If your website is the headquarters of your business online, its hosting is the neighborhood your ‘home’ is in. So if you’re very particular about the place you’ll move into, you should be with your hosting, too. Due diligence is highly necessary for both, so it’s a very good sign that you’re here and looking for information on choosing the best website hosting.
With lots of various options available, it’s easy to see why choosing a hosting service can be a bit overwhelming. Some have offers that sound really tempting while others are best known for their performance. You can really get confused if you don’t know what you should be looking for.
So to help you move in the right direction and narrow down your options to the best picks available, below are a few tips in choosing a good hosting service for the website of your small business.
Create a budget.
A website hosting service is one of the things that you need to spend money on when building a website. This is why you should allocate a decent budget for it in your business expenses. This way, you can narrow down your options and work within your venture’s means.
Why should you pay when there are free hosting services available? Here are a few good reasons why you should invest in a solid website hosting service:
- You’ll get the amount of storage and bandwidth that you need. Without both, you won’t be able to maximize your website.
- Your website won’t disappear without notice. Using free services won’t protect you from the changes that the service provider will make. If your website gets deleted, all of your hard work in directing traffic there will be wasted.
- You can customize your site the exact way you want it. Free services have very limited templates and won’t let you code your own website’s design. As a result, their websites look generic and awful.
- You can prepare for your brand’s growth. As mentioned above, you’ll get limited bandwidth when you use free hosting services. This can then prevent more people from accessing your site and stunt the growth of your business.
- You can move without too much fuss. If you choose to move service providers after a while, a reliable hosting service will let you do so without a hitch. Free providers often will prevent you from doing so.
- You’ll get good results from your SEO efforts. It turns out, free websites aren’t prioritized by search engines anymore. This is why you might need to work harder to optimize your site if you want it to rank higher in search engine results.
While free hosting is the most budget-friendly option for small businesses, their drawbacks are just not worth it. Since there are lots of affordable hosting packages anyway, you really shouldn’t settle with the nearly non-existent offers of free website hosting services.
This doesn’t mean that you should also go all out and spend everything you have on a hosting, however. Work within your budget as that’s the sound way to go about setting up your small business online.
Look for convenient features.
As a small business owner, you should be able to make the most out of your limited time. You can’t just spend weeks on your website because there are tons of other things that you should do to set up your venture.
This is why a website hosting service with convenient features can really come in handy. With one, you might be able to skip the most grueling parts of building a website. Some examples of these handy features include:
- A website builder
- SEO tools
- E-commerce features
If you managed to find a service provider that offers such, you can already save a lot of time in taking the necessary steps to establish your website online. Note, however, that some packages offer them as add-ons so you might want to consider your budget in this process as well.
It doesn’t matter if you intend to sell stuff on your website or not, it’s still crucial that you make sure that your website is safe to use. Make sure that the information that your site will contain will be kept secure so you won’t have difficulties later on.
Website security breaches can put you in hot water in so many ways. It can put your business in jeopardy, for one, if you failed to protect its access and content. You might also get into a legal mess if you weren’t able to keep your customers’ information safe.
To ensure that a website hosting service is safe, look for the following:
- The good reputation of the service provider. This will help you guarantee that they won’t do shady activities on your website.
- SSL certification as a security feature in their website hosting plan. This will secure your website by encrypting the sensitive information it contains.
Look for a website hosting provider with a 99% uptime.
Server maintenance is one of the most important things you pay for when subscribing to a hosting service package. This will ensure that your site will run smoothly all the time. However, they cause downtimes for your website.
While they’re unavoidable, you can still ensure that they won’t drive away potential customers. By choosing a provider that guarantees a 99% uptime, you can be assured that they’ll be efficient in maintaining their servers. This means that they won’t cause your website to be unavailable for hours at a time, especially without prior notice.
This is crucial because if customers can’t access your site, they might not bother trying again later. This instantly means lost potential sale which can then be quite damaging to your small business.
Make sure that your website will load quickly.
According to research, lots of people only give websites 3 seconds to load. If they don’t, visitors exit the page and might not even come back again anymore.
This is why you need to make sure that your website loads quickly. If it doesn’t, you’ll lose a lot of traffic and visitors faster than you can say, “Wait, there’s more!”
There are lots of factors in the speed of your website’s loading speed and at the top of this list is your website hosting. Since the files of your website are hosted in such service, it’s certainly the key factor in how fast your pages will load. If the servers are not quick enough to provide access to your site, then, your web pages will load slowly.
Aside from not wearing your visitors’ pages thin, it’s also beneficial for your website to load faster because it can also help boost your search engine results ranking. With Google prioritizing fast loading websites over the slower ones in their search results, the speed of your website can also help promote it with ease.
Read reviews about the hosting provider’s customer service.
Even if a website hosting provider has great offerings, you might still need to get some help from their people at some point. So to save yourself from the hassle and frustration, you might also want to learn about how service providers treat their clients before you sign up with one.
Your website hosting service tends to function as a supplier for your business so you’d want them to be easy to work with. If they’re hard to contact and slow in resolving issues, they’ll make running your website trickier than it has to be. So if you want to make sure that your website will run without a hitch, you have to check the customer service of the hosting provider you’re eyeing.
Make sure there’s a backup feature in the plan (or it’s offered as an add-on).
Backing up your files is always recommended when creating any document that has of any importance. This is also applicable when creating a website. In fact, it’s actually crucial that you back up the files for your website. In case something comes up, you don’t have to start from scratch all over again.
The problem, however, is that you can make some errors when backing up your website. This makes the process complicated and stressful.
To make things simpler and fuss-free, you can opt for a website hosting service provider that also offers backup features in their packages. In some cases, such services are not included in a plan but are offered as inexpensive add-ons. They might seem like additional costs but they’re certainly worth it. It’s pretty much an investment and security bond in one package, so make sure to consider getting this feature as well.
Check their control panel setup.
To ensure that your web hosting service provider offers ease of use in their packages, take a peep at their control panel features as well. If they offer a host of functions that you’ll find useful in running and updating your website, then you’re in good hands.
Some services will also let you add plug-ins without a hitch, so consider those as well. They can help you further customize and enhance your business’ website, so they’re worth a shot.
While these are just a few of the many tricks in choosing the right website hosting service for your small business, they can already be more than enough to help you get started. With the important role your website will play for your venture, it’s crucial that you do it right the first time around. Keep these in mind and you might just be able to do that.