Web hosting services differ in many fundamental ways. When looking to enhance your business’ online presence, you need to carefully consider factors beyond just price, bandwidth and disk storage. But even before getting into researching and comparing hosts, you need to understand the needs of your business.
Every business is unique and thus has unique needs. Knowing the current and future needs of your business is the very first step toward ending up with the right web host. For instance, if you have just started a small business and it’s earning a small profit, shared hosting is for most people the right type of hosting.
For a seasoned, mid-sized to large business, dedicated hosting is a better choice as it gives the organization enough scaling capabilities today and in the future. Other key considerations to make when choosing a web host for your website include:
1. Reliability, Security and Uptime Scores of the Server
If there is anything you want to be perfect about your website, it is uptime. How do you feel when you click on a website you had high expectations for only to meet an error message that the site is unavailable or has security issues? You don’t want your visitors to have this experience, and the only way to ensure that is using strong servers and stable network connections.
Go for a hosting company that has a reputation of reliability and high up-time scores. For up-time, anything below 99 per cent is unacceptable especially for online marketing or eCommerce sites.
2. Customer Support
A web host may have excellent servers but having great customer service should be highly prioritized. Many leading web hosting companies offer multi-channel customer support. Online chat, email, social media, text and call lines are like the bare minimum.
Make sure that the hosting provider you are considering has a dedicated 24/7 customer support. With such support, you are sure that in case a technical issue comes up, such as unexpected downtime, the problem will be solved promptly and your visitors will not get bad experiences using your site.
3. Can you add domains and sub-domains?
Most people start with a single website and single domain name. However, it is good to think beyond the current size of the business. As it grows, you may realize that you need additional domains and sub-domains. Check the different packages a host offers to know whether it will be possible to run multiple domains on one web hosting account.
4. E-commerce and email options
You will get more business value from your hosting option if the host can link your website’s primary email to your domain. Integrated email hosting and eCommerce capabilities make it easier for a business to get subscriber conversions as well as customer feedback.
Here, don’t just take a hosts promise without question. Verify that the package you choose actually has these two services. Customer reviews will greatly help you so take time to read and analyse information on various review sites.
5. Account Limitations
Read terms of service and especially terms on the use of disk and server space. Every web hosting has a unique set of TOS. Violation of these terms can attract extra charges or discontinuation of service either temporarily or permanently. Make sure you understand the limitations of your hosting account to avoid any of the mentioned consequences.
Realizing the importance of understanding terms of service, avoid any host with unclear terms. When doing your research on various hosts, you are likely to come across customer complains associated with extra charges because of exceeding allowed service limits. Imagine your site being pulled down indefinitely without a refund just because you failed to understand the limitations of the hosting account you signed up for.
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Pricing is definitely a key selection factor. However, since package prices have slight variations across service providers, it is advisable to consider what services a package offers first then consider whether its cost is within your budget. Pay close attention to renewal charges are they are often significantly higher than sign up and registration fees. For instance, you may find a very attractive hosting deal with low signup fees and a considerably low first payment but a renewal fee that’s even triple these initial costs.
Choosing a host for your website is a very crucial decision since your choice can have far-reaching consequences on your business. Many people purchase web hosting in a rush only to regret later their failure to consider critical aspects of the hosting service. Take time to do you research, read online reviews, and ask questions to hosting providers. This will help you to get a better understanding of web hosting and you will ultimately sign up for the best hosting service.