Your web host is the link between your company brand and your audience. There is nothing worse for an audience than to lose access to a website because the host was not able to handle traffic spikes when the marketing actually began to work. Unfortunately, your market does not know the name of your web hosting plan; they only know the name of your business. They will blame everything on you.
Here are the top 5 things that you should consider when you are trying to find the right web hosting plan for you.
1. Make sure that you have a server that is in the right location
The location of your server can make a huge difference in the overall performance of your plan. The distance that your data has to travel in order to get to your target audience can create opportunities or hindrances in terms of your site speed and search engine optimization. Hopefully, you will be able to pick a server location inside of the same country as your target market. You may also be able to stay away from certain international laws when you put your server in a domestic location.
2. Be sure to trust your web hosting to the right type of hosting platform
The type of server that you pick for your site should give you a good balance between the resources that you use and the price that you pay for them. Most sites would probably need to stay away from the shared server – this is a platform that hosts many websites on a single physical server. The security risks are usually too high unless the site that is being hosted is a test site.
The VPS, or the virtual private server, provides the balance between the shared server and the more expensive dedicated server. The VPS is actually a physically shared server, however, the virtualization technology that is incorporated into the data streams allow for a separation that gives each website that is hosted to seem like it is on a dedicated server.
The dedicated server is the most expensive option of these three; however, it is the safest with the least amount of risk for shutdown due to a traffic spike. This is because the dedicated server only has one site per server, and problems can quickly be quarantined and fixed. There are also more resources that are dedicated to the individual site, allowing for a much faster run time and less hiccups overall in the data stream.
3. If you are doing commerce online, then get a hosting program that specializes in e-commerce
There are plenty of hosting platforms that specialize in e-commerce. These types of hosting platforms will come equipped with many third-party applications that may be too expensive for the start up business to purchase on its own. The bundling of these apps gives the opportunity for a lower price while maintaining the quality of the overall platform. There will also be options for scaling a website easily and joining it to a network.
E-commerce hosting platforms will also be much better equipped to handle things such as merchant accounts and shopping carts. Most of these platforms will provide a plug-and-play application process for the most important aspects of doing commerce online. In many cases, VPS web hosts will give priority to e-commerce accounts because of the money they bring into the network. A web hosting plan with e-commerce options may cost more up front, but it will definitely be worth the cost down the road.
4. You need a hosting plan with top-notch customer service that is ready to solve your problems at the drop of a hat
No matter how good of a web hosting platform you choose, there will always be technical problems. Even if you do not have any technical issues for a while, you will definitely have questions about how to add an application or what to do when you get ready to scale your website up. You will need a web hosting platform with face-to-face customer service that knows how to get back to you with the correct answer quickly. Sometimes, an online FAQ simply cannot respond to the new issues that are constantly being created through new technologies and different network configurations. Make sure that you have a web hosting platform that invests in its own customer service network.
5. Are you getting the right price for the service that you want from your hosting platform?
Finally, you should be sure that you are getting the features that you want at the price that is fair. This is very easy to determine. There are plenty of web hosting comparison sites that will place the features of all of the hosting plans you are considering side by side. You will not have to deal with pushy salesman, nor will you be pressured by having to give away your personal information and delete spam emails. Getting the right price will also help you feel more confident that you have made the right choice – you will not have the buyer’s remorse that accompanies many people who purchase hosting plans that end up being too expensive.
Keep your web hosting at the top of your priority list and you will never go wrong. Do not let yourself be fooled by any of the surface selling points – go deep into the hosting feature set that matters in order to pick the right hosting plan for your company!