When you are starting an online business, there is a need and desire to get things up and running as fast as possible. It can be tempting to cut the odd corner, make quick decisions, and do everything you can for a rapid release. You might decide that some area of your business are unimportant – your choice of web host, for example. But be warned – choose the wrong service, and it can have a big impact on your ability to perform, grow, and establish a solid presence. With this in mind, here are some important factors you need to consider when choosing a web host.
Are they suited to your business?
First of all, it’s important to understand that web hosts all offer a broad range of expertise. Not all of them will be suitable for your business, so it’s vital that you go with a service that is a match for your needs. For example, if you are starting a simple blog there is little point spending on a service that is fit for enterprise-level companies. It’s just a complete waste of money. If you think your business will scale fast, things are a little different. It’s essential that you choose a host that gives you the option to increase bandwidth each month.
Should you go for the lowest price?
Many startups decide to go for the cheapest possible option when choosing a web host. But in the vast majority of cases, it’s a big mistake. Take free web hosts as an example. While you will save a few bucks, the impact it can have on your business can be extreme. You will experience advertising on your website, for a start – not a great look for your professional image. There will be a lot of downtimes, too. And, you simply cannot expect any support at any level if you aren’t prepared to pay for it. Dedicated servers, managed hosting and data center colocation prices can vary wildly. But, it shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Look at the features and support you think you will need, and base your decision on those needs rather than price.
Does support matter?
By far the biggest thing to look for when choosing a hosting service is high-quality support. Websites and servers go down – and more often than you think. When it happens during a peak period of your business, it can have an enormous impact on your profit margins. So, when things go wrong, you want to be confident you can pick up the phone and speak to a real-life person, or get the help you need. Can you email them 24/7? Do they offer Live Chat support? If there is no visible sign that a web host offers nothing short of excellent service, it’s best to steer clear.
Are other customers happy?
Finally, read reviews – and lots of them. Search Google for a particular hosting company or take a look at them on social media. It shouldn’t take you long to get the gist of what they are like as a company. If there are streams of complaints, it’s best to avoid them. However, if they appear to offer great solutions to their customer’s problems, you might have found your perfect fit.
It can take a while to find the perfect web host – but it is worth it. Be careful who you choose, and your startup should be in a good place. Good luck!