How To Choose A Web Hosting Company
If you are wondering how to choose a web hosting company, then read this article. There are thousands of web hosting companies doing business online. Each one have mouth watering hosting packages and makes reassuring promises to keep your business online 24/7. Making a choice among these can be quite difficult. How can you know the one that will truly provide your business the much needed excellent hosting solution at an affordable price?
Big business enterprises can afford to own their own web hosting servers or pay for dedicated web hosting servers. This is not an option for most small scale entrepreneurs. Small scale business owners especially the home based business owners often have to make do with shared web hosting due to their small business budgets. This article is meant to provide help for such entrepreneurs.
What are the qualities to look for in a web hosting company?
1. Excellent Customer Support: Your hosting provider should be there for you 24/7 and give you instant access to the technicians you need to solve your problem. Ask them how long it takes for them to typically respond to your problem. A good test is to call them in the mid night to check if you get to a live, level 3 support. There must be provision for Live Chat as this tend to be more efficient in helping to troubleshoot website issues than phone calls or email. Go ahead and use their ticket system for pre-sale support, taking note of how many hours it takes them to attend to you. If their response time for sales is slow, then you can be rest assured that their response time for technical support will most likely be worse.
2. A Sound Infrastructure: Check whether they offer a multi-homed network powered by multiple bandwidth providers to ensure redundancy. Some offer a 100% guarantee on its network availability or network uptime. Getting information about this is not easy though. You may need to spend some time doing research about the web hosting company you have zero on. Read reviews and comments about their services in forums. Avoid website previews as they are often bias. A good place to get information about webhosting companies and their performance is webhostingtalk.com
3. Financial Stability: If you’re running very critical operations, you can’t afford to be with a hosting company that may not be in business in a few months. Check to see if the web hosting company is a one-man business being operated from a bedroom. There is nothing wrong with doing business with such as long as he or she is a reseller for a reputable web hosting company. However, you will be doing yourself a disfavor and courting trouble if you host your business website with a sole-proprietor who owns the servers he is using for business. Web hosting servers cost a lot of money and as such cannot be easily run by small scale business. Incorporated businesses tends to be more reliable.
4. Scalability: Be sure your web host company can easily upgrade your hosting package as your business grows. There should be provision for migrating from shared web hosting packages to dedicated servers or virtual private servers. Ensure the web host can accommodate e-commerce and storefronts, wireless capability, blogs, forums, chats, online interactive helps and anything else you may need to add onto your site as your business expands. The last thing you want to do is change host mid way. It is never an easy nor smooth experience moving your website from one hosting company to another.
5. Provision of Regular Backup: Ensure that the web host company is willing to make regular backup of your website which will be kept on a separate server. This will help to reduce the recovery time in case of a server failure. You need to make enquiry about this as some web host may deman extra payment to provide such service.
Pitfalls to avoid in choosing a web hosting company
Avoid like a plague, free or very inexpensive web hosting services. They often end up creating headache and heartache for entrepreneurs, with bouts of server downtimes. As a small business owner, you don’t want to start spending hours on phone or chatting to find out why your website is not up. Having paid for the web hosting service, you will love to focus on your core business and grow your business. Chasing after web hosting technicians and doing follow-up on support tickets will not increase your revenue. Also note that you are likely to have significant limitations in storage, number of email addresses, FTP upload, ability to install scripts etc when you choose a free web hosting company or a very inexpensive web host.
Avoid web hosting companies whose data centers are located in volatile areas. You don’t want to loose your online business website due to civil unrest in the location where the data center of the company is located.
This post is not a review of any web hosting company. Therefore there is no link to any web hosting company. If you have experience you will like to share as a user of web hosting services, kindly share it in the comment section below. You can get future updates to this post, How to choose a web hosting company by subscribing to my RSS feed. Cheers.