If you are starting a business or taking your current business online, you’re going to need web hosting. While there are a number of very popular sites out there, they may not be what you need in order to get the most out of your web hosting and could cause downtime that will hurt your bottom line. That’s why it’s so important to know what to look for in a web hosting company before you sign up for any contracts or something terrible happens. Here are some of the things you ought to keep an eye out for.
1. Look for the host’s uptime track record – The most important thing about any host is how often their services are up and running. If their servers go down, then your website is not being shown to anybody and you have zero chance of a new customer coming in during that time. Worse, customers that might have otherwise gone to the site for the first time and bought something will not be able to access your product and may move on to a competitor. Check the uptime track record of any hosting company that you’re looking into and the higher it is, the better.
2. Look for a variety of options available to you – See how many different options there are as far as hosting goes. Can you choose between a Windows or Linux server? How about between Shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), Dedicated, and Managed Web hosting? See what sorts of hosting options are available to you, then start doing some research to make sure that you understand what they are and why you might need one or the other for your particular website. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about these things from the sales associate when you call to purchase, either.
3. Look for great customer support – It is highly likely that you will end up spending a lot of time on the phone with your hosting company. Is their support 24/7? The Internet is always changing and it’s important that you keep up on downtime the company may be experiencing, added features that have appeared, and a number of other things. If your website is having trouble, there is nothing like being able to make a quick phone call and know what your problem will be solved as quickly and easily as possible, with dependable and polite people there to help you.
4. Look for the ability to scale – You don’t know how well your business is going to do when you start it, and you don’t know how popular your website is going to be. It only takes one thing you’ve posted to go viral in order to see a huge jump in hits to your site. On top of that, you may find that you want to try something new and require more space or faster speeds. That’s why you want your web host to be scalable to your needs, so that when you begin you aren’t paying a fortune for nothing, but as you gain popularity you’re not stuck with substandard hosting options.
5. Look for a good balance of cost to benefit – It’s not always best to go with the cheapest hosting service. There is a vast range of different types of hosting that you can get, and you often get exactly what you pay for, so be willing to invest your money in the type of hosting that is going to be best for you company. Moreover, consider that hosting when you start your business is not necessarily going to be what you need when you’re more established, and it might be worth switching plans or providers later on down the line as your needs change. Evaluating your business needs is vital to making sure that you always have the right hosting provider.
Running a succesfful website online is difficult enough as it is, make sure you have the right host for your business so that everyone goes smoothly. As people rely on the Internet more and more for their research and purchasing, you will need to make sure that you are ready to meet that demand, and having the right web host is the first step toward doing that.