So, you’ve finally made the decision to go online with your business. You’ve got it all planned out. You know what products you want to put in, you’ve researched on which theme and logo are perfect for your site.
You’ve got all the details down to start your online business except for one thing: choosing a reliable hosting company.
We understand how frustrating it can be to choose a hosting provider that’s right for you. Well, to help ease that burden, we’ve compiled 7 things that you should consider when it comes to choosing a hosting company for your business.
1. Know What Your Hosting Needs Are First
Of course, before you start looking for a hosting company, you need to know what it is you want to do with your online business.
Ideally, you should have this done before you go into finding a hosting provider, but if you don’t, check out our sample questions that you should ask yourself about your website:
- What is your website type? (Company website, online store, blog, etc.)
- Have you decided on a website platform? (e.g. WordPress – if so then specialized WordPress hosting is readily available)
- Is a specialized software (php, java, etc.) required to code your website?
- Do you have a target for the traffic you want for your site?
- Are you considering making more than one website?
These questions are great to get a better understanding of your website and what you intend to achieve. Being as detailed as possible will be helpful in determining whether a hosting company will be compatible with your business.
2. Set Your Budget And Stick To It
Real talk. Depending on your needs, web hosting can be a very expensive endeavor. It can also be very cost-effective as well.
It’s best to set on a budget from the get-go when it comes to paying for a hosting provider. Look back at the needs of your site and make an estimate of what you’ll need to spend on and what you can save on.
Remember that the better your budget is for a web hosting provider, the better it is your site’s overall user experience will be.
3. Make Sure They Have Good Tech Support
You know what sucks about crappy hosting companies? When their tech support can’t even help you fix your site.
A very important factor that you need to consider for choosing a hosting company is whether they provide a really good tech and customer support. SiteGround is an example of quality help centers with 24-hour support via email, live chat and phone, 7 days a week.
A simple tip that we recommend for checking a hosting provider support team quality is to take a look at their comments section on their Facebook page or read up on customer reviews.
4. High Server Uptime And Performance Is A Must
Downtime is an inevitability in the online world, but a reliable web host should be able to keep it down to a minimum. If you’re going spend money on a web host provider, it needs to come with high server uptime.
The industry standard today is to have a server uptime of 99.9% with hosting providers such as HostGator offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee that’s backed up by their terms and conditions.
Remember, every second that your website becomes offline means a loss in potential sales or audiences, so make sure that your hosting provider is able to keep your website online at all times.
5. It’s Better If They Have A Datacenter
If you expect to have high traffic coming to your site, it’s best to check if the hosting company has a Datacenter (or Datacentre). A Datacenter is a facility that houses your site’s data in a reliable location to ensure data connectivity, electrical connectivity, data security, and environmental stability.
Most of the time, a company with their own Datacenter is much more capable of providing a better hosting experience for your website. Bottom line, Datacenters will keep your site loading fast and smooth for your users.
6. Do They Provide Upgrade Options
You might just be a small online business for now but sooner or later, your site is going to outgrow its server capacity for incoming traffic. Which is why we recommend checking if the hosting company offers an upgrade option.
Most sites often go for a shared web hosting plan, in the beginning, to keep costs low. That’s okay for the early stages of your website, however, once you start bringing in massive traffic, you might want to consider upgrading to a dedicated hosting server.
Having the ability to upgrade your current plan will definitely help you avoid the headache of finding a new host and lets you focus on more important things,such as finding ways to make your small business grow.
7. It’s Always Good To Have A Backup (Plan)
Website crashes are bound to happen and when it does, you’ll be thankful that you made a backup of your entire site… or did you?
A backup for your site should come standard for all hosting company, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some will offer it as part of their hosting plan, others will not. So, before you commit to a hosting plan, you might want to check whether the company conducts regular backups of your site, in the event that it crashes.
Ask the hosting company the following questions to get a better idea of their backup plans: Do they have an automatic backup? Is there an option for a website backup in the control panel? Are there any plugins you can use for site backup? Do they offer assistance for restoring a site?
It’s not easy trying to find the best web hosting for your business. It will require a bit of research and patience which will ultimately pay off with a better and smoother experience for you and your users.