You want your business to succeed, so do not frustrate your customers and risk losing their business by hosting your website with an unreliable company. Make sure you take the time to research everything about the company and find out if it will be a fit for your needs.
1. Make sure you research the company’s reputation
The internet has many websites that review the different companies and give you the pros and cons of each. Make sure the review is not biased and just trying to get sales from you to go to that site. Find unbiased reviews and read what others have to say about the company overall. Knowing what you want and need in a website will help you decide the best one.
2. Know the storage capacity allotted to you on the web host you are considering
Consider your needs and what you have planned for your website. Storage capacity is usually in gigabytes (GBs). You will need storage not only for the files shown on the internet such as pictures, blogs, and videos but there are a few invisible files such as databases or forms that go into storage.
3. Make sure the company offers live chat or telephone support with as many hours available as possible
You may need this feature if you are building a site and come across problems or questions. If something happens to your website, you will be glad to get in touch as soon as possible. You do not want to have to wait for an answer and hold up the development or running of your site.
4. Check billing and payment procedures of the companies
Will they allow you to pay month-to-month or do you have to sign an annual contract? Going month-to-month gives you the freedom to switch web hosts at any time if you find you are dissatisfied with the service for any reason. An annual contract, however, is usually cheaper in the long run if you plan on staying with the same host.
5. Look for a no-advanced-payment requirement
This tip goes together with the No. 4. If you must shell out a sizable payment up front, you will get trapped with the host for the duration. Many web hosting companies do not require an advanced payment.
6. Read the web hosting talk outages forum
These forums will give you a good idea if there are problems with outages and how frequently. No one wants an unreliable site that goes down at intervals. Your business could lose good customers in the process. Read all the forums and find out how customers rate the company.
7. Find out if the host will run ads on your site
Depending on your business, you may not want an ad on your site for the web host company. Many companies will insert a little line at the bottom of your website stating the web host company name. In most cases that will not be a problem or a distraction for your site. However, if they want to run a more prominent ad or banner, it might pose an issue for you. Before you sign up, look for this possibility and decide whether it is right for you.
8. Monitor the website’s uptime
During a trial period, you could use a website monitoring tool to track your website and make sure your site is up and running for at least 99.95% of the time, which is the industry standard. Many web hosting companies will advertise their uptime percentage, but only a trial run will give you the truth.
9. Check for any bandwidth restrictions imposed on your site
If you are a small business, you may not need a lot of bandwidth. This is determined by how large your website is and how much content and pictures you have as well as how many visitors come to your site and view this content. Most web hosting companies will have shared hosting plans which are cheaper but will limit the amount of bandwidth you will have at your disposal. The control panel in your web host account will show you how much bandwidth you have used and how much is left. The amount renews itself monthly. Keeping tabs on the amount will let you know how you are doing and whether you need more to avoid the “Bandwidth Limit Exceeded” message.
10. Look for an extended trial period offering
A longer trial period will help you monitor your website and make sure it has enough storage, bandwidth, and whether the website uptime is standard. You will get to take it for a test drive and make sure the web hosting company is perfect for your needs or not. Your website will represent your company, and you will not want it to shed a bad light by not doing everything you want.
You work hard to maintain your business reputation. Do not let poorly administrated web hosting destroy it. Do your homework before choosing the web hosting company for your business.