Are you looking for the most significant choices in e-commerce capability?
Perhaps you're looking for ways that your team can work more collaboratively, using your web portal as a hub for remote working?
The humble website is no longer just a shopfront or a place to jot down your thoughts for other people to read while they're waiting in queue for their chai latte.
Website technologies are now powerful and interactive enough to manage the work streams of entire teams of remote workers; helping bedroom outfits expand into global brands.
So, whether you're looking for the best technologies for remote working, a funky skin for your online store or a new discussion forum for your educational site, knowing what you can ask for is the first step to getting the best out of your web host.
We're going to explore the most important technologies from network providers, ensuring that your website becomes the fastest, slickest, most collaborative portal to best position your business against your competition.
Perhaps the most significant progress in e-commerce from the past couple of years has been social marketing.
Sophisticated algorithmic targeting has brought about unprecedented possibilities for businesses aiming to develop sales leads; making use of data gathered about users by the social platforms – particularly Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook is rapidly moving into retail.
And web-hosts, therefore, are having to find new ways to connect the power of social marketing into website integrations that monopolise on the opportunity.
Instagram - Facebook's sister site - offers users the ability to buy lifestyle products, such as fashion accessories and make-up, directly through the social platform.
"Check-out" on Instagram and Facebook's in-app retail experiences allow customers to buy directly through the platform, so the ability to integrate your social network assets with your website has never been such an essential ask.
Social checkouts might not have reached the entire internet quite yet, but it's just a matter of time. With brands such as Uniqlo, Nike, H&M, and Kylie Cosmetics rolling out Facebook and Instagram shopfronts, it's time for SMBs all around the world to start preparing.
Web-hosts who are offering these forward-thinking companies with integration solutions are the ones who will thrive in 2019 and beyond.
It goes without saying that a website in 2019 should be quick.
There aren't that many companies that can afford to overlook SEO. And SEO has changed.
Speed is now a significant metric in Google’s qualification criteria of your SEO credentials.
SEO is no longer a case of keyword stuffing – in fact, you'll get penalised for this type of behaviour.
Google wants a site to be useful to the user – and one of the metrics they use to ascertain the quality of your site is the speed at which it functions.
There are lots of ways to improve the speed of your website, but the most important is in the coding and the quality of the service provided by your web host.
There are lots of ways to supercharge your website, starting with an audit from online resources such as Google Pagespeed Insights or GTMetrix. These services run live tests on your site’s performance, making suggestions for ways to improve your speed.
The Dangers of DIY
In-the-box, DIY websites from templates are particularly common on the web these days.
But are they performing as well as they could?
It’s true to say that DIY website builders are the biggest competition for independent web hosts in 2019.
But what web hosts can do better than the template providers is ensure coding that's explicitly written to cater to customer need; offering a smoother UI and better UX.
Template websites promise a lot - but they rarely provide the best User Experience because the jigsaw of plug-ins selected by customers are often welded together; rather than seamlessly integrated for compatibility.
So, web hosting alone isn’t enough - and this is usually all you get with DIY website building sites.
You should look for companies who can offer quarterly security reviews for your e-commerce site, and managed web hosting packages that can help ensure that plug-ins and content delivery networks incorporated into your website are fully compatible and running optimally.
And Namhost’s professional programmers and support infrastructure can assist with all sorts of back-up and security protections to keep your online presence safe, secure, and live for your customers and visitors. Namhost are the experts when it comes to optimizing website operations - custom-building solutions for your specific needs and ensuring that those visits turn into conversions.
If your website is still operating under the HTTP protocol, then you’re putting your users’ security at risk, and you should consider consulting with your web host to update.
Remaining with HTTP protocol is tantamount to sharing your user's personal information to WiFi eavesdroppers, ISPs, and - potentially - government agencies such as the NSA.
The "S" in HTTPS stands for secure.
When a user connects to your HTTPS site, the web browser check’s the site’s security certificate; verifying that it has been issued by a legitimate certification authority.
HTTPS provides additional protection to your website and your business-critical data from hackers.
Originally, HTTPS was used mainly by banks and on payment pages in online checkouts for e-commerce stores. However, visitors to all websites are increasingly expecting this additional layer of protection.
Google will now penalise a site for HTTP. They value the security of their users and expect you to protect your visitors. Namhost offers free HTTPS with all hosting accounts.
Secure collaboration tools for remote workers
Imagine a world where everyone can work at home by logging into a central online portal.
They use collaboration tools so that the entire team can operate in synchronicity; across the globe.
Of course, this is entirely possible - and company websites are increasingly becoming portals for collaboration as much as platforms to represent your company to site visitors.
Team meetings can now take place across multiple venues; with very little preparation.
Video conferencing portals such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams provide collaborative access between on-site workers and remote operators through interactive displays.
Interactive displays offer two-way video through live and interactive collaboration; making everyone feel like they're in the same room together.
Through collaborative integrations you can create your safe working space through your website.
For example, Basecamp is a collaboration tool that allows real-time visibility of your team’s progress, with a plethora of 3rd party integration tools to help facilitate remote working.
You can integrate an API into your website, providing a single, secure portal that seamlessly integrates with your database, cloud access, CRM, and User Interface.
But this type of integration requires expertise - and you don't get that with DIY web hosting. Get in touch with Namhost, and they will be happy to help.
These technologies are essential for growing SMBs, and web hosts that accommodate these demands are prospering.
As SMBs expand, the task of managing multiple plug-ins and web-based interfaces becomes more challenging.
There’s often simply too much information to retain.
So, how do you monitor back-ups and upgrades for everyone; without losing essential uptime?
IBIS World claims that the US web hosting industry is set to grow 7% annually for the foreseeable future.
Can your web host keep up with that level of growth? Namhost certainly can.
As demands increase on web hosts, it’s reasonable for SMBs to expect support packages to improve, not decline.
And as more and more business websites become the principal interface between the public and a company’s services, decent management system infrastructure is essential.
And, quite frankly, DIY websites from template are rarely accompanied by live support packages.
So, while customer support is nothing new in web-hosting, the need to cater to an increasingly complex array of demands is.
Is your web-host set up for the challenge? There are very few companies more prepared for that challenge than Namhost.
For example, telephone response customer support isn’t always the best approach to supporting customers in the world of web hosting.
Econsultancy discovered that almost half of UK consumers claimed that call centres were the most annoying and frustrating service channel, preferring live chat to phone consultation.
Live chat and text-based support are great opportunities to address issues quickly. They allow technicians to deal with more than one customer at a time, improving productivity and boosting customer satisfaction.
Namhost offers live chat for all customers, offering support to quickly resolve any issues that occur.
So, web hosts with the most significant capacity to offer a versatile suite of support portals are the ones who will grow in 2019.
So, as we’ve seen, the most important technologies for web hosting in 2019 is mainly a development of existing services and support systems.
Offering customers more interactive and immediate means of support and e-commerce facilities (while quickly addressing problems wherever they occur) are where web host technologies help differentiate between the leaders and the followers.
Be with the leaders.