Any business, whether they’re brick and mortar establishment or an online business, needs a website. A website needs a host. A web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. Like most internet services, there are a lot of options. Web hosting is no different. When it comes to choosing a web host, you have two basic options, do it yourself or choose a hosting plan.
For the small to medium-sized business, hosting your own website quite likely has too many hurdles to be worth the effort. The initial costs for purchasing, setting up and organizing all the necessary hardware, licensing the software can be overwhelming and time consuming. Not to mention the recurring costs of a stable and reliable Internet connection. For most companies, except the very largest of firms, hosting your own website just doesn’t make sense. That leaves the second alternative, finding a hosting company and choosing a plan. Let’s begin by taking a look at choosing a hosting company.
Choosing Your Hosting Company
There are literally thousands of web hosting companies to choose from and evaluating them can be difficult. The first question you will want to ask a potential hosting company is what types of hosting plans they offer. There are likely to be several choices from starter type packages to the platinum version with all the bells and whistles.
Here are a few basic criteria to examine:
Service and Support:
Money Back Guarantee – Finding a web host is an investment but you don’t want it to be a risky one. Look for a host that offers a guarantee.
24/7 Technical Support – This is important. What happens to your business if your web host crashes? If you have an online business, you’re dead in the water. Know that not all technical support is created equal and just because someone offers 24/7 customer service doesn’t mean they’re actively available. It may mean that you get to leave a voicemail or stay on hold for hours and they’ll get to you when they can.
Testimonials and references can be extremely useful. Find out if other customers are happy with the hosting service and
Ease of use:
A Control Panel is your central hub of information. It is where you find all of your statistics and are able to manage all of your account features. If your host’s control panel is too difficult to navigate or doesn’t offer the tools your business needs, then it is best to look elsewhere. Your website is your business and your control panel needs to be easy for you to use. You don’t have time to spend searching for the information and tools you need.
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