Every web host is trying to woo you with deals and features. Finding the best package for your small business’s website can take time and discernment. Before you select a web hosting service, you need to make sure it fits certain criteria. If you have questions, we have answers.
- Do they have round-the-clock customer service?
You never think you need 24/7 customer service until your website crashes during a special online-only midnight sale. Many web hosting clients provide round-the-clock customer assistance, but they may have limited phone hours or can only be contacted via email. Whether you’re tech savvy or not, reliable customer service is a must have.
- Do I really need unlimited bandwith?
Not unless you’re hosting lot of videos or music. Then again, if your need to change, you upgrade to a better bandwith package.
- What about “uptime” guarantee?
Uptime is pretty self-explanatory; it refers to the amount of time your server is running without a hitch. It’s common for webhosts to offer an uptime guarantee, promising flawless server runtime—that is, aside from scheduled maintenance. The guarantee allows for a miniscule amount of downtime per month. If the downtime exceeds that little allowance, you’ll be refunded for that month.
- What is shared hosting?
If you only need one website for your business, then choosing a shared hosting package would be a fine choice. Shared hosting packages are more affordable; as the name implies, you will be sharing server space with multiple websites. For most small businesses, that isn’t an issue. Think about the purpose of your website: a shared hosting package is perfect if you’re hosting an informational website for your local business.
- ...And what is dedicated hosting?
You might opt for a dedicated hosting package for a number of reasons. Sharing a server may be the cheaper option, but there are drawbacks. Your site will suffer when other websites on the server are experiencing high traffic. E-commerce business owners and those seeking servers that aren’t only secure, but can handle plenty of user traffic should seek out a dedicated server.
- How much storage space do I need?
This depends on the needs of your website and the industry you work in. For the most part, small business owners won’t need a lot of disk storage unless they are storing large files, such as videos, on their server. You don’t need to start off with unlimited storage if you don’t need it; you can always upgrade.
- Windows or Linux?
Servers run on two different operating systems: Windows and Linux. This isn’t a big deal unless you plan to use OS-exclusive software or programming languages.
- Where is the web host’s server located?
Local business owners, listen up. You may get a good deal from a web host located far away, but your neighborhood clients will encounter slow loading speeds when accessing your site.
- How much am I ready to pay?
If you aren't willing to pay at least a little bit every month, you can opt for a free web hosting service. You may need to be willing to settle for a less robust product, or even give up your personalized domain name, but using a free service is a great way to get your site off the ground without any up-front investment.