Choosing the best web hosting platform for your business is crucial to the success of your digital efforts. It’s the foundation upon which your web presence is built. With literally hundreds of companies offering a wide variety of packages and pricing, picking the best web hosting site requires a bit of research.
However, before you can know what to look for, you have to know what you need. Below are a few tips to guide you as you try to find the best web hosting service for your small business.
Get Clear on Your Requirements
The uses of a website are as varied as the types of businesses out there. Will you sell products directly from the website or just provide information for customers to peruse? Do you plan to host videos? Do you expect a lot of traffic? Do you anticipate a lot of growth over time? Each of these considerations will play into your decision making process.
Hosting Packages Matter
If you expect significant traffic, you’ll need a lot of bandwidth and storage capacity. Rather than focus exclusively on getting the lowest price, look to see what that price gets you—or doesn’t get you. Double check to make sure you aren’t sacrificing speed, bandwidth, data transfer and disk space for savings. These are critical to providing a pleasant user experience.
What Are Others Saying?
When you find a service with promise, do some digging to see what sort of reputation they have among your peers. Recurring issues will usually be evident in third-party reviews. How is their customer service team perceived? Are they responsive? What about their support efforts? Do you get live people or are you forced to deal with chatbots? Does the service offer any support at all?
Think of your web traffic as water flowing through a hose. Regardless of the size of the hose, the water has to get through a nozzle at some point. A wider opening (more bandwidth) permits higher flow rates. If your site gets really busy and you have limited bandwidth, users won’t be able to get access. If you’re running an ecommerce site and the holiday rush overwhelms your hosting provider, you’ll miss a lot of business.
Backup Does Too
Yes, you should absolutely back up your site every day. All it takes is one failure with no backup to take your site down completely. Does the hosting company provide backup service, or will you be left to handle it on your own? How easy is it to restore your site if it vaporizes into digital dust?
So Do The Terms of Service
How many times have you clicked “Accept”, without reading the terms of service (TOS) in your hurry to get something done online? We’re all guilty of it. However, in business, failing to read the deal could leave you twisting in the wind in an untoward situation; such as paying a high fee for cancelling the service.
Security Definitely Does
A site is only as secure as the hosting server itself. You’ll want SSL Certificates and a secure FTP file manager to protect your data and that of your users from interlopers. These elements are extremely important, especially if you’re operating an ecommerce business and dealing with financial transactions.
As much as we love rooting for new players, it’s foolhardy to overlook experience when your livelihood is on the line. Some things simply have to be lived through to be understood. A company with a track record of 10 years or more has been through things. It has seen growth, managed it well and is likely to be around for the foreseeable future.
Choosing the best web hosting for your business requires the most comprehensive combination of all of the above for your particular situation. Yes, price matters, but performance does too. Make sure your provider offers a variety of packages with reasonable pricing and strong support.