What to Know When Selecting a Web Host For Your Small Business

professional hostingIf you’re taking the leap to find professional hosting for your blog or website, you’ve probably already been bombarded with options to choose from. While it’s great that there are so many different routes to go, there’s a chance you weren’t expecting it to be so much of an ordeal.

Rather than fleeing from your options, it’s time to feel like the protagonist of a dating reality show – and you only have one rose to give out. Here’s what you need to know before settling on a professional hosting service for your website.

Know what you need

Before you get started on your search for professional hosting, it’s important to take a hard look at what your website needs.

If you aren’t a large business or a corporation, you probably don’t need a package that’s overloaded with features that you’ll never use – or at least not right now.

Before you start hunting for the professional host of your dreams, take account of what you plan to do with your website. Are you focused on blogging, or are your endeavors more media and video-based?

Different hosts are better for different websites, so you’ll want to pick one that can handle the amount of data and traffic that you’ll hopefully be getting.

Know what to look for

“But I already know what I need,” you say. “Doesn’t that mean I know what to look for?”

Not quite. Different professional hosting sites offer different packages. Usually, they have some standard options, but sometimes they’re geared for business owners of a certain type.

You may think that shared hosting is a great way to save money, but does that shared host have all the features you need? Remember, you also need to take website response time into account, and shared hosting is typically slower.

Not only do you need to account for a professional hosting package which will be able to handle your website’s data, but you need to account for things that will boost your website’s success or count against it.

Read reviews

There are plenty of ways to find reviews on various different web hosts. In fact, researching a company by pouring over third-party reviews can reveal a goldmine of information you never would’ve gotten otherwise.

Pay close attention to what current and past users complain about, and what they sing praises for. It’s very likely that you’ll have a similar experience, so if you find any dealbreakers there, there’s a chance that you’ll want to move on.

Additionally, this a great way to find out about a host’s customer service policy. If they have several disgruntled customers, you know that their attentions aren’t focused on customer satisfaction.

Know the terms of service

Is there anything more boring than reading terms of service on anything? They’re long, they’re filled with legal jargon, and sometimes it’s difficult to make your eyes read past one sentence.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that a website’s terms of service are essentially the closest thing that you’re going to get to a written contract with them.

Remember how you’re always supposed to read everything you’re signing? This still applies.

Don’t skim your contract or skip over signing it entirely. Take the time to read it thoroughly so you know exactly what you’re getting into. This has the added benefit of telling you what protocol is in certain situations.

Additionally, you’ll probably learn a little something about the refund policy. Hopefully, this will be a long-term arrangement, but if not, you’ll need to know that for the future.

Have a backup plan

Whether we like it or not (and we certainly don’t like it), all servers experience downtime. The ones with the best customer support will notify you through one channel or another and work to restore service. They may even tell you about scheduled downtime so you’ll expect it.

Regardless of how their communication is, you need to have a backup plan for your website. This applies whether or not the downtime is temporary or if your data just magically disappeared into the Internet ether.

Before you sign up with a host, ask what their backup policy is with websites. Hopefully, they’ll give you one that works for you.

Security features

In today’s increasingly virtual world, security breaches and threats are becoming more and more common. Therefore, before signing with any host, you need to know what their approach to security is.

If the web host you’re considering doesn’t provide adequate protection, you can almost bet that your customers’ information isn’t going to remain secure or safe. This goes double for your own information.

If your web host doesn’t have reliable security protection, this should absolutely be a dealbreaker. Move on.

Plan for growth

Sometimes, it’s highly tempting to let yourself get roped in by a cute little startup hosting company. They’re friendly, everything you read from them has a nice voice, and they seem to care about their clients.

Before you fall head over heels in love, you need to take a deeper dive into that company. This can include an extensive interview, but your goal in this is to determine whether or not they can handle your company’s growth.

Most new hosting companies aren’t prepared to handle several clients or companies which grow exponentially. In cases like that, you’ll want to stick to a more recognized company to help you out.

Professional hosting: a piece of cake

While finding the right web hosting service for you can seem overwhelming, there’s no reason for it to be! There are simple ways to find the right host for you, and it’s very similar to finding a doctor other professional services.

Keep in mind what your website needs and your plans for its growth every step of the way. Don’t settle for the cheapest option out there, and make sure that you make security a priority!

If you have questions regarding what web host we could recommend for your website, feel free to give us a shout!

Tim Schmidt

About 

Tim Schmidt is an Internet Entrepreneur living in South Florida. He owns multiple e-commerce businesses, an SEO Agency, and consults companies on Internet Marketing strategy. You can reach him for advice, speaking engagements, guest posts, interviews, and more, on this page.

Leave a Reply