website and its removal because the web host will be contacted by the party that claims to be damaged with content you or your audience posted.
What Things Do Good Hosting for Your Social Media Site Should Possess?
Sharing articles and other content from your website to the wider audience, as well as the ability of visitors to interact with each other on your platform, can significantly increase traffic and engagement of your website. But it comes with a price.
Without good web hosting who can handle the demands of increased speed, storage, and stability that come due to interactions of readers and fans, you won’t experience any of the advantages listed above. So, what hosting plan should you pick for a social networking site? You don’t need to ask this question if you have enough knowledge to build your own server and place it at some data center. But, if you can’t do this by yourself, opt for a web host who can meet your needs in regard to the traffic.
These are the things to consider when choosing a web host for your social media networking site:
Social networking site is nothing without speed. Your audience wants to interact, comment, and communicate in real time, not to wait for ages to see their content published. So, your web host must provide you with the speed your users expect. Prior to that, website designers have to optimize your website for fast page loading but hosting service is there to provide you with hosting packages that have sufficient bandwidth for your website.
This means that each time your visitors get on the internet, they must be sure your social media networking site will be available. The job of a web host is to guarantee optimal website uptime. Don’t trust those hosts who say they can secure 100% uptime because it’s impossible. Take into consideration only those providers who guarantee 99.9% uptime but don’t just take their word for it. Do your own research in regard to the reputation of these hosts.
Your social media website is intended for people with a common interest, so at the beginning, it won’t have heavy traffic and won’t need much server resources. But you must stay open, and that should be the goal of your website, to an increase in subscriptions and membership. When it happens, your web host has to be able to provide you with as much as the resources necessary at any time.
Your visitors need to feel secure when they are on your platform, which includes they must be the ones to decide what information they want to share and what information they want to close for the public. The web hosting service plays a big role in the security of social media sites as they have always been the target of hacking and phishing attacks and victims of viruses and malware intrusions. Also, your web host must have a great backup and recovery plan in case of attacks. Your web host also needs to send you reports on upgrades, checked attacks, and performance it has given over the month on a regular basis.
When building a social media networking website, you certainly want it to be up 24/7. This brings you to a situation that visitors will send requests and questions at any hour and some of them will be related to technical issues. So, your web host should provide 24/7 tech support. Actually, as a website owner, you work together with a web host in making the ultimate customer experience.
For full stability of your social networking website, opt for a dedicated server or hosting plan that includes this kind of machine. It’s the most expensive hosting option, but if it doesn’t fit your budget, get a VPS (virtual private server) or VPS hosting plan. VPS won’t give you the hardware stability of a dedicated server but is the closest you can get to it. At the same time, you’ll reduce costs for a hosting service. Shared hosting plan is the most affordable but in case of traffic increase, your package must have an option to migrate website to VPS to avoid any interruption in the website’s availability on the Internet.