Almost no businesses can thrive today without a good website. Even the old-school brick-and-mortar stores have at least a basic web presence, with their location, opening times, and contact details, if nothing else. When you’re running a modern SME, your website has to do much more than that.
However, when building a website, you may not have given too much thought to some of the more technical matters. One such matter is that of web hosting. Web hosting is essentially online real estate. It gives you space on a server to host your website, which is essentially your most basic need.
Many people simply go with the most familiar names, like GoDaddy. If all you need is space on a server, how wrong can you go? Unfortunately, too many trusting individuals have been burned by good marketing when it comes to web hosting. With the future of your business at stake, you shouldn’t take a chance.
If you’re still wondering what could go wrong, think about the possibility of regular downtime, with little or no response from customer support. Think of the frustration of your website being down at a crucial time and having absolutely no control. When you read customer reviews of the worst offenders, you will get an idea of what people have gone through.
As a business owner, you need to take a look at whether you have the right web hosting. If you haven’t yet chosen, or if you’re thinking of switching, here’s what you need to know.
Where Should I Look For Web Hosting?
When you’re ready to find the right web hosting, go to a site like bestcheapwebhosting.com. They compare the various web hosting providers for you, giving you all the pros and cons, along with the various features offered by the different plans.
In searching for the web hosting that is right for your business, take note of the following:
- What plans are available? A business is likely to need more resources than an individual would need. You may be expecting high traffic and running resource-heavy scripts. You probably need to choose a VPS or dedicated server to ensure your site never struggles to function. Regular crashes are to be expected when you’re using a plan that is meant to cater for much smaller websites.
- How much growth do you expect? It’s possible that you expect very few visitors now, but hope for a high volume further down the line. In that case, you need to start with a flexible plan. On the other hand, don’t overestimate what you need. If your business is very local, you may intend to build up a very niche customer base. High traffic volume is not going to help you make money in this case, so it is okay to go with a cheaper, resource-lite plan.
- Are customers happy? Web hosting providers know how to say all the right things. They will tell you just how perfect their plans are for you, and maybe they are. However, only the customers can tell you how the provider treats them. Some of the biggest names unfortunately take their clients for granted. Customers tell stories of inept support, disregard for their time, and no help in times of crisis. Companies that rely on the familiarity of their names are most guilty of this.
- Do you have the technical knowledge? If you’re going with a dedicated server, you need to have some technical knowledge. You’re going to have a lot of control, and troubleshooting is going to be left in your hands. This is ideal for those who know what they’re doing. If you decide that you need a dedicated server, or any other hosting that requires in-depth knowledge, you should have someone on your staff who can take charge for you. The last thing you want is to get the most expensive plan, only to be unable to make sense of it.
Web hosting is way too important to leave to a snap decision. While it’s easy to get the basics from just about any provider, you may need a lot more than someone running a much smaller business. Remember that going with a big name isn’t necessarily the safe choice. They may use their popularity to rest on their laurels and not deliver on their service promises.
Compare the plans, read the reviews, and you will be in a good position to make an informed decision.