Are you one of those entrepreneurs with a flashy corporate website or have an online e-commerce store in place, but have no idea how to host a website? If you think your choice of wrong website hosting services is hurting your business prospects, here is a simple guide to aid you in making the right decision.
A web hosting service essentially connects your website to the internet. It can greatly influence the online experience for your existing clients and potential customers, your website performance, and the eventual success of your business.
Side Effects of Choosing a Wrong Web Hosting Service
Your website loads considerably slow and what do you have in hand – A lot of impatient customers! They probably move on to do business with your competitor. That hurts.
Add to it the pain of being penalized on website search rankings by search engines that capture the slow loading speed of your website. And it is not even your fault!
And in the unfortunate instance that your website faces an online security threat, your survival depends on the kind of back-up plans and tech support your web hosting company provides to be back online.
Are these not reasons enough that your choose a right web hosting service to ensure that your website remains safe and accessible year-round?
What to Look Out For in a Good Web Host
So how do you go about hunting for a prospective e-commerce web hosting that is right for your business? This simple checklist can serve as an eyeopener to help you decide.
Cost: While cost is a factor in your choice of host, it should be the last thing in mind while trading for function, reliability and security. To run a good website, you will require more file space, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security for e-commerce sites, more bandwidth or a dedicated server to handle more traffic, scripting technology, etc. After all, all good things come at a price.
Reliability: Even a few minutes of downtime for your website, means loss of traffic, negative effects on search engine ranking and risk of online threats. Hence it is crucial to choose a web hosting service with proven track record in reliability and 99.9% guaranteed uptime so that your website is always up and running smoothly.
Good Customer Service: Look for a web hosting company offering 24×7 support not only through email but also over the phone. Having fast and reliable technical support when facing downtime or other problems will save you a lot of trouble. Nobody likes to sit and wait for help after all.
Ability to Scale: While shared web hosting services is sufficient for small and mid-sized businesses, a dedicated or managed website hosting service is more suitable to run an e-commerce or business website with higher traffic volumes. The upfront cost may be high but ultimately the ability to scale and accommodate traffic spikes in line with your business growth is crucial.
Online Security and Backup: Check what kind of protection is provided by your web hosting company against malware and viruses and towards server security. In case if anything goes wrong with the servers, do they have a backup system in place and how often do they test them?
Features/Add-Ons: According to your specific site needs, look for features such as advanced optimization for email and e-commerce web hosting, one-click installation for useful applications, and an integrated control panel to access most important administrative options. Additionally on-site statistical tools can help you track site performance and offer information on website traffic.
Reputation: Doing a bit of background check on your choice of web hosting service will help you make an informed choice. Customer reviews and recommendations from trustworthy sites can be an excellent indicator to the kind of service provided by a web hosting company.
This may not be a comprehensive list of all the points that you need to look out for in a reliable web hosting service. But it is sufficient enough to put you on the right track to choosing the best web hosting company for your website or online business.