After you purchase a domain name for your dealership, the next step in setting up your website is hosting.

Did you know that all hosting companies are not created equal? It’s true. In fact, some hosting companies can even lower your ranking in search engines because of their poor performance. In this article, I will outline what RV dealers should be looking for in a hosting company.

In this blog post I will be going over:

  1. The different types of website hosting
  2. Are Free website hosting worth it
  3. The minimum hosting specs you need to keep your website running smoothly and efficiently
  4. Website add-ons that every hosting account comes with that can save you money
  5. How to search for reviews for the top hosting companies prior to buying
  6. Searching for coupons to help lower the price

Before I go into the six tips on website hosting, let me first explain what web hosting is:

What is website hosting: Website hosting service allows companies and individuals to make their website accessible via the world wide web. Web hosting companies provide space on a server to be used by clients. Your hosting account is what typically handles the files that make up your website, email, databases, ftp access and more.

Think of a website hosting server as nothing more than a souped-up computer with a folder on it that only you have access to and it contains the files for your website. So when somebody searches for the contact page on your website, they are routed to your domain registrar and your registrar tells them to go to your hosting server which in tern brings up your contact page.

Here is a sample flow of the request cycle:

Website hosting request cycle

Request For Contact Page -> Godaddy Receives Request -> Forwards To Hosting Company -> /MyFolder/Contact.html

The reason why we pay for website hosting is that you are paying for availability, security (of the server and not for your files), web builder software, and for the maintenance of the server. So it’s better to pay for hosting so that you don’t have to manage a server or pay to fix it when it breaks.

Now that you know a little more into the background of web hosting for your RV dealership, let’s get into the five tips.

Here are 6 Tips For How To Choose Web Hosting For Your RV Dealership:

  1. Types of Website Hosting: There are four main types of website hosting: Shared Server, Virtual Private Server (VPS), Private Server and Cloud hosting services. Prior to just doing a Google search for “Website Hosting Company”, you need to know exactly what you are searching for and why. Each hosting type has its own pro’s and con’s so read our thoughts prior to making your decision.
    • Shared Hosting For RV Dealers:
      • Overview & Pricing: Shared website hosting accounts are the cheapest hosting services that you can buy. They range from $0-$15 / per month and are paid a year at a time at minimum. Some will allow you to prepay for three years. Typically a hosting service that is within this price range will be a shared hosting account. I mention this because if you just do a search for “best hosting companies” it typically does not say that it’s a “Shared Hosting account”. Buying a shared hosting service means that you are sharing server with hundreds, if not, thousands of other websites.  Some companies are really good with their website speed, availability and customer service and some are utterly terrible. Keep in mind that you really do get what you pay for.
      • Website Speed & Availability: Shared website hosting typically has slower speeds and less availability than the other hosting services. This is due to the fact that you are sharing a server with hundreds, if not thousands of other websites. What does that mean? It means that if you get on a server with a website that is sucking all of the bandwidth and other resources, it can really slow down your website.
      • Security: Shared hosting services typically have the worst security. This is because you are lumped together with thousands of other websites and it increases the possibilities of it getting hacked. What’s more is that because there are thousands of other websites all sharing the same server, and thus the same IP address, if somebody else on the server decides to send out massive amounts of spam email, the entire server could be placed on the banned IP email list. I’ve had quite a few new customers give me a call because all their outgoing email was banned. The RV Dealership tried to send out replies to customers looking to buy RV’s and the customer never got the email because it was rejected by the email provider. How much is it worth then to pay a little extra for good Website hosting?
      • Who Should Use Shared Website Hosting: If you are a start-up RV Dealer that is on a limited budget, the shared hosting accounts will allow you a great opportunity to get your website off the ground. This is a great option for RV Dealers who cannot afford RV Web Services, but want to have a website up and running until they until the point that they can.
      • Our Recommendations: 
    • Virtual Private Server For RV Dealers:
      • Overview & Pricing: VPS Servers are more expensive than shared hosting services and will cost around $25-$80 / month depending on the company. Unlike shared hosting services, VPS servers allow you to pay by the month, while some VPS companies allow discounts if you pay a year at a time. VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting accounts in the sense that the hosting company will create a virtual server environment on one server. So there could be 10 to 30 VPS accounts all on the same server. The difference here is that you will have your own IP address and the VPS hosting company manages the security and updates.
      • Website Speed & Availability: VPS servers for RV Dealers are great because you are guaranteed a specified amount of disk space, Ram, bandwidth, processor speed etc. So you don’t have to share it with other websites that are on the same server. This is huge for a RV Dealer website where you want customers to browse your RV listings for sale without having to wait for the page to load.
      • Security: The VPS company will manage the security of the hosting environment and help you if you need help with updating to new software versions if you need it. VPS servers have great security standards because you can control software versions and update it on the fly.
      • Who Should Use A VPS? RV Dealers that want to manage their website in-house are perfect candidates for VPS web hosting. VPS web hosting is great if you want your website to load faster and be more secure without having to worry about having your email banned.
      • Our Recommendations: 
    • Dedicated Server For RV Dealers:
      • Overview & Pricing: Dedicated Servers are by far the most expensive of the four on our list. You can either get a Managed dedicated server or an un-managed dedicated server. The pricing ranges from $100 per month up to $400 a month or more. With a dedicated server, you are paying to rent the entire server and you don’t have any limitations. The hosting company will manage all of the hardware to make sure that the server stays online and they will replace any component that fails.
      • Website Speed & Availability: Dedicated servers have incredible speed and availability as you aren’t competing with anybody for the usage of this server. You are only limited to the specs that you signed up to pay for.
      • Security: This depends on if you are managing it yourself or if you are paying the hosting company to host it for you.
      • Who Should Use A Dedicated Server: Because this is on the upper end of the price scale and advanced usability scale, only RV Dealer who have an in-house web service team should sign up for a dedicated server.
      • Our Recommendations:
    • Cloud Hosting For RV Dealers:
      • Cloud website hosting is still very new and the pricing is comparable to VPS hosting prices above. Because cloud web hosting is in its infancy stages, the management control panel isn’t very easy to setup or use. I would recommend cloud services more as a backup source than for RV Dealer websites. This will change as the technology is evolving really fast, but using a VPS service would be best suited for your RV Dealership now.
      • Our Recommendations:
  2. Free Web Hosting or Free Domain Name Catch:
    • Free Website Hosting: Don’t even dream of using a Free Website hosting service for your RV Dealership website. Everything about it is terrible and I would avoid it at all costs. Even if you don’t want to spend a penny on internet marketing or your website, there are ways to get around this and a free website hosting account isn’t one of them. If you can’t spend anything on internet marketing or a website at the moment, it’s better to sign up for a free WordPress Website where you get free hosting, free website design and your own unique url (YourDealership.wordpress.com). This is a lot better alternative than a free hosting account.
    • Free Domain Name: What if a hosting company offers a free domain name when you sign up? There are some hosting accounts that will pay for the registration of a domain name if you pay for hosting. Does this mean that you should have them purchase your company domain and host it for you? Absolutely not!!! If a hosting company offers a free domain name, they do so with the following restrictions:
      • They own the domain (even though it’s registered to you) and will keep the domain even if you cancel your hosting services. So you can’t take it with you down the road.
      • You will have to pay a exorbitant amount to buy the domain from them if you choose to change hosting services.
  3. Website Hosting Specs:
    • You will see web hosting companies list out that everything is “Unlimited”. Unlimited Space, Unlimited Databases, Unlimited Emails, Bandwidth and more. This is always a joke and I laugh every time that I read it. Why? Because nothing is ever Unlimited. I’ve read all of their Terms and Conditions and they always state the “Limitations” of everything, which totally contradicts the home page specs. What’s more is that it’s always the Shared Hosting providers that state “unlimited” where all the other hosting types will have exact specs that you are paying for. 
    • What should you be looking for then? With a shared hosting account, I would use one of the hosting accounts listed above because they are the leaders in the industry and they will give you good service and performance to get your dealership off the ground.
    • As for the VPS, Dedicated and Cloud hosting services here are the minimum specs that I would recommend:
      • Memory: 1GB or 2GB
      • Disk Space: 20GB
      • Disk Type: SCSI or SSD – SCSI is the current industry standard because they have a 15K rotate speed and can retrieve information really fast. Some as fast as 40MB / second. However, SSD or Solid State Drives are the newest hard drive type on the market and provide blistering access speeds of 600MB per second up to 3GB per second! That’s crazy fast but keep in mind that it’s very new technology and will cost more if you want an SSD.
      • Transfer / Bandwidth: 500GB Minimum
      • Processor: Minimum of 2 Cores @ 1200 MHz
      • Location: Many hosting services will ask you what part of the United States you want the server to reside (West, Central, South, East etc). Pick one that is nearest your RV Dealership.
      • Cpanel is required. Watch out! Some hosting companies don’t provide a cpanel with the hosting account.
  4. Website Hosting Add-ons: Website hosting addons
    • The amazing aspect of either shared web hosting or VPS hosting is that they typically come with a control panel with boat loads of helpful add-on software. Here is a list of free add-ons that come standard with your hosting services:
      1. WordPress, Joomla or Drupal CMS
      2. Project Management Software
      3. Poll or Survey Software
      4. Blogs
      5. Forums
      6. Calendars and more
    • If you are on a tight budget you can buy a domain name, purchase hosting from one of the companies above and then have Joomla, or WordPress automatically installed as you main website. You can install a custom theme for one of those sites and have your website up and running with very little costs. This is perfect for learning the 101 of web design. This way you will be more knowledgeable with web design for when you go to hire a RV Web Design Company.
    • As you can see, you can really get your RV Dealership’s internet marketing off the ground with the standard features that come with most all website hosting accounts.
    • A great benefit of these add-on’s is that they are automatically installed with a couple clicks of a button.
    • If you want to use an add-on for your website that isn’t your main site, I would recommend to setup a subdomain (example: calendar.yourdomain.com) in your control panel and install the add-on on that instead of your main domain. This will help keep everything clean and de-cluttered.
  5. Read Reviews: 
    • This shouldn’t come as any surprise this day in age, but I would really recommend doing a Google search for reviews on the website hosting company that you are wanting to use. As an example, search for “Hostmonster Reviews” or “Hostmonster reviews forum” and read what people have to say about the hosting company’s services, availability, customer service and more. This will lead you down the right path towards weeding out some of the good and bad companies.
  6. Search For Coupons:
    • I don’t buy anything online until I’ve utterly exhausted my efforts in search for a coupon code or promo code online prior. Neither should you. What’s great is that hosting companies will have tons of coupon codes floating around online available for you to use. Many times you can get 40% or 50% off the first year.
    • Search for “Hosting Company name Coupon” or “hosting company name promo code”. This will lead you in the right direction for getting a good list of coupon codes to use. Keep in mind that some codes may be expired or no longer valid. So you may need to try a couple prior to one being accepted.

I hope that this article has been helpful to you if you are looking for Web hosting for your RV Dealership. If you have any comments please feel free to comment below and we will reply to you as soon as we can. If you have a specific question, please be sure to post it on our internet marketing forum here. Please remember you need to create an account in order to post.

Also, if you are looking for RV Web Services, we are one of the leading RV Dealer web Design and SEO companies in the US. Start reading about our RV Dealer Web Services here.

We offer web hosting specifically for RV Dealers on our secure dedicated servers, please contact us here for more information and pricing.

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