Have you ever sat down and assessed the real amount of money you pay each month to maintain your online business? Web hosting is one cost component that many people pay too much for, without realizing it. The information below can help you find a web hosting provider that gives you top-level service for a bargain price
Most business owners understand the value of creating quality web content and they’re finally beginning to understand the importance of developing a web site that is responsive.
But, that very important process of selecting a reliable web hosting company is often ignored.
When business owners take the time to select a reliable web hosting company, they ensure their website remains accessible and safe at all times.
Randomly choosing a web host, based on something like pricing alone, can produce disastrous results.
Here are some guides to make you a smarter consumer when it comes to getting your own web hosting account.
1. The “Free Domain” Gimmick.
A free domain certainly sounds nice, however here are some things you might need to take note of before agreeing to the free domains provided:
Who owns the domain? The domain is free but the hosting company retains the ownership. What does it mean? You’re either stuck with the company forever or you need to pay a hefty sum to buy the domain back.
What about the next few years of renewal? The first year is free but when you want to renew it, they’ll charge $19.95+ for renewal. That is like a 200% markup over the average domain name cost.
It’s better to ask questions during the research process to know who will own the domain and also make sure that the standard renewal fees costs are acceptable.
2. Know What Kind of Web Host You Need
Understanding the needs of your business can help narrow your web hosting options. If you plan to build a website that features video blogging, 24-hour live streaming and the ability for visitors to register and upload their own videos, your website would require more features than someone who just uses their website as a virtual resume. Websites that receive a lot of daily traffic will likely not function well on a shared server because these servers are designed to accommodate a lot of small websites that have limited demands.
3. Choose the Right Hosting Package
Many small businesses turn to shared hosting as a way to save money, but with the smaller price tag comes a bigger risk of slow website response times. Slow websites turn customers away. An option like a Virtual Private Server (VPS) is slightly more expensive, but it provides a faster, higher quality web performance and delivers better customer experience.
4. Read That Bandwidth and Disk space Terms.
Bandwidth and disk space are terms often ignored by people shopping for shared web hosting. You should ask yourself, “What if my website becomes really popular overnight, and draws in thousands or millions of visitors? Will I pay a hefty charge for the huge data transfer?”
Of course, most websites won’t go past their bandwidth quota by high traffic alone, but if you provide some files for downloads in your website, it can potentially happen.
5. Don’t Get Stuck on Price
When you’re a new business owner with a limited budget, the web hosting company offering the lowest price might be very tempting. As cliché as it sounds, remember: you get what you pay for. The cheapest price might just result in slow servers, poor customer service, constant downtime, and an association with thousands of unprofessional websites that you would be embarrassed to share with your grandmother.
6. Read Web Hosting Reviews
Refer to reputable websites when doing research on the reliability and reputation of web hosts. Researching a web hosting company through third party reviews is very useful in discovering any consistent issues or persistent complaints from current or past users. Pay attention to how the company responds to complaints if the company responds at all. This will give you an idea of how the company deals with unhappy customers
7. Know the Backup Plan
It doesn’t really matter why your website is down or why you have lost your website’s data. You need to know if the web hosting company you choose has a backup plan to help you recover just in case. Ask them, “What’s the plan, Stan?” If you’re not comfortable with the answer, you know what you need to do.
8. Ask About Security Features
Security breaches happen, even to the mom-and-pop store in that small town in Idaho that has a population of 2,000. Make sure your web hosting company can provide Secure Sockets Layer to safeguard your customer’s private information. This is an essential feature in providing customers with safe transactions and it should be a feature that’s provided by the web hosting company.
I wouldn’t recommend a free web host if you are starting out a huge e-commerce website. I definitely recommend managed WordPress hosting if all you need is an easy-to-manage web host to run a small hobby blog.
Different websites have different needs. When you are comparing and choosing a hosting provider, remember that what you want is to pick up the web host that suits your needs.
It’s not about finding the best web host in the world; rather, it’s about finding the RIGHT web host for YOU.