Website hosting is an important but often overlooked step when preparing a new site. Whereas some may think to find the “cheapest” option available, it helps in the long run to choose a company that can accommodate your business needs. Cheap is cheap and you get what you pay for in web hosting. That doesn’t mean that you have to pay a monthly fortune… but instead, be more aware of the options you have and the ones you should look for:
Reliable servers – Does the company have a good track record? Search the company name + reviews to find out what other customers have to say. When your site is hosted on an unreliable server, your site may go down. Your site could even be hacked and injected with virus – not a fun thing to deal with or explain to clients!
Watch out for hidden fees – While some companies offer a low upfront fee, they may try to tack on additional costs when you need something else. For example, fees for email, website backup, and fees to transfer a domain – which is something that should commonly be included in the price you initially pay.
Customer service that’s readily available – Nothing’s worse than seeing that your website is down and having no one to help you out. Let’s say you sell jewelery online and your site is down during peak-Valentine’s Day buying hours. During this precious time lost, you will be losing potential customers and there’s nothing that you can do to make it up, except prepare for precautions in the first place. In a more serious scenario, imagine that the company operates on limited hours and is not open during the weekends. Who will be there to help you when you need assistance? Can your business really afford to wait?
Flexible options – All small businesses are not alike and understandably so, you should have a variety of different hosting options. Make sure that you don’t get locked into something that you don’t understand clearly and that there is room for upgrades or downgrades, if necessary.
Here are some helpful resources to check out before you choose a web host. And if you need the opinion of a website marketing firm, we’re always here to help!
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.