A website host is an important partner in your business. How important? Well, you can lose a lot of business if you choose the wrong host.
Customers have high expectations these days when it comes to your website. They expect it to be up and running. They also expect it to load quickly. The slightest delays can cause people to leave your site.
Believe it or not, your site’s host has a major impact on these two things.
There are thousands of website hosts out there to choose from. How can you be sure that you choose the most reliable host for your business?
Read on to discover 10 criteria you need to look for in a website host.
Your Business Needs
The place to start is with your business. You need to know what your website requires to choose the right host and the right plan for your business.
Do you have one website for a local business that gets a little traffic?
Maybe you’re a blogger with a whole network of sites that have thousands of visitors each month. An e-commerce site goes a step further and has its own requirements, such as a secure shopping cart.
The big things you need to know are how many sites you have, how much traffic you get now, and how much you expect to get over the next year or two.
Your website host has to take security seriously. Your business simply can’t afford to have a cyberattack because your host was vulnerable.
An attack can be so costly, it can put you out of business for good. Check to find out how your host protects its servers from attack.
If you’re on a shared hosting plan, you want to make sure there are safeguards in place to protect your site if another site on the same server is hacked.
Types of Hosting Plans
You’ll find that web hosts offer different levels of hosting plans. The most common one is a shared hosting plan, which is usually the cheapest. It’s not the best option for all sites, though.
Ecommerce sited and sites that get a lot of traffic need upgraded services to meet their needs. With shared hosting, you’re sharing server space with a lot of other sites. If one of those sites sees a jump in traffic or has a security issue, your site can be affected.
You want to take your time and learn about website hosts before you sign up for a hosting plan.
Web hosts love to talk about uptime. This is the percentage of time that their servers are up and running outside of routine maintenance.
Most web hosts will report uptime of 99.9%. Be wary of those who say they are up 100% of the time. It’s simply not feasible and they are likely to be misleading you.
Customer Service & Support
If there’s one thing that’s certain when dealing with websites, it’s that if something can go wrong, it will. You want to know that you have the support available to help bring your site back online when things go wrong.
The best website hosts have a number of ways to contact them. They have specific hours to call and speak with a live person. They also have chat and messaging available outside of those hours.
You never know when something will go wrong. Have support day or night can give you peace of mind when your website goes down.
You need to do your research to choose the right website host. You’ll want to look at their offerings, and you want to see what other people’s experience is.
Take the time to read the reviews of the hosting companies before you sign up. The easiest way to do that is to do a search for the hosting company’s name and reviews.
Speed and Location
You may not be able to tell how fast a web host will be for your website, but you can see how far they are from your customers.
This will be important for local businesses. Ideally, you want to choose a web host with servers near your customers. That can cut down on the time it takes for your site to load on their devices.
Installation Apps & Extras
Hosting companies try to offer different things to set themselves apart. They may offer a one-click WordPress installation. They may also offer an easy to use dashboard that gives you a lot of flexibility and customizations.
Two things that you want to have from your hosting company are free SSL certificates and CDN services. These are two things that will allow you to deliver a faster and more secure experience.
Hosting companies often entice new customers by offering steep discounts for their services. Anytime you can save money is a good time, right?
You have to read the fine print on those hosting plans. You may get a discount for that first year, but the cost to renew may be incredibly high. You want to know what hosting will cost the first year and beyond.
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