Maintaining reliability is important for any business. From your products or services to ease of contact, you need to show current and potential clients alike that they can depend on your business. If an Internet presence is important to the success of your business and customer interaction, it’s necessary that you are able to maintain that reliability and availability. Chances are you are not going to be hosting your own website, but relying on a third party with the technical expertise to do so. Do you know what to look for in a web hosting provider? This is a guide on how to find the best web hosting services for your business’ website.
1. Avoid free web hosting. Many companies offer free web hosting, but they’re often not a good long-term fit for a serious business. Most of them force advertisements onto your website. They also have limited customization and don’t offer enough bandwidth for any site that gets more than a few dozen visitors a day. It’s fine to spend some of your hard-earned money to keep your website available. Keep an eye out for the services offered and prices charged by each individual host to avoid overpaying.
2. Uptime. One very important thing to look for is uptime. Uptime is the average amount of time, stated as a percentage, that the web host’s services work correctly. Downtime can be the result of a web hosting service’s negligence, inability to maintain their servers or an unforeseen failure. When your website is down, potential visitors will be turned away, denying you valuable exposure and sales. Make sure to research your host’s uptime. Talk to some current and former customers to see how the hosting provider dealt with any downtime. Beware of any service that claims 100% uptime – this is almost impossible and should be a red flag. Knowing how to deal with downtime quickly and efficiently is the sign of an honest and experienced provider. Educate yourself on the actual meaning of uptime and learn to recognize the problems with relying too much on it.
3. Customer service. Many businesses don’t pay for customer service to save money. Don’t be one of them. Customer service might not seem that important when it comes to web hosting providers. However, when you consider the potential loss of income you’ll experience when your site crashes and you have no one to talk to, a solid and dependable customer service plan starts to sound a lot more important. Not only do you want access to a service representative, but you want to have quality service when you need it. It does nothing for your business if the customer service you pay for does little to help you.
4. Space. When browsing for a web hosting provider, consider the amount of space and bandwidth they offer for their prices. As you look through package deals, consider how much information will be on your site — the number of pages, pictures, videos and other media— and make sure you’re getting the amount of data and space you need for your site to run properly.
5. Review the reviews. With most products and services, you can find reviews for the web hosting providers you’re considering. Nothing can sway you like the experiences of other businesses. Reviews from customers show you how the provider actually works.
Don’t be left in the dark when it comes to knowing how to get the most reliable web hosting provider for your website. Follow these five tips when you review your current provider or browse for a new one.